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Reviewed 2 June 2012

I stayed four nights in Building 2 (four star) when on business travel. The room was very comfortable with adequate furnishings and decent bathroom. I thought the mattress was quite firm, but then I slept great every night despite jet lag. One evening there was some water leakage from the ceiling in the bathroom directly into the tub, but I never noticed it again and considered it part of the experience. The servicing of the room was great. The in-room safe also worked great. The breakfast buffet had a decent selection of Western items as well as the full complement of Chinese breakfast food. Only complaint was that the coffee quality was hit-and miss. The wired internet connection in the room was free and fast; cable provided - just bring your ethernet adapter if you use a Mac. There is an extra charge for use of fitness facilities.
Overall this is a great selection if you want something different than a Western chain. It is a huge property, but each building has its own front desk staff. The verdant grounds are really beautiful and a welcome change from the chaos of the city streets. I truly enjoyed early morning walks through the large gardens and tree-lined streets. This was my favorite hotel (of three) that I visited on this trip.
Bear in mind that your experience may differ depending on building number (read other reviews). My experience was in four-star Building #2.

Room Tip: Building #2 is excellent (four star). Choose fifth floor or higher for non-smoking rooms, also less subject to outside noise. Lastly, bring your own instant coffee (I like Starbucks Via), sugar packs and/or dry creamer, and plastic spoon for morning coffee - the rooms have kettles but only tea (duh, it's China).
  • Stayed: May 2012, travelled on business
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1  Thank Harry P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 May 2012

We stayed at this hotel at the start and end of our Travelshpere Discover China trip.
Hotel was ok - we stayed in Block 3 which is around the corner from the Main Building Nr 1.
The rooms were small and a little tired and in need of an update but when you are spending most of time out and about this wasnt an issue.
You go down the stairs and through a link to Building 2 where the restaurants are for breakfast.
Breakfast was quite good as a self selection place although you had to be sharp to get the omellete and quality bacon. As someone who does like coffee in the morning this was disgusting but we did find it the same everywhere.
Bar in reception was quite expensive but what you would expect and wasnt open to long into the night. There is a corner shop if you go through the security barrier at the back and turn right where you can buy beers and soft drinks etc at much cheaper prices.
There is a swimming pool there but I didnt find it (didnt look too much mind :o))
There is a TGI Friday and a bar around the back of Building 1 which is only a 5minute walk and made a change from sitting in the bar or room.
On the one night there was a function going on involving the high security police of China so we were in the safest place in China - there were guards everywhere!
It was a little bit away from the centre of Beijing, Ring 5, so we had to use the coach for everything although I am told there is a local train station nearby.
Part of the toiletries also included 2 condoms which did find amusing :o)

  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank BigPaul9967
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 May 2012

This famous and historic hotel is the largest gaden hotel complex in Asia. Built in the 1950s to welcome visiting foreigners and "expert" advisors this is a massive complex of buildings and conference facilities. The huge trees provide shade and a quiet park like atmosphere in the middle of the busy Haidian District which is a university and research area. I stayed in Building One, the Grand Building, which is the main building. My room was on the second floor and was modern five star level with very comfortable king bed, marble bathroom trim, large screen tv, safe, ample closet space, and powerful digital adjustable air conditioning. I requested a garden view and thus looked out at the massive old trees they have, very green and pleasant view. Breakfast was on the 6th floor in a dining room. Very good buffet with Chinese, Japanese, and Western offerings. Plenty of strong coffee and fresh juices, etc. Lunches and dinners in the main dining room on first floor with extensive menu and excellent food. They brew their own beer on premises and I quite liked the dark which came in ice cold steins. Some at reception desk speak better English than others so be patient and find the right one. Concierge speaks English and will write your taxi destinations in Chinese on a hotel card which has the hotel's address also in Chinese for the return taxi. "Renmin" subway station is just up the street and the Beijing subway is high tech and easy to use as signs are also in English, just as many major street signs are also in English. Go to a window at subway and hand the person 2 yuan and you then get an electronic card for one way ride anywhere on system. Put card in to open gate, take it with you, put card in gate to exit and machine retains card. Easy. Taxis are very reasonable and easy to get at hotel. Charge is what is on the meter plus an extra 3 yuan service charge. They print receipt for you. All taxi drivers are literate so if you have your destination in Chinese there is no problem at all. I was at the hotel for 12 days and it was perfect for what I needed to do. Most guests were Asian, but there were a number from UK, USA, and Germany when I was there. Very friendly and attentive service. Just remember this is a historic property so if you want ultra modern international five star ambiance this is not for you. The property is what it is: a charming, very comfortable, historic hotel complex. I did not see the rooms in the other buildings but mine was certainly very comfortable and updated to modern standards. Make certain that your reservation is made WITH breakfast included, otherwise it is about $15 additional. When checking in make sure to have an English speaking staff member look at your reservation for details such as garden view, with breakfast, and make certain they understand what the reservation included.

Room Tip: My room on second floor in Building One, Grand Building, with garden view was excellent. You have to ask for garden view and then when you get to hotel verify by inspection that it is a garden view. As the garden is in the back, the room was very quiet.
  • Stayed: May 2012, travelled on business
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Thank Clifford K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 April 2012

This is a nice hotel and is close to the subway station. Rooms were clean and staff friendly and helpful. The only problem was that the rooms were too hot. Outside it was about 70F during the day, lower at night but the room was over 80F most of the time. I went for business and it is a bit out of the way. I went to the Pearl Market near the Temple of Heaven and it took 45 minutes by subway.

  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled on business
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2  Thank Alexandria-family
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 April 2012

I stayed for a week in a standard room in Building #2 at the Friendship Hotel in Beijing. Overall, the quality of the services was average at best. The room itself was spacious but kind of outdated; same about bathroom. Breakfast was limited (in choices) compared to other hotels I visited in Asia. Location is good, with easy access to the subway system. People at the reception spoke some English and were OK but did nothing special to make our stay more enjoyable. Overall, I think getting a room in the main building may be a better choice.

Room Tip: Getting a room in the main building may be a better choice. Also, choosing a higher (than standard) quality room.
  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled on business
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Thank ShareMyExperience
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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