Apartment, 2 Bedrooms + Den, 1 Bath, (Sleeps 2-4)
- english, mandarin
About Betty Wu
I was born and raised in Beijing, as matter of fact, in the very apartment I am renting out. Because this apartment is situated in a western style villa, I had a lot more space and friends when I grew up compared to many kids grew up in typical Chinese courtyard. I still have fond memories of the games we used to play in the green and spacious courtyards. We used to chase each other on top of the brick walls and climb the trees. Now we have all grown up and left the villa. We only come back to visit once a while. The villa has far less kids nowadays. Eventually I left home too, after college and went to the United States for graduate school. Now I have returned to live in Beijing with my cat and two sons who keep me very happy.
Betty Wu purchased this Apartment in 2002
Why Betty Wu chose Downtown Beijing
I was born and raised in this apartment until I went to the United State for graduate school. For many years this was the only place I called home. I have many memories of this apartment. The villa this apartment is situated is a historical villa built by the Rockefeller family as residential villa for the doctors of the Peking Union Hospital at the turn of 20th century. Although the apartment is the newest building in the villa, it is over 60 years old. It is the only 'modern' style building in the villa, which consists of some 30 houses and townhouses with gardens throughout. The villa has been declared by the Beijing Municipal Government as a historical site. The alley, or hutong, where the villa is located is also full of history. During the Ming Dynasty the hutong was called 'Shi Da Ren Hutong' after 'Master Shi', who was a powerful general at the time. He built a mansion on this very spot in 1456, which is one of the eight famous mansions in Beijing. Its current name, 'Waijiaobu', means Department of Foreign Affairs. It comes from the Qing Dynasty when the guest house of the Department of of Foreign Affairs, designed by an American Jerry Johnson, was built. It later became the site of the Department of Foreign Affairs complex during Republic of China era. It was one of the most luxurious Western-style buildings in the capital at the time. When I remodeled the apartment, I had in mind providing modern comfort as well as preserving the original architecture. I selected only top quality materials for renovation. The bathroom cabinets, some furniture, and paint for the walls are imported from United States. I kept the high ceiling, deep window cells, and door paths which were special features from the original design. In addition, some of the furnishings are from when my parents lived here. Some of them are over 70 years old.
What makes this Apartment unique
The best feature of the apartment is its location. While it is located in the heart of Beijing it is in a quiet and secluded neighborhood. Tucked away in the back of a historical villa it is sheltered from the busy street. Although it the villa is located in the centre of one of the busiest cities in the world, there is no sense of the fast paced urgency that exists right outside its walls. The villa also features a beautiful common garden for residents to enjoy. There are many old trees that provide shade and tranquility. This is especially welcome when the greenery help soothe the heat and humidity of the Beijing summer. Another nice feature of the apartment is it's near many attractions. The famous Wangfujing shopping street and the Oriental Plaza are only a short walk away. The Tienanman Square, Forbidden City, Line 1 and Line 5 subway stations, as well as a multitude of museums, temples, and other attractions, are also nearby.
Please consider the following guidelines when booking this property:
100% refund if canceled at least 60 days before arrival date. 50% refund if canceled at least 30 days before arrival date.
Great location! Enjoyed being within walking distance of small grocery stores and restaurants. Betty Wu was helpful and a good communicator.
A private, charming refuge in the heart of Beijing--who knew?
This quiet, airy apartment was the perfect home base for our short stay in Beijing. In addition to the incredibly convenient location--a 10/15 minute walk to Tienanmen Square and the Forbidden City and just around the corner from some of the city's most upscale malls and hotels--Betty's place is perfectly set up for families, complete with washer/dryer, a well-equipped kitchen for whipping up mac and cheese when our picky 8yo got tired of trying dim sum and other "scary stuff," even a courtyard where the kids could run around and let off steam. Betty herself was prompt in replying to any questions, and very generous with a super early check in when it turned out our flight got in at 4:30am not pm (!). Her recommended guide, Kevin, is also fantastic--we hired him for a day trip to the Great Wall, airport transfers, and a night at the acrobatics show and he was worth every RMB. Thanks for a great stay!
Comfortable Property In An Excellent Location
My husband and I spent 3 weeks in this Apartment in Beijing. It is in an excellent location for sightseeing and the 2 subway stations Dong Dan and Denshikou are within easy walking distance. Using the subway allows you to travel to many of the sights and to various areas within the city. Living in this central area is very helpful given the size of Beijing and the distances involved in travelling from one area to another. As mentioned by other reviewers, Kevin was incredibly helpful during our stay and was flexible with times of tours etc - this suited us very well. We would recommend asking him to collect you from the airport as the situation of the apartment (in one of the hutongs) could be tricky for a taxi driver. There are plenty of small interesting shops situated very close to the apartment including food and small supermarkets where you can pick up bottled water etc very cheaply. We would recommend Oriental Plaza - lower ground floor for a variety of eating places and a lovely bread shop. Molly Malone's was our favourite pub restaurant where the prices were very reasonable. We found "Google Translate" an excellent tool during our stay as most of the people we met did not speak English. The apartment is situated in a building where most of the other residents are elderly and we found it easiest to fit in with their "early to bed early to rise" way of life as we are retired ourselves. Betty responded promptly to our E Mails, messages etc both before and during our trip. The apartment is spacious and comfortable and a very welcome refuge at the end of a long, tiring and noisy day. The only reason we have not given it 5 stars is because we felt that the kitchen and bathroom needs to be updated to match the comfort of the rest of the apartment.
This apartment was clean, quiet, safe and in a really convenient location. It was nice to be able to walk to stores, restaurants and a couple tourist sites. This was a great place for our family of five. It was so nice to have an apartment for our two week stay rather than being stuck in a hotel room. We would definitely stay here again!
Great location and space!
Immaculate 2 bedroom apt. In the heart of everything! A bit Off the beaten path to find, but once you know it, it’s great. very comfortable and a great stay. Loved it!
We had a wonderful time!
We really enjoyed our stay in this apartment. We had 6 people (2 adults and 4 kids, ages 16, 14, 11, 8). Our two youngest slept on cots that were comfortable and there was enough space to set them up. The bathroom is spacious so even though there was only one, it worked for us. It was nice to be all together in one large space rather than two hotel rooms. It seemed like a good location, close to sites and shopping. We easily walked to “food street” as Kevin called it. We hired Kevin to do tours for us all four days and it was wonderful. He has very good English compared to most people we met and he’s very easy going and reasonably priced. I would recommend him to anyone.
The apartment is conveniently located in the very heart of Beijing downtown - 5-10 min walk to two subway stations (Dongdan and Dongshidonggou) and is also in walking distance to some of the main sights such as Wanfujing Street, Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden Palace. There are numerous local restaurants nearby.