The first impression suggests that this was once an American hotel of the kind Hilton built from the 1970's onwards. But perhaps it is a copy: Kohler toilet & sink faucet, marble-encased bath and washbasin, the layout and furbishings are of an earlier epoch.
Two lifts serve all 12 floors, so waiting becomes a chore. From the lift the walk to rooms on floors 5 through 12 is up to 110 meters distance in one direction, and 55 m in the other ! So bring your skateboard !
Second floor is the large and comfortable breakfast mezzanine, and third floor sports a large rather but tired tea room and 'Spa' -- the latter is limited to various types of massages (no jacuzzi, pool, or gymn).
Fourth floor consists of an elaboratedly decorated 'KTV Club'. Nobody there speaks enough English to explain KTV, but I understood the Club hosts singing competitions -- they resonated upstairs to our 6th floor bedroom until late at night.
There are no Standard rooms. The 'Superior' double is small, crowded, the bathroom miniscule.
It seems the hotel cuts costs wherever possible. On 7 residential floors lights have been deactivated down one side of the corridors. This, in a country where LED lights plus GU fittings wholesale for $3. One could save electricity yet avoid the embarrassment of all-dark walls down football-field length corridors by installing some LEDS.
Economy stretches into the bedrooms: There is one entrance light and one ceiling light in the double. Insufficient to read. Turn on the two standing lights, the coil neons are so weak I had to use my flashlight. Same for the bathroom, light was insufficient for shaving. Wives need a portable mirror to apply makeup -- in daylight at the large sliding-glass windows.
The water at the sink seems to have been aerated to reduce consumption. Stand in the bath to get a shower from a shower head that shoots water at a 45° angle. Pull the curtain closed, but beware of letting any water past your body: if it hits the back wall you'll flood the floor, and find yourself apologising to the ( rather likeable) room cleaners.
The strong card of the hotel is its breakfast, which is copious in that it offers a wide range of local specialties: spicy vegetables and boiled eggs, bacon with eggs (but none scrambled), three choices of juice, no fresh fruit but tiny tomatoes in two colours (yellow & green), no cereals but small buns that might fit in your pocket if you're scrambling to get to the airport.
WIFI in the room is free, but once I had been given the room-specific login-code, the signal was so weak even short emails had difficulty departing for their destination. Forget about sending big data or multiple pictures: "Looking for Networks" was the message that appeared regularly -- for up to 30 minutes, on my Mac.
You'll have to pay your bill fully and in advance, which seems to be a standard hotel practice here. This makes things difficult if you should decide the negatives outweigh the positives, and want to leave earlier than reserved.
Moreover, you need to be fluent in Chinese. The lobby is large and impressive. But noone at this prestigious-looking hotel, including at the Reception, the telephone switchboard, Room Service, the Club, or breakfast speaks any English. You have to call the Duty Manager, but she seemed so much in demand that we didn't have the heart to add to her woes.
The hotel gives out a clever visiting card that can be given to taxi drivers should you want to return to it. All other hotel brochures and printed room information are in Chinese. Except the TARRIF (room rates). At $200 per night the small 'Superior Double' seemed overpriced.
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