“New hotel. Good, but some teething troubles”
Fraser Suites Chengdu is a new hotel, opening in mid March 2012. While my family and I (2 adults + a 4.5 year old!) did experience some teething problems, we had an enjoyable stay overall and would probably return if we are ever back in Chengdu.
The suites are located within the Central Business District and surrounded by a variety of other modern buildings. The building is opposite Chengdu's Sichuan Opera house, which is well worth visiting. We paid around RMB180 per person for an evening variety show, including the 'face changing' Sichuan Opera, as well as a variety of musicians, puppeteers acrobats and comedians.
Back to the Suites. The design is contemporary, in keeping with Fraser Suites in other parts of the world. The suites are quite spacious and well appointed. However, for some reason our suite didn't contain any additional kitchen equipment such as plates, cups, cutlery, yet it was equipped with a full Kitchen including Hob, fridge-freezer, dish washer etc. While this could be because we were only a short stay guest (staying 4 nights), its not in keeping with our experience with other Fraser Suites (eg Sydney), or other serviced apartments. Given we ate out most of the time, we didn't make a complaint. However, i think this needs to be addressed.
I would point out that some of the finishing is poor. For example, there was a large and noticeable smear of either Concrete/Plaster across the top of one of the curtains in our 2 bed apartment. The bedside lights in our apartment were also wired up the wrong way. The window frames were also covered in large scratches and were dirty looking. I was therefore more than a little shocked to hear that 'hotel' had only opened in mid March 2012.
I would strongly suggest that management conduct a much more thorough inspection of the rooms and deal with some of these remedial problems. We also found the cleaning of the rooms to be a little slapdash, as the floor was dusty and there were balls of fluff on the floor when we arrived.
One last thing. We wanted to hire a cab for the day to take us to the Leshan Buddha, which is about a 2 hour drive away. We had heard the total cost of an 8 hour day trip was around RB800. When we asked the doorman to arrange it for us, he told us the cost was RMB1,200. While we would expect to pay more if we were using a hotel car, this is no justification for charging extra when using a local city taxi. We declined the offer and walked about 5mins down the street. We hailed a local cab and ended up paying RMB700 for the trip! Are the doorman looking to make some extra commission for themselves? This also needs to be addressed.
Aside from that, we had a pleasant stay at the suites. The staff were all very helpful / friendly. The breakfast was decent enough, though really catered towards Western visitors. I would have preferred a more extensive choice of local breakfast items. As mentioned in other reviews, the indoor pool and Gym were of a high standard.
One last word on the Pandas. There are 3 places to visit Pandas in and around Chengdu. The first is the Woolong reserve, which is a 3-4 hour drive away in the Mountains. This Centre was damaged in the Sichuan earthquake and was closed. It is supposed to be re-opening this year, thoough given the long drive I would skip it, unless you are an ardent naturalist.
Second is the Ya'an Bifengxia Panda Reserve in Ya-An, which we did visit. This is a 2 hour drive outside Chengdu and is situated in the mountains. The location itself is beautiful and there is a dramatic gorge which can be walked (which i would highly recommend, if you are there). The Panda reserve itself was disappointing and the animals looked somewhat dirty and neglected, in their concrete walled compounds. The location is also popular with large Chinese tour groups, which effectively destroy any of the tranquility the site might have enjoyed had it been better managed. A lot of these groups also seem to prefer taking the onsite golf buggies, which tear down the roads at high speed tooting their hooters continuously. It was horrible and my wife (who is Chinese!) agreed.
I would however highly recommend the Chengdu Panda Breeding and Research Center in Chengdu. The site is a 30 min cab ride from the City centre, on a green and pleasant edge of the city. The site is well planned/ laid out with beautiful flowers and bamboo groves surrounding. Its a large site and never felt too busy. Crowd numbers were much more manageable and the place relaxed overall. The Pandas themselves looked well cared for, living in large tree-filled compounds. We got some great photos and my son loved it! There's a decent little cafe onsite where you can grab lunch near a lake. The is also a museum and Panda scientific research centre, which are also worth taking a loot. Enjoy!
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Thank you so much for your detailed comments on your recent stay here at Fraser Suites Chengdu. We truly appreciate what you have said and have taken the necessary actions to address the issues mentioned.
With regards to the apartment not being equipped with the necessary cutlery and crockery, we do apologise. We have made a decision to remove these items for short staying guests due to pilferage. However, should our guest require these items, we will provide them immediately once they have signed the loan of items form. This way, we have managed to curb our loses. We regret that your Fraser experience have been compromised due to this.
You mentioned the bedside lights were wired wrongly but actually, it is installed that way, the lights have a special cover to enable the light to shine at an angle towards the reader. So you may find the light directly above you is not on. Many of our guests felt that way too but once we have explained and show them the way it was installed, they understood the reason behind the installation.
Thank you for your comments on the finishing quality and cleanliness. We are continuing our defect rectification and training our maids constantly to ensure that the rooms are up to standards. We apologise again for not meeting your expectation during your recent stay.
We have also taken your comments about the doorman seriously and will continue to re-inforce the service standards required for all our front-line staff.
We also thank you for your recommendations on Pandas and I am sure this will be helpful to all guests reading your comments.
Once again, thank you so much for your comments as this has enabled us to better ourselves and to provide the experience our guests have come to expect.
We hope to have the honor of welcoming you again to Fraser Suites Chengdu in the near future.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC