Family-friendly Beijing staycation ideas

Top places to holiday without venturing far from home

Beijing is the perfect destination for an indulgent family staycation. Here are some of Time Out Beijing Family’s favourite places to holiday without venturing far from home

Galaxy Bubble House


You might feel like you live in a bubble in Beijing sometimes. Now you can quite literally, for one night at least, just a few hours out of town by the Jiankou Great Wall. The capacity of each plastic pad is a cosy two, and if the smog lords are feeling generous, you and your bubble buddy will be treated to a starry ceiling to gaze upon.

You will also be safe in the knowledge that your environs are allegedly bulletproof – these structures were first developed as ammo stores for the PLA back in the day. Unfortunately, the lack of air-con means the basic spaces aren’t reliably temperature-proof. Definitely worth the trip, however, for a novelty camping experience. Reserve a bubble through Airbnb. From 420RMB a night.

Hotel Éclat Beijing


Art and design are at the heart of everything that happens underneath the roof of CBD shopping center Parkview Green, and that’s especially true of its ultra-sleek Hotel Éclat. Corridors and public spaces are lined with the works of Warhol, Dali and more, and all rooms are unique in some way, particularly the suites.

There are nods throughout to the artistic and the wacky (lamps that you ‘shoot’ on and off with a gun-shaped remote control, for example) and to the downright luxurious – a suite with a private pool, anyone? Our favourite, however, is the Harry Potter room, filled with memorabilia and Hogwarts-esque brickwork. This room is a magical spot for superfans to slither into. From 1,286RMB a night; suites from 4,670RMB.

Red Capital Residence


Boutique courtyard hotels have sprung up all over the hutongs in the past few years, but few retain that aura of yore quite as well as the Red Capital Residence. You’ll feel lost in another era as you relax on your ornately carved four-poster, surrounded by embroidered drapes and antique ornaments.

For the post-imperialist, there are chambers decked out in ’50s propaganda and even a Chairman Mao suite. So choose your poison. Its cellar bar, formerly a bomb shelter, is a unique little spot to knock back a few shots of baijiu, too, if you manage a night away without the kids. There’s not much contemporary luxury here, but that’s part of the period appropriate appeal; enjoy this experience for exactly what it is – a date with history. From 300RMB a night.

Pangu 7-Star Hotel


In a world where hotels are rated up to five stars, you might wonder what you have to do to go two better and earn seven of them. The answer is this: award them to yourself. Yes, it’s Beijing’s self-proclaimed one and only seven-star hotel, the Pangu – a specialist in over-the-top luxury and fittings you didn’t even know you needed.

But while almost entirely marble bathrooms, classical Chinese artworks, mighty chandeliers and gold-coated thermostats are fancy touches, it’s more about what you’re looking out on from the hotel’s east-facing suites that stands out – the Olympic Park, with its Bird’s Nest and Water Cube illuminated for your visual pleasure. One of the coolest views you’ll get from a Beijing hotel room. Suites from 3,043RMB a night.

Yunfeng Treehouse


Sad that you never got that treehouse you dreamed of as a kid? Even better: stay in one with your kid. And it’s got a hot tub. Nestling on a mountainside out near the Miyun Reservoir, the Yunfeng Resort is home to a range of charming wooden cabins of all shapes and sizes (starting at 2,338RMB per night), though for all-out extravagance, it has to be the centrepiece micro-schloss.

The two-bedroom private castle offers killer views over the surrounding hills, and is kitted out with all those fairytale cabin-in-the-woods essentials, such as a cute fireplace, wifi, luxury bedding and the aforementioned hot tub. It ain’t coming cheap, but it’s a pretty special little hideaway. Villa from 5,588RMB a night.

Kerry Hotel

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Get away with your family for a fun-filled weekend at Kerry Hotel, Beijing – created to put a big smile on your little one’s face. Choose from two themes – the Sugar & Sweet Package or Cheeky & Cool Package – with adorable amenities in the rooms for kids to discover.

Wake up for a hearty buffet breakfast with the family before a day at Adventure Zone, the indoor theme park where kids rule the space. The always family-friendly Kerry package includes a buffet breakfast for two adults and one child below 12-years-old, full-day access to Adventure Zone for one child, and 20 percent off food, drinks and hotel laundry service. From 1,388RMB.

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