The hotel that we stayed in when in Beijing was a unique one. I loved it. First, it's hidden somewhere in the hutong area. Second, it has this independent business feeling which makes it feel like the service and everything were personalised. And three, because it's very chill. Chill, like when you drink a bottle of ginger beer. Just a tad sweet.
We had to walk for about 15-20 minutes with our backpack from the station when we first came to the hotel, simply because we were lost in the middle of hutong. Hutong simply means alleyway in Chinese. This was the housing model in the old China where people share a courtyard and live together using the public facilities like shared toilet. Most of the houses are rather small but the price of the land rises so much these days because of it's location, which is very close to the city centre. These old school hutongs are located around Tiananmen Square, ours is in the Gulou area.
When we went for breakfast at the hotel's outdoor restaurant in the upper floor, we were able to see the neighbours. Nice view of the hutong, although the sky was a bit greyer than we thought it would be.
At night when we walked out to find some food, we would see families having dinner on the street if front of their house or some men playing mah jong loudly.