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.
Check-in: 3:00 PM
Check-out: 11:00 AM
Max guests:6 (sleeps up to 6 adults)
100% refund if canceled at least 60 days before arrival date. 50% refund if canceled at least 30 days before arrival date.
Easy access to the Forbidden City
We had an overnight layover in Beijing and, knowing we would not be able to see all that the Forbidden City has to offer, we nevertheless wanted to make the most of our time by staying in a place nearby. We found this place to be clean (relative term in a city of 22 million people) convenient and affordable. The host was very helpful and we managed to communicate just fine despite our complete inability to speak Chinese.
Location is great and close by market and restaurants
Worked great for our family
Beautiful and spacious in the heart of Beijing
We very much enjoyed the property for the one day we were able to stay there. Unfortunately, new security rules in Beijing meant that the apartment could not be rented for the next couple of months. When she realized that our trip would be impacted, the owner found us two hotel rooms nearby, and paid for them both for the remainder of our reservation. The flat was spacious, with comfortable beds. Particular highlights for us were the comfortable living room and the washer and dryer (many properties in Asia have washers but not dryers).
We would definitely stay here if we visit Beijing again.
great central location with Kevin as the ultimate Beijin guide
Awesome place to stay for first time or seasoned traveler to Beijing. Owner put us in contact with Travel guide Kevin who took care of everything including airport puck up and delivery and great waĺl and forbidden city/beijing tours, money exchange, shopping and food and passport stamp with police. Thanks Kevin and Mrs Wu for making our 3 days in Beijing unforgetable. Great guide teamed up with great location.
It was a real pleasure to host you and your family. Thanks.
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!
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.