The Sightseeing Hotel is a high-rise property in the center of the city, within walking distance of most everything (as are most hotels located in the downtown area). The modern rooms either face the Mekong (Lancang) River, barely visible on Floor 8 and above, or the city. The city-view rooms can be more spacious, have a balcony, and more window area. It seemed to me when I looked at about a dozen rooms that the hotel was facing the wrong direction. That is, the larger rooms with more window area should have been facing the river valley rather than the streets and parks of Jinghong.
The staff, although not all well versed in English, tried very hard to please in all areas of the hotel, from the front office and the bell desk to the dining room. They are well trained to be helpful to westerners. In many out-of-the-way Chinese hotels, the employees avoid westerners because they are self conscious of their lack of English. Not so at the Sightseeing Hotel. One young and ever-smiling bellhop/front door greeter proudly practiced some English with me. The front desk clerk recommended a fantastic restaurant we never could have found on our own.
The rooms are large, ranging from about 300 to 400 sq. feet, with modern clean baths and plenty of amenities and mirrors, but be aware that the little extras are for sale in the bathroom. The housekeeping staff happily added three mattress pads to the bed to reduce the rock hardness to merely very firm. The carpeting could have used a thorough steam deep cleaning, but was acceptable. Wireless internet service (included) was fast.
The complementary breakfast is in the second floor dining room. There is a daily eggs dish, meat, breakfast breads and fresh fruit for western tastes, but the real treat is the made-to-order “noodle bar” where you can season your bowl of noodles and broth (or hot water for vegetarians) with many flavorings. There are about 12 more Chinese breakfast dishes including green vegetables, congee, stir-fried noodles and the usual. The two favorite seasonings in the Jinghong area are garlic and small red peppers.
(As an aside, beware of the taxi drivers in Jinghong. Honking at westerners to solicit business, they would have a come-on offer of 150 yuan for a whole day tour which would rise suddenly to 400 yuan for a half day as you sat in the car going out of the city. I demanded to be returned to the hotel. Know the going rates before you get into a cab and be very firm. Three drivers tried to significantly overcharge us. After the hotel bell hop loaded the trunk with suitcases for the trip to the airport, the driver demanded 50 yuan for a trip that should cost 10 yuan. I had the bellhop unload the taxi and had a few choice English words for the driver. These were really the only unpleasant experiences in Xishuangbanna.)
We spent six nights at the Sightseeing hotel and found it be a hospitable and comfortable place to call home in Jinghong.
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