When I travel to exotic destinations, I like to experience the local culture as fully as possible. I avoid all things Western, for example, when in China and Japan. One exception is lodging - I don't want to give up the comforts of modern American comfort for sleeping and bathing. This hotel bills itself as 4-stars, and the building itself is quite grand it a bit worn around the edges.
We arrived and stood in line for about 15 minutes to check in. Three clerks were behind the counter. One helped no one, and one was cashier only. We approached her, but she gave us only a curt wave toward the one working clerk. After finally registering, that clerk gave us a dismissive wave toward the cashier to finish the transaction.
Later that day, we met friends in a large pretty lobby area for drinks. Service was fine, but every table around us was occupied by groups of 5 or 6 men playing cards and smoking cigarettes. Enduring cigarette smoke is part of any trip to China, but this was particularly smoggy and unpleasant.
In our room, we wanted to cool down on this unseasonably warm April day, and shower. We arrived to a hot and humid room where it was 82 degrees. We turned up the A/C, but after 30 minutes the room actually became hotter. We called for service and were advised "open a window, it's not A/C season yet." Unfortunately, our room's narrow window opened to a driveway filled with idling cars and smoking limo drivers.
We decided to shower and get moving. There was a fancy curved shower stall, but one door was off the track, the tiles were cracked and stained, and the drain was clogged so that we stood in 2 inches of soapy water to shower. All very sub-standard.
That night, we got superb service (from a different desk clerk) helping us choose transportation for the next day. But overall, this was an unpleasant stay and this hotel misses the mark for the comforts any western traveler would seek. We've had much better experiences in other hotels in Beijing, Xian, and Shanghai.
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