The Double Happiness Courtyard Hotel, located in Beijing, made a (potentially) fatal mistake and double booked our accommodation, meaning the room we’d booked months in advance, was not available on the very day we arrived. After a delayed four hour flight and an additional 55 minute cab journey (with a very suspicious looking driver) hearing the words…

“I’m so sorry but your room has been double booked…”

Was the very last thing my weary mind, body or soul wanted to hear, but the sincere apologetic tone was desperately followed up by the words…

“But we have made arrangements for you to stay at the local five star hotel at no extra cost…”

Which went someway towards making the bitter taste of the situation a little sweeter, but in all honesty my fiancé and I were so tired that even if we were offered a sofa in the lobby we would have taken it, as any option that involved sleep would have been preferable.

Once we accepted our fates, we were whisked away by the very attentive Oliver, the general manager of the hotel, who felt the need to over compensate with small talk to make up for the error, but despite this annoying circumstance, a magical silver lining was burning through the dark clouds, as the fantasy of the five star experience was about to come my reality.

Entering the lobby of the Sunworld Dynasty Hotel, was something akin to entering the gates of heaven (not that I can tell you what that feels like) but I felt like Emmet from the Lego Movie because everything really did feel awesome! The floor gleamed, a light scented fragrance of delicious perfume filled my nostrils and everything was as flawless as a live Beyoncé performance. But this surface glamour wasn’t going to seduce my sceptical soul, if this was a five star hotel I wanted to know exactly what distinguished this hotel from the three star hotel we had originally booked with.

As you would expect, once we eventually arrived at our designated room it was immaculate and as much as my scepticism tried to resist, I had no choice but to succumb to the realisation that my fatigue was turning into childlike wonder. I couldn’t help but notice that the room had a humidifier, aroma fan, mini bar, a safe, deluxe playing cards, 24 hour room services facilities and even an ironing board!


The bed linen didn’t feel softer, the towels were not fluffier and the water was not clearer, although the bathroom amenities (like soap) did come in great looking packaging! At breakfast the coffee didn’t taste richer, the sugar wasn’t any sweeter and my croissant didn’t taste more continental.

There were also external extras like a state of the art gym and a swimming pool, but I didn’t travel over 1,950 kilometres to use the gym and with no false bravado I can bench press anywhere between 75 – 100 kg so I didn’t need a porter to take my luggage when I was more than capable of doing it myself.

I guess it comes down to either what you do or who you are? I can appreciate the requirements of an international business person differ from a retired couple from Florida, which differ from a celebrity, which differ from the blogger writing this post, but when I travel I am kinda like Goldilocks all I want is a nice meal, a comfortable chair and snug bed.

Until next time.

P.S. For those that are interested I have included some pictures of the Double Happiness Hotel with this post, which had the most warm and charismatic staff (and breakfast was pretty good too) and if you would like to compare I have also enclosed a link to the five star website…