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“Great staff; location; buffet. Bad room service.”

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Seaview Garden Hotel
Ranked #20 of 1,711 Hotels in Qingdao
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 13 June 2012

First, the good: Staff is amazing. Kind, helpful, pamper the kids, and everywhere you turn there's another staffer looking to satisfy your needs.

We joined some family friends who were planning a weekend away from Beijing on the coast. They chose the hotel based on its location and outdoor swimming pool. They booked themselves a family room which they believed would be a suite. At the last minute, we decided to join them and all six of us took the bullet train out of BJ (just 4.5 hours!) We booked our room at the best price we could find which was approximately US$110 per night on eLong.com. The other sites were giving us a consistent US$338 which we would not have paid.

There was no hotel shuttle from the train station but the taxi queue was relatively short and the drivers knew the location which was a relief. We arrived at the hotel and a couple of the buildings are undergoing renovations so the taxi drivers let us off too soon. No matter; in seconds there were hotel staffers picking up our luggage and ushering us to the lobby in a different building. The desk staff found our reservations and when I said we'd love it if our room could be close to our friends' so the kids could play, the staff upgraded us to the nicer "The Distinguished Guests" building. So we wound up with a lovely room with a sea view, king bed and slanted window that had loads of carpeted space beneath for little girl slumber partying. The room was great and the price was still that same elong.com rate. Our friends family room was not a suite, however. It was a larger room with an extra bed. Still they were pleased with it and there were no complaints on that front.

We were greeted with cold washcloths, drinks and fruit as well. Every day, all the kids were given small stuffed animals, and that first day they got them at the lobby and two restaurants. The kids were thrilled. The moms were thinking we would've brought larger suitcases for the stuffies.

The Cantonese Restaurant in the building was yummy but a bit overpriced. The buffet breakfast, which was included with the room, was outstanding. It was obvious that people came there just for the Chinese, Western, Seafood. At dinner buffet, also very great, it included decent Australian Shiraz and also, of course, Tsingtao beer.

But now for the bad and the reason I can't give them 5 stars: I had read the reviews that mentioned room service was poor. I thought that must have been an old report because the staffing was so awesome and the food at the buffet and restaurant was good. So our last night I ordered my kid her standard room service fare: a club sandwich and fries. I asked the staffer on the phone if the sandwich came with fries and he said no, so I ordered a separate order of fries. When the food arrived, there was the sandwich and fries on one plate as well as an enormous separate plate of fries. So, I guess I wasn't making myself clear. [To be fair, I was speaking English and not Chinese to the staff since my Chinese is so unreliable. Alas, I might have been better off attempting to communicate in Chinese.] In any event, my daughter had about a quarter of the sandwich and set it aside. I happened to look over and notice the chicken breast looked funny. So I took it into the light and sure enough: it was undercooked. The middle of the chicken breast was completely raw. I could see that my kid has stopped short of the rawness but still. Not what a mom wants to see, ever, much less in China, much less when about to get on a train the next day. So I called the room service number and had a very very hard time getting across to the staff what had occurred. Ultimately, they said that they wanted to come up and see the sandwich and I said don't bother since we were getting ready for bed. I was very clear: don't come to our room. My kid went to sleep and just a few minutes later someone knocked on the door AND rang the doorbell. Luckily, my kid stirred but did not wake up. I was furious at this point and opened the door and told the two staffers that I didn't want them disturbing us. The guy asked to see the sandwich again (what? didnt' believe me? ) and I said I'd put the rolling table/tray in the hall. It was gone by this point. They apologized profusely and the woman was apparently the manager. They tried to give me a free lunch buffet and didn't know we were checking out the next day. They asked what they could do (I should've asked for a foot massage since they have spa service in the rooms but I forgot) and gave my kid two more stuffed animals. Anyway, at least they tried. The next day at check out it took quite awhile and much back and forthing to get the fries taken off my bill (they'd already taken the sandwich off). It wasn't much money but was pretty disappointing considering the rest of the trip. They did give us a van ride to the train station, which was really nice since it saved us two taxis.

One last issue: the huge gorgeous outdoor swimming pool was closed for renovations. The indoor sea-water pool was nice but not what we'd imagined lounging around sunning while the kids swam. I looked all over the website for some news on it and truly, it wasn't mentioned. Since I'd booked on line and never spoken with a person at the hotel, I guess next time I'd call and confirm that the pool and spa were in fact open. For us, it worked out well since we went to a beach instead and the kids got to do some tidepooling and sand playing so that was good. We also took a boat ride (kind of a rip off) and went to the Underwater World.

I feel for the place and still give four stars because I think it is very very difficult to do what they've done and train (most of) staff to five star standards. It must be so frustrating to get it to that level and have one segment, room service, fall down on the job. But, boy did they fall. Luckily, my kid didn't get sick from that chicken (or not apparently sick).

I'd still recommend this hotel. Just avoid room service!

Room Tip: Ask for a sea view and the Distinguished Guests Building. Once the pool building is done renovating...
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  • Stayed: June 2012, travelled with family
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Thank SanFranciscotoLDM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 12 April 2012

Me and my family have been to quite many hotels in the world: Asia, USA, Europe. But we get the best hotel service in Qingdao, China. I feel so proud being a Chinese myself. The main difference between this hotel's service and others in the world is its sincerity. All the other hotels we've been to are very professional. But this one seems to really care about you. Just quote a few examples. During the first day we arrived, we asked for an adapter. They might have overlooked it and didn't deliver it until we went out for dinner. But after we came back, they called us and apologized for the late delivery. No hotel did that before. Another example, we went to the buffet dinner at their coffee shop and my little daughter asked for a Fanta orange juice. They didn't have it which can happen in any restaurant and my daughter ordered something else. But the next morning when we went there for breakfast, they brought us 5 cans of Fanta orange juice and apologized for not having it the night before!!! We were really moved! The third example: before we went out for breakfast every morning, the would take the initiative to ask us whether it's ok to cleanup our room. By the time we finished our breakfast, the room would have been tidied up. How efficient ! Their breakfasts and buffet dinners and room service are very good too, many choices and most of them are tasteful. Last but not least, every evening the hotel put four very cute little stuffed toys in our rooms and they gave us a very warm feeling. We didn't try their spa though, so I can't comment on it. We love you, Seaview Garden Hotel!

Room Tip: The ones facing the sea are truly beautiful.
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  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled with family
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5  Thank IdaLiu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 November 2011

Sorry to say that .... but the hotel doesnt deserve the 1st ranking in Trip Advisor nor the 5 star rating. I went there before 10 days for 2 nights with my wife. The good things about the hotel are the following:

1) The sea view is the best in Town I think. 3 Min walk from the hotel and your feet will be feeling the Sea (really near).
2) The balecony.in the room.
3) The room itself can be classified as 5 star.
4) Welcoming staff.

Bad Things:

1) Bad TV with bad chanel selection in the room.
2) Staff not good at English AT ALL.
3) The club Lounge is the worst Club lounge in the world .... period. The really bad thing is that I paid the price requsted thinking that the club lounge will be deserving this as a 5 star hotel. However, I was Really Shocked. No food servings what so ever for the entire day. only some cookies which are there everyday. This is Just Bad and a rip off.
4) Spa is 1 to 3 stars at best. It just cant be 5 Star at All.
5) The room dining is Also just Bad.

Please Trip Advisor ..... Re check your rating so I can keep the Trust in your Word.

Stayed: October 2011, travelled on business
13  Thank YamialYami
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 November 2011

We spend (unplanned) one night in Qingdao and booked the hotel only after arriving @ the airport (Qingdao). One call to the hotel and a shuttle (free of charge) was arranged. Waiting time in total: max 10 minutes. On the bus, towels and water were handed to everyone. The transfer-time was comparable short (40 minutes) and safe (good driver).

Arriving @ the hotel (excellent location, you can start from here and walk for hours just next to the beach. World olympics (sailing) changed a lot to the positive side), we were warmly welcomed and guided to the room. Check-in was fast, room okay (absolutely clean) with good facilities. In addition, you need to consider, that we lodged in the old part of the hotel...

Service was all the time friendly and supportive. English is okay, pick-up back to the airport worked flawless (without the need to remind multiple times about the arrangement).

Exceptional was the caring staff, where you really felt, that they want to make the stay for the guest special: Room prepared for the night, small gift-items (teddy-bear, cookies, etc.) on the bed, ...

Will we come back? Definitely.

  • Stayed: October 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank StefanW_Sgh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 October 2011

This is what you get when you build a modern and elegant building and add a hundred or more well trained staff. There's a person every 25 feet or so saying hello, offering you an umbrella, pointing out a step on your path, etc. The room had every piece of electronics you can imagine - almost overkill. The breakfast buffet was enormous, and had the usual amusing attempts at English translations (eg, "Pork Sausage with Pork", "Blasted Potatoes").

  • Stayed: September 2011
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1  Thank TinyDancer28
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 October 2011

I have stayed in many 5 stars hotel traveling internationally. most of the time when I am in China I stay at Shangri-La's, I just visited Qingdao for the first time with my daughter and my sister. this hotel's service is impeccable! from checking in, room arrangement ( we asked to add a bed so 3 of us can all stay in the same room), the evening turn down service ( they cut fresh fruits for us every night), and we enjoyed a couple of very nice meals in one of the restaurant. they even offer complimentary transportation to the airport-- which is pretty far away- a good 40 minutes ride,. Personal attention everywhere you go. My sister was convinced that this hotel has foreign investors and management but it turned out that she was wrong. this is domestic enterprise- used to be a training center for Chinese government of some sort. Amazing service- all the persons we encountered are genuinely nice and soft-spoken. they refuse tips! It is a little far out from the center of Qingdao city but one block from the ocean- the air, the view of the sea, and again excellent attention to every details make up for the shortcoming of the location,. I will definitely stay there again!

  • Stayed: September 2011, travelled with family
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4  Thank paulferny
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 September 2011

It's true, only a good staff can make a good hotel. This hotel is a prime example.
RD

Room Tip: A bit out of the CBD, but worth it.
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  • Stayed: September 2011, travelled on business
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Thank Rich M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Seaview Garden Hotel

Address: No.2 Zhanghua Road, Shinan District, Qingdao 266071, China
Region: China > Shandong > Qingdao
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#9 Spa Hotel in Qingdao
#12 Business Hotel in Qingdao
#20 Luxury Hotel in Qingdao
#25 Best Value Hotel in Qingdao
Price Range: £72 - £127 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Seaview Garden Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 363
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Seaview Garden Qingdao
Hotel Seaview Garden

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