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Beijing Stopover
September 9, 2012 8:52 PM   Subscribe

Where can I sleep, at Beijing Airport (or near by), during the day, with my two kids, without breaking the bank?

I'll be taking a 13 year old and a 9 year old on a nearly 3 week long trip to Thailand in March and on the way back to North America we will have a 10 hour layover in Beijing. We will be on a flight from Bangkok to Beijing from Midnight until about 6 or 7am. I know we probably could drop some money and go into the city but I honestly think my kids will be burnt out by then and want to sleep before jumping on another 11 hour (plus) flight to North America. I'm having a hard time trying to figure out what my options are and have some questions:

What accommodation exists in or near the airport that is available for use during the day? I don't want to spend more than $100USD unless I really have to - and to be cheeky, I'd prefer to spend less.

I will be flying with Air China to Beijing and then again with them to Vancouver - do I have to exit the air side when I get to Beijing? I've heard the air side is much nicer than the land side?

What insiders tips to Beijing Airport can you offer to me given that I'll be travelling with two kids - they are both well travelled but I know they will be tired and hungry.
posted by YukonQuirm to Travel & Transportation around Beijing, China (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
Hopefully you will get some personal responses from folks here, but if not, here's the Beijing page from SleepingInAirports.net
posted by CathyG at 9:14 PM on September 9, 2012


I don't know about hotels or anything in the area, but if you want to leave the airport, you'll need to apply for a visa at least several days beforehand, which is going to cost money. I'd just stay inside the airport.
posted by alidarbac at 9:17 PM on September 9, 2012


Thanks CathyG - I was hoping Sleeping in Airports would be the answer - sadly for both Bangkok and Beijing it came up a little scary - below is the quote by a reviewer for Beijing:

no matter where I tried to get some shut-eye, even if I was sleeping sat upright, a member of airport staff would shake me and declare 'no sleeping!

Someone out there I'm sure will have a gem - otherwise I'll have to dig deeper through the usual web searching.
posted by YukonQuirm at 9:18 PM on September 9, 2012


Just getting visas for all three of you to leave airside would eat up $90 of your budget - more if any of you are American. There are a couple of hourly transit lounges airside in international departures that provide hotel-type facilities (oddly enough I walked by one a couples of days ago, but did not stay since I only had a two hour layover in Beijing), but if I recall correctly should be well within your budget to stay overnight.
posted by strangely stunted trees at 9:39 PM on September 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


Oh, and here's their reservation page. It looks like their cheapest room is 720 RMB a day, which works out to $115USD or so.
posted by strangely stunted trees at 9:48 PM on September 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


I was in Beijing a few months ago, and I stayed in the Hilton Beijing Capitol Airport Hotel. The staff was generally helpful, though they spoke little English. (I speak no Chinese.) It was a great place.

Here's the location. Not far from Tiananmen Square and other historic sites you won't get to see. The price is listed at $95 per night, though it's $104 per night with fees included.

I still do not have a Chinese passport. My girlfriend and I never left the confines of the airport(s)*, bus, and hotel. Ours was just a stopover that got delayed so bad our airline volunteered to pay for us to stay in a hotel overnight.

There's a government bus that will shuttle you and other tourists between the airport and the hotel. As long as you don't leave the hotel, I don't think a passport is required.

On the other hand, you might be able to sleep in the airport itself. YukonQuirm quotes a reviewer saying that they kept getting woken up by people saying "No sleeping!", but neither I nor the other people on my delayed flight who lay down flat on the benches to sleep had that experience. (Though it was past midnight local time).

Different petty officials will harass you about different things, though. (I got things like "No photography in this area" and "You must go to this line even though you know it's the wrong line"). There's little glass display cases scattered through the airport with mockups of different drug paraphernalia showing you all the different stuff that's prohibited. Also on the list: Any writings or information that may be harmful to the Chinese government.

*multiple airport buildings you have to ride a train to move around between
posted by Sleeper at 12:50 AM on September 10, 2012


I expect this is answering my own question a little bit but in the event someone else is looking for information about lounges in Beijing I have found out some more info. Air China actually allows all passengers with an international layover of more than 4 hours to stay at their lounge for free. There are a few stipulations like you need to be going from one international flight to another. It does appear to include up to 4 hours of a sleeping room and unlimited lobby access. I wonder if it applies to other members of star alliance - maybe this will help if you are trying to figure out what to do on a long stopover.
posted by YukonQuirm at 8:02 PM on September 10, 2012


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