It's taken a few months to get over our experience at Chateau Star River. My husband booked this as a stay-cation on Valentine's weekend. The whole experience from start to end was a joke. This 5* hotel, like many things in China, was a fake. From fake Occitane soap in the bathroom to fake french wine in the restaurant, you really started to question what was real about the 5* experience.
We booked a spa suite (with two jacuzzi bath tubs facing the river) as advertised (and illustrated with a photo) on their website, but on arrival were given a room with one small bath tub facing a TV screen. When we pointed out the discrepancy with their website, there was no sense of regret to apology. Eventually, after really digging our heels in, we were moved to a room on the spa floor, complete with jacuzzi bath and cockroach under the bed. By this stage we just wanted to get on with our one night stay. A game of tennis went smoothly and the courts are well maintained (though they are at an extra cost).
Dinner was another fiasco…We dressed up for dinner in anticipation of some fine dining at the Grill room. However, when we got to the restaurant floor, it turned out that the Grill Room was only open at Christmas and Canton Fair time (really?!?!?) and our only option was to pay for the Valentine's Day buffet in the mezzanine cafe. The buffet was overpriced, cold and just a little odd (think steak and fish on the same plate as a choux pastry swan with cream and red fruits).
We are not new comers to China and are always ready for a surprise or two but the Chateau Star River took our breaths away. They are charging international 5* prices but delivering little better than 2* service.
The Leading Hotels of the World should probably review their offering in Guangzhou. Of their three options in Guangzhou, two of them are Chateau Star River and it's sister hotel (both far from the city centre) and the last one is the White Swan (which is currently closed for refurbishment until Spring 2014).
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