Check Beijing Hotel Deals
Saga Youth Hostel Beijing Reviews
Fantastically helpful staff Aug 13, 2004
You really get the sense of being in Beijing staying at this hostel. Not because it's traditional in ANY WAY inside, but because it's smack bang in the middle of the Hutongs. It's run by Hostelling International.
We ended up getting a taxi here because we'd arrived at the railway station and had no idea what direction to go in to reach the hostel, but I understand there's a bus that stops nearby. When I left I took an airport bus from a nearby hotel, which was pretty cheap too.
We stayed here because Laura had stayed here with the others when they first arrived in Beijing and it was in such a good location. Again, we ran into people we'd been working with, which was great.
We booked from our hostel in Xi'an, as we knew when we'd be arriving by counting forward, and we'd booked our rail tickets from Yichang to Beijing from Xi'an too. We were in a 20 bed dorm room, all bunk beds. I'll warn you know - the beds are really hard. The mattresses are matting rather than a proper mattress but we were used to it by this point. Everyone gets a numbered lockable cupboard to stash rucksacks, but YOU NEED YOUR OWN PADLOCK. I think the hotel shop sells them, along with soft drink, snacks, stamps and postcards, etc.
The travel desk was the biggest benefit at this hostel. They booked my accommodation in Shanghai, flight to Shanghai and I took their Great Wall trip to Simotai, which was excellent. They seem to be no more expensive than if you'd booked them anywhere or anyway else - I thought the might whack on commission, but it didn't seem to work that way. The price on my ticket was the price I paid for the flight.
The restaurant upstairs was great too. We met up with another of the girls we'd been teaching with and she joined us for breakfast each day - things like French toast, Continental breakfasts too, the food was reasonably priced and tasty.
There are also laundry services - as memory serves, the machines were free to use, washing powder bought in little bags from the shop for about 8 - 10 Yuan, not sure though! The machine was quick and stuff dried overnight in the clean courtyard.
Saga is about a 15 minute walk from Tian'anmen Square, reception is open 24 hours, and there's also hot water 24 hours a day - that's important because some places don't! It's often just on in the morning - so for example when I got back - hot and sweaty - from the Great Wall, it could have been a cold shower if we were in Xi'an, but thankfully it wasn't.
The only gripe I have is that the bathroom wasn't very clean - the sinks were pretty grimy, and the shower cubicles had quite a bit of mildew. Also two of the shower cubicles were directly opposite the door, which didn't actually have a door and because the shower curtains didn't come right the way across, people didn't use them so there was often a queue early in the morning, but it was generally OK. The showers were powerful. As with any hostel, I'd take a cheap pair of flip flops for showering in.
Overall, it was a great location, helpful staff and a good atmosphere and as far as hostels go, it was pretty good.
Part of the Teaching & Travelling in China, 2004 travel blog
Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!