Private Room
Amenities
Pricing
Location
1.5Overall Score

I wouldn’t recommend the Beijing City Central Youth Hotel to anyone. Well, maybe a young man looking to test himself before shipping off to BUD/S where you might actually be a little more comfortable. How it got a 71% rating on HostelWorld.com I’ll never know, but here’s how I feel about this dump.

Private Room:

While traveling I like to think that the hostel or hotel room you book, whether a private room or dorm room, should provide some comfort that one can retreat to when needed. Our two-bed room at Beijing City Central Youth Hotel had air conditioning, which was nice, but that’s about it.

When I first sat down on my bed I almost compressed a disk in my spine as it turned out our mattresses were incredibly thin. Thin to the point of being pointless. I’ve had more comfortable nights sleeping on an old, foam camping pad while backpacking. I’ve had better nights sleep while in a berthing onboard an aircraft carrier while crammed into a bunk that was too small for me. I would lay on my back for a few minutes before the bone to bed contact on my back would become uncomfortable enough to roll to my side, then a few minutes later, with my hip hurting, I’d roll to my stomach. So on and so forth throughout the night.

Then we found our first cockroach of the trip. Yay. After a long day walking in the smog and heat of Beijing, there was no comfort to be found back at our room or anywhere else in this place.

Amenities:

Our bathroom was a few hundred feet from our room which required a bit of a walk when needed in the middle of the night. Once there I was lucky to find a toilet stall working as, out of the several in the mens room, there were days when all were full. I won’t go into much more detail, but I mean full.

On our first day there, in desperate need of a shower, the water went out for the entire morning in the whole building, so we went without. For the men there are only two showers for the entire floor which will mean a long wait some mornings. So go ahead and catch the elevator up to the fourth floor and use those if you need to.

Being 6’6″, the hallways in this place felt like they were from Floor 7½ and it was a pain in the ass to go anywhere, including the full toilets.

Don’t believe the notices in your rooms, you can’t get wifi in there even if you call the front desk and give them your passport number. You need to go to the bar for it where, depending on whether you look like a local or have enough women with you, you might have to buy drinks in order to keep using it. Seriously. They will profile you and decide whether to allow you to sit in peace and quiet in the only place you can get wifi or demand you buy drinks to continue doing so. Oh, and the signal is so weak that most of the time it won’t even work.

The same goes for pool. While some kids can screw around and wreck the cues one day for hours on end, as soon as you try to play for a few minutes–with no signs anywhere that it costs money– they will ask that you pay an outrageous fee to do so, depending on what number they can think up first. For me it was 20 CNY, or $3.22 for a game. That’s more than three-games worth back in the good ol’ US of A.

The bar itself, on the same floor of the hostel, is a dark, miserable place where, it seems, only the employees hang out and pester what few, unfortunate tourists try to patronize it. As I said about the room–this place provides little to no comforts for the weary traveler.

Pricing:

We paid 632 CNY for four nights in a private room. Considering that this is the massive city of Beijing, that’s a fairly reasonable price. Considering that this place sucks and we paid less to live in luxury in Xi’an the week prior, it’s a ripoff.

Location:

Beijing City Central Youth Hotel is well located right across the street from the Beijing Railway Station and near metro and bus stops, (a short ride on the metro with one transfer and you’ll be at the Forbidden City), so it has that going for it.

AFTER ALL THAT, THE NEXT HOSTEL ON OUR ROUTE WAS A WELCOME REPRIEVE: IDRE’S GUESTHOUSE IN ULAANBAATAR, MONGOLIA.

About The Author

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Mark quit everything to travel the world for a year with his wife, Britnee. Along the way, he picked up a love for many other things, including illy coffee, Nepal, Bolivianos bills, and Thai beaches. Now happily home in Utah, Mark is a balding marketing professional with a mountain biking addiction.

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