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“No air conditioning, and very empty”

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Holiday Inn Datong City Centre
Ranked #15 of 168 Hotels in Datong
Reviewed 8 June 2014

We have traveled extensively in China, and we put this at the bottom of the ranking of Western hotels that we have stayed at in China.

Biggest problem: The air conditioning in the rooms did not work (although the rest of the building was comfortable.) We tried three different rooms, but were unable to get one in which the air stayed on more than 20 minutes. Our attempts to get the front desk to address the issue failed miserably. The front desk staff speaks little or no English, but we speak enough Mandarin to explain the problem. We were offered 6 different explanations for the problem, but there was never a solution (and we expect many of the explanations were made up on the spot in the hopes we'd go away). The second night of our stay, the room was 30 degrees C, and that was with the (very small) windows open. We seriously considered taking our pillows to the lobby to sleep, where the air seemed to work just fine.

The hotel was mostly empty while we were there (we were the only Westerns, and there was a handful of Chinese businessmen). Most floors were closed off, and the only restaurant open was the Chinese buffet, giving the building an abandoned feel. We didn't want the buffet, and managed to get a private banquet room and order off the menu for a fraction of the cost. The food was good. The breakfast buffet is all Chinese food (which makes sense, given the clientele is all Chinese as well). That was fine with us--our only complaint is that the food was not replenished throughout the serving time so when we went down at 8 a.m to get breakfast, the fruit was all gone. The coffee is abysmal.

The city of Datong is spread out and fairly uninteresting, and there is little to do in the immediate vicinity of the hotel. If you walk out the front door and turn to the right, there is a Supermarket a few doors down if you want to grab a snack.

On the positive side -- the rooms are large and comfortably furnished, and we had the best foot massage there we've ever had (and we've had enough of those in China over the years to consider ourselves experts!)

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled with family
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Thank LO12014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 6 June 2014

My wife and I live in China, and a quite used to regular Chinese hotels, but for our trip to Datong, we had a friend along, so we decided to "splurge." We found a great deal at the Holiday Inn: about 36 USD a night. This is a great price for a name brand hotel.

When we arrived, we were quite impressed with the hotel. The lobby is great. Most of the front desk staff speak English. The bathroom in our room was large. The "twin" beds are almost the size of an American double (so we were able to return the roll away!).

The only real downside was that the food in the lobby restaurant was just ok. It was certainly not bad and the a la carte items were not overpriced, so I can't really complain. I do recommend that you order a la carte, so that you can get exactly what you want instead of hoping the BBQ buffet has enough variety. The breakfast was overpriced, so we just avoided it.

The hotel did a great job arranging a driver for us, to see all of the sites around Datong. The price seemed reasonable and the driver gladly extended our trip for no extra cost to include meals.

If you can get a good price, I definitely recommend staying at this hotel in Datong.

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled with friends
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1  Thank Bennett A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 June 2014

I stayed here for two nights whilst in Datong and was pleasantly surprised at how well appointed the room was. The bathroom was large and spacious and the shower was excellent. I slept really well as the hotel is set back from the street and is therefore really quiet. This was despite the fact that I had to sleep with the window open as the room was so hot and I could not seem to control the temperature.

The staff at the front desk were polite and tried their best to help me with my questions but did not seem to know exactly how to get to some of the main sights near Datong. The hotel itself lacks character and basically has no atmosphere. The toilets in the lobby were filthy and smelled horribly of smoke. I had a coffee in the lobby and it must have been the waiters first time ever making one as he seemed really puzzled when making it. Needless to say, the coffee was dreadful. This turned me off having breakfast there. Thankfully there is a Parkson shopping centre not that far from the hotel (when you leave the hotel complex, take a left; walk to the end of street and take a right at the large junction).

Datong is not as tourist friendly as other cities in China are and this hotel was certainly a pleasant surprise. I would definitely recommend staying here as the positive definitely outweigh the negatives.

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled solo
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1  Thank UKonthego
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 May 2014

1. Went there during winter (before X'mas).

2. The reception was very helpful.

3. Breakfast still need to be improved.

4. Was having tough time to sleep as the non adjustable centralized heater was too warm. End up have to open the window to let some cold air in to try to improve the situation.

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled with friends
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Thank HongCL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 April 2014

I spent 9 years in the Army spending many weeks in the "field" so can handle "roughing it" when I have to. I did not expect we would be roughing it at a Holiday Inn.

When we arrive April 1 I guessed they had an operating expense problem as all the lights were off in the lobby...when I saw the check-in desk I was wondering what the employees were doing as they seemed busy but no customers were there. The front desk woman knew great English and was very helpful the first night, even running out to the main road (its about 100 yards off the road so no taxi's are waiting at the hotel) to fetch us a taxi.

When we got to the room at first glance everything was ok, when we finally used the master bath toilet we realized it had never/rarely had been cleaned. It smelled like a local toilet (not exaggerating) and there were cigarette ashes on the floor (those were never cleaned up during our 3 day stay, nor were the floors of the bathroom or any room for that matter).

I did use the smallest treadmill ever created in China to run 4 miles gingerly. The equipment was cheap but new.

The restaurant was as others have stated - not so good, we did eat breakfast there as it was included in the room, but we were wary about veggies and meats...the first piece of bacon I bit into seemed a bit "sweet and soft", any fruit and veggie tasted a bit stale.

I brought my daughters to the pool, the tile work looked like something I could do (I have never done tile work) and the hot tub was a lukewarm tub. As I sat there I realized that the tiles on the walls had started to fall off and the maintenance team had used clear masking tap to put them back on the wall.

I can only guess, but either they use their rooms for long-term rentals to locals, their hires are so cheap they come from an upbringing of never having cleaned or had access to cleaning supplies. Same for maintenance and restaurant.

As with all hotels in China before they turn on the AC in the rooms - on the side where the sun sets can get quite warm, this one was no exception.

I will say the two young ladies at the front desk and the one lady at the restaurant who speak the best English were great. So they do have some good employees, just nothing to work with.

If we were in any other country but China this place would have been a 1 star. We were very happy to check out!

Room Tip: Not 701 until they clean it! It is off the main road so high or low rooms I would guess are fine...
  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled with family
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Thank Brian B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 December 2013

By the time we got to the hotel, we were exhausted. I was surprised that there was a holiday in and expected it to be a motel kind of extablishment. I was very surprised that the hotel was clean, the room large and it seemed to be very upscale as far as expectations. There is even a spa on the lower level (which we did not use). The bathrooms were very nice and again, very clean.

Having just been on a long flight to get to Da'tong and having done a lot of traveling over the day - we were starving. The food in the hotel was terrible. They had a buffet that was "food from around the world" vs. just doing local dishes and it was not good. Go out of the hotel to eat.

Room Tip: Ask for one of the rooms on the top floors.
  • Stayed: March 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank mamtravels
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 November 2013

This is a great Holiday Inn - large and well appointed rooms. And, incidentally, incredibly inexpensive massage. I think I paid under Yuan 70 for an hour - about a third of what you get charged in other hotels (the company is independent of the hotel). The Guest Service Manager Zooy treated us wonderfully and really made the difference. We were very impressed with her outreach and professionalism; a genuinely warm and helpful person. Her English is excellent. A few of the other ladies in reception also spoke English to varying degrees.

By the way - Datong gets criticized a lot. We actually liked it. It's a nice city and the government has worked hard to beautify it. Yes, the walls and pagodas they have restored/constructed across the city may not be real like the old days but they are really impressive, especially when lit up at night. In addition, of course, there are the amazing things to see in and around Datong - the Buddhist Caves, Hanging Monastery, Wooden Pagoda, gorgeous Dragon Panel etc.

  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Valueformoneyandmore
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Holiday Inn Datong City Centre

Address: No.37 Yingbin Street, Cheng District, Datong 037008, China
Region: China > Shanxi > Datong
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #15 of 168 Hotels in Datong
Price Range: £33 - £89 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Holiday Inn Datong City Centre 4*
Number of rooms: 212
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