Where four stars is grand

Where four stars is grand
Hot pot, a thousand year old Mongolian dish.

Hot pot, a thousand year old Mongolian dish.

We stayed almost a week at Inner Mongolia Grand Hotel near Wangfujing, Beijing August 2014.

It’s an ambitious four-star hotel with  a gym, expensive restaurants, some high-end boutiques. It only lacks a pool.

The advantages: it is walking distance to the shopping area Wangfujing, Tiananmen Square and subway station Dongdan. It is near the Forbidden City. And it gives a feeling of luxury. The service in the hotel is good. We were pampered. And nobody even expects to be given a tip!

The lobby where we checked Wifi worked.

The lobby where we checked Wifi worked.

Disadvantages: there is no Wi-Fi in the room, so we had to go down to the lobby to check social media. But then again, Facebook, Google and G-mail do not work in China, so perhaps there is really no need for tourist me to bother checking the computer? But then Instagram worked! (Although recently, during the protest in Hong Kong, I’ve heard that Instagram was closed down).

The name of the hotel is derived from Inner Mongolia, an autonomous region in China. Back in 1600s, Inner Mongolia was the political and cultural center of the Chinese empire during the post-Mongol rule under the Northern Yuan Dynasty.

The hotel has a restaurant offering Mongol-style dishes. This was where we tried the thousand year old dish, hot pot.

Ate dumplings for breakfast.

Ate dumplings for breakfast.

Hot pot comes with a metal hot pot with a simmering stock. My six-year old liked adding and mixing the ingredients we ordered like vegetables, muttons and mushrooms. In that way, hot pot is like the Japanese shabu shabu, or sukiyaki, but bland.

Because we ate at a nice hotel, the price was quite high. For the three of us, we ate for 500 RMB (renminbi, the Chinese currency). That’s expensive, compared to eating at regular restaurants.

When you order a hot pot, see to it that you have a mental calculation of the ingredients you’ve ordered.

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