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“Comfortable but don't expect luxury”
Review of Milkyway Hotel

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Milkyway Hotel
Ranked #344 of 1,143 Hotels in Harbin
Reviewed 16 January 2013

We were here in January 2013 as part of a tour group visiting the Ice Festival - Harbin's top attraction making this the peak time. The room was nice and comfortable with all the amenities you would expect except that the TV provided only Chinese channels - no CNN or BBC. But we were only there to sleep so no real problem. We did notice a few holes in the skirting board but didn't have any unwelcome guests. Breakfast was the usual east/west mishmash.

The only problem came when we tried to change some money. First denying they could do it, I pointed to the "exchange" sign. They then said they could only change US Dollars or Japanese Yen.

  • Stayed: January 2013, travelled with family
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Thank David C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviews (56)
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Reviewed 24 January 2012

we stayed 3 nights at the milky way as part of a tour group....so could not tell how handy we were to the ice and snow festival...(something not to be missed ).......breakfast was satisfactory although mostly asian 7/11 shops not far away....down fall... the state of the carpet in the bedroom, it is a good job they provide slippers and the beds were the hardest I have ever slept on.
We found the staff to be very pleasent and helpful

Room Tip: ask for non smoking
  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Welltraveledtt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 January 2012

We stayed here on the opening days of the ice festival, Jan 2012.
l guess it was good to even find a place during this busy time of year but the hotel itself was just average with very dirty carpet and basic rooms.
Food was alright as l didn't want to go out into the -20 deg first thing in the morning for breakfast, so l was happy that breakfast was included with our room.

  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled with family
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Thank MelbourneRod
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
A TripAdvisor Member
Melbourne, Australia
114
Reviewed 15 April 2005

I went to Harbin to see the Ice Lantern Festival in January 2005 and stayed at the Milky Way Hotel, described as 3 star or 4 star depending on which website you visit. Hotel accommodation in Harbin is far cheaper than in Beijing. My rate at the Milky Way Hotel was about AUS$80 (about 450 yuan) per night.

The room was great - especially for the price. However, the service was appalling - grudging and obstructive. We got off to a great start when there was no record of my booking (for which a deposit had been paid and receipts had been given). After about an hour of argument between my friend (a native of Harbin) and the reception staff, that little problem was sorted out.

Interestingly, the mini bar in my room was locked. You wouldn't believe the shenanigans involved in getting it unlocked - that involved paying a deposit that equalled the supposed value of its contents - only to find there was virtually nothing in it. Among other things, I was told that I would have to get permission to access the mini bar from my 'group leader'. I didn't have a group leader as I wasn't part of a group! And so it went on - about another hour wasted in fairly silly obstructivism on the part of the staff (the Night Manager on that occasion).

The so-called Western breakfast ('free' as part of the deal) in the dining room consisted of one packet of cereal (Rice Bubbles I think) and there was no coffee available - and my polite inquiry (in reasonable Mandarin) about coffee was met with utter indifference. Actually, the waiter turned and walked away from me while I was in mid-sentence. So, I went up to my room and ate Uncle Toby's Muesli bars that I'd bought in Beijing and used the coffee in the room to have breakfast.

Virtually none of the staff spoke any English - although the Milky Way Hotel Service Guide is in both Mandarin and English and the hotel promotes itself as a place where Western visitors will be welcome. I'd add that the staff didn't care one whit that I was at least trying to speak Mandarin. Elsewhere in China, people generally appreciate your efforts to communicate in their language, and that can be fun for both parties.

Needless to say, there were no inquiries from the staff about whether I'd enjoyed my stay and/or enjoyed Harbin. I got the impression they didn't care whether I came back or not, or recommended their hotel to others or not. Hotel staff in Beijing are certainly not like that and, I believe, it's uncommon in Harbin too.

Last but not least, I loved the city of Harbin. The architecture is not what you expect in China - lots of Russian touches, cobblestone streets, etc,... There were ice sculptures in the city streets. The river was frozen with horse-drawn sleighs travelling along it. I did not get to the Ice Lantern Festival (although I saw a bit of it from a taxi) because I only had one night in the city and had not heeded repeated advice to dress properly for the cold (about minus 30 degrees centigrade). I wore what I'd worn skiing in Yabuli, which is colder than Harbin, but failed to factor in that I was going to be out at night and not using so much energy. I have never been so cold in my life although I was wearing two hats (one woollen and one mink), two pairs of gloves (used for skiing), a skiing parka with thermal underwear, skivvy, woollen jumper, neck warmer and fur boots. There was only a mild breeze but it felt like an icy blast going straight through my body. After being outside near the river at about 5pm for about 15 minutes, I had to RUN to Mc Donalds or I was going to be hypothermic! So, I'll just have to go back there next year - put on MORE layers of clothing, and stay somewhere other than the Milky Way.

  • Stayed: January 2005
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14  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
A TripAdvisor China Member
Reviewed 27 November 2014
Google Translation

  • Stayed: October 2014, travelled solo
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Thank A TripAdvisor China Member
This review is the subjective opinion of an individual traveller and not of TripAdvisor LLC nor of its partners.
Reviewed 26 July 2014
Google Translation

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled on business
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Thank LaoshuSPb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 January 2013
Google Translation

  • Stayed: December 2012, travelled on business
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1  Thank ぼーやん
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Milkyway Hotel

Address: No.252 Zhongshan Road, Nan'gang District, Harbin 150001, China
Region: China > Heilongjiang > Harbin
Amenities:
Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #344 of 1,143 Hotels in Harbin
Price Range: £32 - £38 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Milkyway Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 185
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