Introducing The Orchid’s New Private Residences
My choice recommendation for out of town guests is always The Orchid.
A boutique hotel nestled in the hutongs by Gulou, the Orchid represents everything that I love about Beijing’s hutongs. A peaceful, zen-inducing traditional Chinese courtyard surrounded by green trees and a second floor dining room with a rooftop terrace that’s one of the most gorgeous that this city has to offer.
A Pre-Organized Birthday Party for 15 was perfect on The Orchid’s Outside Terrace
Designed with inspiration from its culturally-deep neighborhood and surroundings, it captures the side of Beijing that makes me swoon. Hidden away from the honking chaos and hoards of people just down the road, this picturesque gem is the side of Beijing that not every outsider can get a glimpse of if they are only here short-term. So while this boutique hotel may not be truly representative of Beijing city (the internet here is way faster than anywhere else in the city), if you want to impress out of towners, The Orchid is how it’s done.
“Designed to encompass the lively and energetic feel of the area defined by the drum tower, the imperial lakes area (shichahai) and the hutong neighbourhoods surrounding Nanluoguxiang, the Orchid is the ultimate refuge for tourists seeking a full-on upgrade to their China experience.”
Though the Orchid may be a little tricky for out-of-towners to find the first time, once they are in, the staff are amazing and they have a bunch of systems in place to help guests make their way around the city autonomously. This is worth it’s weight in gold! We all have friends come and forget how much hard work is involved translating, visiting underwhelming tourist attractions and generally making sure nobody gets scammed. Guests of the Orchid are equipped with a smart phone with access to their reception desk and 3G service so that guests can always send out a “lost beacon” and the Orchid can help you find your way back home.
Snapshots of The Orchid Boutique Hotel:
While the Orchid has been around for just over 5 years now, they’ve recently expanded to now offer private residences within walking distance of their boutique hotel. There are currently 3 private residences on offer – #9, #46 and #63 and I have had the pleasure to see 2 and have a staycation in residence #63.
It was a special long weekend and with a reason to celebrate, we were keen to book our staycation at the Orchid. We had 1 night in one of their rooms in the boutique hotel but we were keen to also have the chance to test out one of their residences after Joel gave us a tour.
Private Residence #46 is actually located just a few steps behind Hani Gejiu Yunnan restaurant (next to the Bell Tower in Gulou). Stepping inside the entrance, guests will find a fully-equipped kitchen on your left and a spacious living area with a plush queen size bed facing a big media server that hooks you up to free-movies and music. For those who are sensitive to the extreme temperatures of Beijing’s summer and winter, there is a powerful air conditioning unit for hot summer months and under-floor heating to keep you warm and cozy in the winter.
The bathroom area is split between a private toilet and shower area next to the open sink area with a range of organic toiletries. On the opposite side of the living room space is a sofa and desk area next to big windows that let in plenty of natural sunlight. Stepping outside by the desk is where guests can enjoy one of this residence’s most impressive features – the outdoor staircase leads up to a 20 sqm terrace that that a gorgeous view of the Bell Tower!
LDS Snapshots of The Orchid’s Private Residence #46:
Once you find Hani Gejiu Yunnan restaurant, you’re around the corner from Residence #46
Fully-equipped kitchen with fresh-ground coffee beans and tea leaves always stocked
Queen-Size Bed + Beautiful Wood Cabinets
Media server with free movies and music
Bathroom Area with Rainforest Shower + Organic Toiletries
Lounge Space with Sofa + Desk
20 sqm Outdoor Terrace with Wooden Floor Panels + Lounge Furniture
Unobstructed Views of the Magnificent Bell Tower
Though #46 is a lovely residence option, it was already booked out for the 3-day weekend and we had our sights set on Residence #63.
Just a few steps away from the Orchid hotel (on the same small alleyway that leads down to the Orchid off of Baochao Hutong), the stylish wooden door with an electronic key swiper is the entrance to this private residence. Stepping inside, guests walk through the large, fully-equipped kitchen area before walking by the bathroom area, a porcelain bathtub next to the dominant king-size bed and around the corner is another lounge area with a sofa that can pull out into a bed (to sleep another two people comfortably) and a sitting area by large windows that pour in sunlight. The high-pitched ceilings make this residence feel both grand and spacious. If I’m perfectly honest, I’m a little envious that my own hutong apartment doesn’t look more like this!
The Orchid’s Private Residence #63:
Just a few steps from The Orchid’s main entrance on a narrow alleyway off Baochao Hutong
Fully Equipped & Spacious Kitchen Area with a Fridge, Fresh Fruit, Microwave, etc.
Beautiful Bathroom Area with Rainforest Shower + Organic Toiletries
A porcelain bathtub is not often a luxury you’ll find in Beijing residences!
Large King-Size Bed with Super High Ceilings
Perfect Reading Area
Lounge + Seating Area with Pull-Out Sofa Bed
Sitting Next to the Small Private Garden is a Perfect Spot for Breakfast
I’m not sure if the Orchid will offer this service to Residence #46, but staying at #63, they also offered to bring our breakfast directly to us. It would have been a lovely gesture, but we had already invited friends to meet us at The Orchid’s Toast restaurant for a late brunch on the day of our departure. Even if you don’t book a staycation soon at The Orchid, I highly recommend just spending a Saturday or Sunday morning there for breakfast/brunch on their restaurant’s outside terrace (menu available from 10:00-14:30).
The Full Chinglish with Seared Spinach, Poached Egg, Andy’s Homemade Maple Sausages on Beijing local flatbread, home fries and fresh fruit
Iron Frittata with Eggs, Vegetables, Sichuan Bacon & Cheese Baked on Home Fries. Served with Fresh Fruit and Beijing Flatbread Toast
Breakfast at The Orchid Complete with Black & Green Tea
Light and airy, the Orchid’s residences are very well appointed and a great option for those looking for a bit more privacy and a longer stay. They are all in all, incredibly comfortable places to spend a couple of nights if you’re keen for a staycation or to impress guests who are keen to see what Beijing has to offer and is looking for something special.
As lovely as they are, these apartments are more expensive than a normal room, being as they are, several times larger. As we spent a night in both the boutique hotel and #63 residence, we did notice that #63 is more exposed to the noises of the hutongs. Inside the walls of The Orchid, everything is so zen and peaceful as guests really are completely guarded from the noises of traffic, people shouting and spitting, etc. Though the amenities and spaciousness of #63 is a big bonus, we definitely did wake-up earlier to the sounds of Beijing. This means that if you are a light sleeper, the early rising of the hutong residents might disturb you somewhat. Also, the apartment we stayed in had a skylight and there was no way to cover it, so the place filled up with natural light as the sun rose. We actually found this to be a nice way to wake up, but I can see how others would prefer to stay in a place with black-out curtains (which is what rooms in the Orchid have).
Lobby & Reception Area of The Orchid Boutique Hotel
The Orchid’s Contact Details:
Address:#65 Baochao Hutong, Guloudong Road, Dongcheng District, Beijing, 100009
Map and Directions