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“This isn't 5 star”
Review of Yinlong Hotel

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Yinlong Hotel
Ranked #29 of 527 Hotels in Xining
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
62 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 62 helpful votes
“This isn't 5 star”
Reviewed 26 May 2013

I should preface my remarks by saying 'when in Rome'. The first thing to understand is that this is Xining; its not Shanghai or Beijing. The government has had a policy in place for some years of developing the east coast of China before the western regions. Fair enough; you have to start somewhere.

What makes a hotel 5 star, apart from the property itself, is the level of service. There really isn't any service to speak of at this hotel. Accordingly, it ought to be promoted as 2 or 3 star , although the building is good compared to what is around as alternatives.

So my rating of poor relates to its competition with other self styled 5 star hotels generally. It is not to say that it is a poor hotel compared to other hotels around town. Were it promoted as 2 or 3 star, I would have given it a higher rating, but not on value - as the price is pitched at 5 star level.

The hotel gives you a sense of what it must have been like in the cultural revolution, when anybody who had an education, experience or knowledge of how to do something was considered bourgeois and sent out in the fields to slave away while the inexperienced youth were injected into the important roles within the economy. I don't think I saw anybody who was old enough to shave either their facial hair if male, or their legs if female. So in a perverse sort of a way, its kind of interesting from that historical perspective.

Consequently, the service was either non-existent or incompetent. And no English, French or Spanish - so be aware of the language gap, but that it likely inevitable in this part of the world as you will probably have worked out by now. Not that that is a problem particularly, as travel is about broadening the mind as much as anything else.

There is no scope for asking that a personal need or desire be met by the staff. You can't have a meal from the restaurant brought up to your room - you have to eat at the restaurant, not at the bar or anywhere else. There was no room service when I was there, which let's face it, is really one of the things that 5 star hotels are supposed to do.

I don't know this for a fact, but here I had the definite feeling - probably just paranoia - that your web searching and email and phone traffic would be monitored by the local branch of the intelligence service if you were a foreign businessman. Its probably safe to assume that in China generally if you are a traveling businessman from abroad.

If you don't speak Chinese, you will basically be unable to have anything happen which is dependent on communication. Be aware of that, and just be ready to bunker down in your room.

The air in Xining is among the worst polluted of anything you will come across around the world, and when you aren't used to it, you like to escape into the comfort of a 5 star - like in Delhi or Beijing say, but make sure your expectations are set very low for 5 star in this town, and in this hotel.

Other than that, the room is comfortable, the bed is fine, and its peaceful. There was some English language programs on TV, but I was watching local things and just read a book.

The food in the restaurant is OK, but as you might gather, its not haute cuisine- but it doesn't need to be. When you are out here in this part of the country, as long as its fresh and edible it passes the test in my book.

The price is too expensive for what you get, but if you are on business expenses, it doesn't grate as much as would do if it was coming out of your own pocket.

The location is good and it is placed to make it convenient to where your appointments are likely to be.

Room Tip: speak mandarin
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  • Stayed May 2013, travelled on business
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank uPelican
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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122 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (4)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
90 reviews
56 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 101 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 April 2012

This hotel has really varied reviews but I was pleasantly suprised by it. Maybe my expectations are lower than others as I have alot of experience on hotels in China and also I am an english speaker but I was travelling with a mandarin speaker.

The rooms are nice, good modern facilities, and not so hard beds that you usually find in China. We did not need to interact with staff that much so have no immediate issues with service levels that others complain of. We ate in the restaurant twice and the food standard is between average and above average and is reasonably priced.

I did not find the price to high and thought it represented reasonable value for money. It is in a good location opposite the square and we ate and 2 nice restaurants in the local area for the 2 nights we were there.

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank HKSmithers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chicago, IL
Level Contributor
115 reviews
63 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 101 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 August 2011

The hotel is relatively new. The rooms are nice, the elevators work well, lots of outlets in the rooms, plently of hot water, but the hotel staff is subjected to an outrageous management policy.

They are fired after 3 months to prevent them from receiving a pay raise. As a result they are poorly trained with attitudes that lack any effort to assure that your comfort and convenience of concern. Most of this can be seen at the checkin desk and at breakfast. Breakfast starts at 7 AM but your are lucky if some of the stations are ready by 7:30 if at all.

Out reservations were lost and they claimed there were no rooms, when it fact there were rooms available and after much confusion we were given a room but only for 4 days, when we needed 5 days. We of course had to accept the offer thinking we could straight things out later.

After talking to management we were assured a 5th night but we would have to get new room keys. When the time came to get new room keys, the front desk had no knowledge of this and after another go around lasting a good 20 minutes, we finally got a new key.

This far west in China is not too friendly to English, something we had not encountered elsewhere at high rated hotels throughout our many travels to China.

  • Stayed August 2011, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
1 Thank Thor13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Madrid
Level Contributor
34 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 63 helpful votes
Reviewed 31 July 2010

I've been in some pretty bad hotels, but the smoke and mirrors vs reality in this one are so vast the contrast is scary. It is a beautiful building, located in a very good area of town, but that's about the only good thing this hotel has going for it.
What can I say ? deposits required on entry ? check... No room service ? (remember, this is a 5 star hotel) ... check.... bugs in the room.... check..... no minibar.....check....no english speaking staff (or they pretend not to speak english when you ask them ANYTHING)....check... Phone call from the staff at 1 am asking you to come and settle your bill some more....check.... can't bill ANYTHING to the room... check.... wakeup calls you didn't ask for at 4:30am... Check... 5 star rates (yes, they DO charge more than the St. Regis !!!!) .... Check.....
....with that being said, you make your own decision on if you think it's worth visiting. I try to make the best out of any hotel experience considering I'm on the road 350 days a year... I just couldn't find anything good to say about this place.
Now, if only I could find one person here who is a decision maker and could speak English, I would be happy to tell them this myself, but... I can't.
..Definitely not coming back.

  • Stayed July 2010, travelled on business
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank NightWhispers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hong Kong
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 July 2010

After I arrived in this hotel I was asked to leave a deposit of 4200 yuan for two nights. The room cost 1200 yuan per night, so I was a little taken aback by the amount of the deposit but did not query it. When I later tried to make a phone call to Hong Kong I was told by the operator that my deposit was insufficient for the phone to be unblocked. It took half an hour negotiating (in Chinese) to get past this hurdle. In the evening I ordered a bowl of beef noodles at 45 yuan from room service. I was asked to pay in cash because my deposit of 4200 yuan was still considered to be insufficient.
The room, by the way, was very ordinary, making this by far the worst hotel in terms of value for money. The air-con did not work and I was told to open the window instead. The TV has 2 channels in English. Self-service, int he restaurant, is taken to extremes: you even need to pick up the cutlery yourself. Waitresses, at times in larger numbers than customers, simply hang around doing nothing. Same outside: don't expect anyone to help you with luggage or to get you a taxi. The cost of this hotel is five stars, but service is three stars. In ten years of traveling 2-3 months in China each year, this by far qualifies as the worst experience I have ever had in a five-star hotel. To be avoided!

  • Stayed June 2010, travelled on business
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank retokid
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hong Kong
2 reviews
Reviewed 4 June 2010

This was our third trip in three years and I would say that our experience was each time consistent. The rooms are large and clean. The Internet connection is very fast. They offer BBC and StarMovies. Especially in the Chinese restaurants the food is very good. The staff tries hard, but does not speak any English. The only thing that needs improving is their coffee. It is pretty bad.

  • Stayed April 2010, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank tendogs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
Level Contributor
52 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 March 2009

I have stayed here a few times in 2008 and a great hotel and service but now in 2009 it fails everything for service. The economy troubles have hit hard and all the staff is replaced now with untrained children from their acitons...including the managers when requested. Either the managers hid and will not talk to guests or managers are all less then 30 years old. This visit in March was terrrible and I will never stay at this hotel again after many stays here. It is terrrible and worst of any quoted 5 star I have visited any where in China or around the world. From not processing your credit for deposit to trying to charge you for a missing laundry bag (made of cheap cloth) that their own staff included in the bag with laundered clothes. I found in suitcase with the plastic bag of laundered clothes the cheap cloth one of paper they were trying to charge me for. The service in lounge and restaurant is terrible. No cold beer evern. Some basic beers require them for lobby lounge to order from 2nd floor restaurant and wait for delivery!!!
This is a less than one star service hotel with 5 star facilities...all changed in last few months...maybe a change of ownership. Worst part was a working girl in next room witn men coming and going all night and no manager on duty and staff not knowing how to stop noise other than calling the noisy room. My colleague on other side of my this room and I had no sleep from 2 am to 5 am and staff did nothing but call them. This was very bad second nite and i not sleep at all and previous nite i wake up many times with bad noises from room. So bad this hotel now, our senior manager will forbid any of his staff to stay here ....we are a major company in this area but the hotel management does not understand or care at all. Next time I will stay at the 4 star hotel near here that is highly recommended for service. There is no service at this hotel. Even if sit in lobby lounge at 6 to 8 pm...there is no service for drink...have to get up and go to bar and then they go try and find the warm beer. Maybe 6 or 8 staff can be together talking or sms messages but You have to go to bar yourself in lobby bar to order. Also, used to order some snacks or food from menu for lobby bar...now forbidden....they are not allowed to serve any food or snack in lobby bar...have to go to restaurant to eat it. It is a terrible tragedyy for this once before 5 star hotel that is now barely a 1 star for service. Many regional hotels here in china offer great service in 2 or 3 star....but this hotel unable to do anything good. The checkout too over 40 minutes one evening for colleague......both credit machines out of paper and staff not trained how to refill. Then the deposti not cleared and charged 3 times for room while they messed with machine. Deposit clearing not provided so will take many hours to reconcile with home bank and a lot of bank fees to correct. Worst of all was being kept up all night with loud room next to mine and operator saying no manager on duty or no security on duty at 3am....music so very loud, yelling , furniture moving, doors slamming...and when i complain to managers at breakfast they not say anything or offer any help other than say sorry.
This is a terrible place now and sad to see after being very good a year ago!!!

  • Stayed March 2009, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank aguy_98
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Yinlong Hotel

Property: Yinlong Hotel
Address: No.38 Huanghe Road, Chengxi District, Xining 810001, China
Region: China > Qinghai > Xining
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #29 of 527 Hotels in Xining
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:4 star — Yinlong Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 316
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Also Known As:
Yinlong Hotel Xining, Qinghai, China

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