If you were to combine The Shining, Mad Max and Brutalist architecture (so popular in China), you would have Yuanzhongyuan Eclogical Hotel, and the whole of Songzhuang Art Community 'village'. Now, that's not a criticism, just an observation. Being an artist I am open to experiencing the unfamiliar. Visiting this 'art village' was certainly inspiring culturally and artistically as I have not had the pleasure of seeing Chinese fine art first hand. Getting my own 'seal' stamp carved from rock on the street market was also a highlight. There is certainly some excellent and highly-skilled artwork to be seen in the galleries and private studios. However, with the good comes the bad. There is also a lot of bad (read, commercial) artwork being flogged to westerners such as myself for ludicrous prices. However I am becoming used to this happening all over China so it is hardly surprising. My advice to westerners, never pay the 'asking price' because as we know in China, the whiter your skin, the higher the price. Tell them what you are willing to pay and then walk away if they do not accept. Now, back to the hotel. Apparently this was the best hotel around, given that we were in the "countryside." Although, not in the same way that I would think of rolling green hills of Kent or Wiltshire as 'countryside'. It was more of a post-apocalyptic dust-ridden, industrial wasteland where WiFi and Cappuccino were alien concepts. Oh, the hotel? I was reassured by my Chinese friend that this was a 'luxury' hotel; however, luxury can be subjective - if a hot shower, a reasonably comfortable bed and a flushable toilet is your idea of 'luxury' then lucky you; the hotel-world is your oyster. Now, those are probably the three essential things which underpin the comfort of any stay, but I wouldn't call them 'luxuries'. Yuanzhongyuan Eclogical Hotel is not unbearable; it's akin to a shabby Best Western in Redruth. The positives; hot water, clean (albeit tiny) bathroom, large, reasonably comfortable bed (mattresses in China tend to be quite hard which takes a bit of getting used to), the temperature control was fine, there was a TV although I did not watch it. The negatives; no WiFi (shock horror in 2013!) so only an ADSL cable could be used to access the patchy internet, with a limited distance from the socket, the carpet was old and yellow with stains, the decor was from 1973 and has seemingly not yet been updated, the hotel is vast and mostly empty; hence it felt like something from 'The Shining'. In my room, there was no bath, only a shower, and breakfast was only Chinese-style food - which, I can't really blame them for that as I was probably the only westerner to ever have stayed there (it seems that way at least!). All in all, I have stayed in worse hotels, but I've also stayed in much better hotels.
Final note, the staff were all very helpful and charming.