Han Tang Inn Hostel, Xi’An, China – Review

I was a little nervous about arriving in mainland China for the first time. Everyone had mentioned to me that if you didn’t speak the language it would be very hard getting people to understand you. This is a situation I have run across many times in my travels, but for some reason, it made me nervous on this trip. Absurd I know. Therefore, when I was looking for accommodation one of my deciding factors for choosing a place was if they had airport pick up.

Han Tang Hostel do have airport pick up, but somehow we ended up missing our driver. We waited at the arrivals area for half an hour but to no avail. We later found out that he was there and waiting for us, so we obviously just missed each other. It wasn’t a problem though, the information desk at the airport was able to quickly help us find transport to our hostel and for a great rate as well.

The tricky part when arriving was that there are two Han Tang Hostels on the same street – they are sister hostels and look very similar. However, it is a common occurrence that people go to the wrong one so we were quickly and easily directed to the right place.

I had a great time staying here and would stay there again. It isn’t in one of my top ten hostels, but it ticked all of the boxes for what I want out of a hostel and felt clean, safe and friendly.

Note: all thoughts are my own and my accommodation reviews are not sponsored unless otherwise stated. 

The Details

  • Where: Xi’An, China
  • How Long: 3 nights
  • Number of persons: 2 people
  • Cost: $21AUD per person per night (for a private double room, dorms are cheaper)
  • Link: https://www.hantanginn.com/en-us (I recently read a blog post about how sites like Hostelworld and other booking sites charge the accommodation to advertise, and as such, I am now making a conscious effort to book directly with the property when possible)

Location

Xi’An is a city where the best mode of transport is your own two legs. Han Tang Hostel does have a great location, it is a short walk away from a shopping mall and an easy walk to the Muslim quarter night markets. The city wall is a bit further off, but not a strenuous walk. I read reviews in which some people complained that the alleyway where Han Tang Hostel is situated is poorly lit at night – this never felt unsafe to me. Even walking down it alone (as a female) late at night. My favourite thing about the location was the amazing noodle restaurant across the road. Mind-blowingly good and very affordable!

Accommodation/Rooms

Room Size: It was a tight fit for a double room, there wasn’t anywhere to put our backpacks. But it was comfortable and had an ensuite.

Comfort: the bed was very comfortable and there was a bedside table with a lamp which made lying in bed with a book on a rainy afternoon a homely experience. There was also an aircon unit in the room for when it gets too hot.

Cleanliness: The rooms and bathrooms were very clean and were cleaned daily.

Noise: China is a noisy place in general, but those noises were all outside and very few of them were close by. Just the general hum of traffic that you always get in a densely populated place. The only time we were shocked by the noise was when a kitchen stove blew up a few doors down – quite the explosion.  

Security: Although the room had a key and there was plenty of staff all over the place, there were times where I didn’t feel as secure. Mainly because we saw a man wandering the halls trying door handles. It was also obvious that the lock on our door had recently been replaced. We had nothing stolen and were never bothered, but I was maybe a little bit more cautious than usual.

Bathrooms

Size/amount: The ensuite in our room was a shower toilet room. It was big enough to shower easily and if you put the toilet lid down the spray wasn’t too much of an issue. The bathroom downstairs in the communal area is a squat toilet, which after a few beers felt like a bit of a challenge – but when in China!

Water pressure/temperature: The temperature was great, nice and hot. I definitely needed a hot shower as it rained most of the time I was there and I often came home soaking wet. I always struggle with water pressure because I have a LOT of really thick hair, so unless there is strong pressure I can’t wash out the shampoo efficiently. This shower was a normal pressure shower… but not strong enough to get through my mop of hair.

Usability: As it was an ensuite there was no need to hooks, though there was a towel rack which was very handy.

Cleanliness: Very clean. They cleaned them every time we went out!

Kitchen

There wasn’t a kitchen, however, there was a very expansive bar that had hot water facilities for tea and coffee. The bar also sold things such as juices, fruit, beer, chocolate as well as dinner and other meals. The best part was for the equivalent of $5 you could get breakfast cooked for you. Breakfast consisted of scrambled eggs – using your choice of toppings, bacon, toast, muesli, yogurt and cereal. Quite an amazing spread.

Staff

Everyone, from the reception desk to the cleaners was absolutely lovely and polite. Everyone said hello to you every day and said goodbye to you when you left. If you needed anything they were usually great at giving you directions or helping you find what you need.

Facilities

Internet: The internet was good across the whole building, including the rooftop.

Tour Desk: They tour desk was quite good. We went on the organised terracotta warriors tour. The tour was good for what it was, but as we arrived at peak visiting hours it was very hectic. If I was to go again I would work out a way to get there on my own so that I could go early when it first opens to avoid all of the crowds.

Breakfast: Wasn’t included but for an extra price you could get an amazing breakfast

Extra’s: There was a bar and access to purchasing food and drinks, though these were overpriced (but very convenient when raining), I would just go to the 7eleven at the end of the street.

Overall it was a very clean and homely hostel with fantastic service. I would stay there again for sure.

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