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“Very nice hotel visit”

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Howard Johnson Kaina Plaza Changzhou
Ranked #43 of 522 Hotels in Changzhou
Reviewed 31 May 2014

When my local colleagues booked me at a Howard Johnson hotel I was a bit apprehensive. The HJ brand in the US is not known for high quality rooms or service. However, when I entered the beautiful lobby I knew this was not a typical US HJ hotel. The hotel check in was efficient, and the rooms were large, well maintained, and comfortable. My room had a huge bathroom with separate free-standing tub and walk in shower areas. The king size bed was very comfortable, and the desk in the work area had good lighting and plenty of space. The quality of the sheets and towels was very good. The rooms were quiet and the sleep quality was very good.

The breakfast buffet had lots of western and Asian choices and the service was good. During my Asian trip I had stayed at other hotels in China that had larger or better breakfasts, but the HJ did a great job.

There were a few times that i tried to communicate with local staff in English and had some problems, but their English language skills covered all the basics. I would definitely stay at the HJ again on my next trip to Changzhou.

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled on business
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Thank Rochtoga
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 30 April 2014

I usually find it hard to find good hotels in China if you are not in the main city's such as Peking, Shanghai or Hangzhou. Frankly I have dreadful experiences.
However, this hotel was not bad. Service was attentive and room very clean. Upon checking I was upgraded into a suite. With the one night only it did not do much for me but nonetheless it happened.
Al was there in the rooms and you might argue its not a 5 star there is definitely nothing wrong with the hotel.

The dinner in the Chinese Restaurant on the 1e floor with my Chinese partners was very funny. All that we ordered was sold out. But, first they gladly accepted the order to come back after a chat in the kitchen...sold out. Then we made a new round of orders, same thing happened and believe it or not, the 3e round again. Then my Local friends were so upset (loosing face) that they asked what they had and we could possibly order......Not much but what we finally had was very good. The japanese restaurant we aimed for was full so I conclude they must have heavy traffic in its restaurants!

Breakfast was a combination of both Chinese and Western although the later was not really nice.

All in all, I would not spend my holidays there but for a 1-2 night stay, go ahead.

  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled on business
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Thank Roger S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 January 2014

I usually stay in HJ Changzhou - I do business here since 2008.
It was my favorite hotel - as you can see from my last review.
Well, not anymore. Here are the reasons:

1, Main problem - cold. Yes, rooms are warm - you can set them up on temperature as you like, BUT, as soon as you get out from the room, its cold outside the room. When you walk from your room to the breakfast room on 1st floor - cold. From bar to your room - cold. Believe it or not, I got cold from that too.
2, Internet connection
Well, even we got our own router from them to our room, the connection sucks. A lot. They have admitted that too, they said, that "its because of Changzhou". Well thats not true - I just got back from Sheraton evening buffet (will get back to that why), and internet over there is fast. A lot faster. When I told them that at the reception of HJ - they reply was "because of its Sheraton". Strange.
3, IT guy ???
We have asked from the reception for HDMI cable. They said, that they will send and IT guy to bring the cable. Well, he came in 10 mins handing the cable over - here is your cable. I said, thats VGA, not HDMI! He went "really? HDMI? oh, ok" and he walked away.. Later on a manager came to apologize that they dont have HDMI cable. Strange - in every room they have a HUB where you can plug in your USB, HDMI and VGA cable..
4,Food quality a lot lower than before.
1, Seafood quality - lower. They dont do maki for breakfast as they used to before. They dont have any smoked salmon for breakfast. No walnuts for oatmeal as they used to. Staff removes your plate with cutlery, but wont give you a new cutlery - you have to ask for it. Besides - in the breakfast room - top floor was warm, on the lower room I have seen people in jackets - cold.
2, Croissants.
They just taste odd. Dry. When I told the staff, next day they tried to serve them like pre heated. No help - they just dont have the "buttery taste".
3, Cakes.
Dry. Really Dry. For breakfast and even for evening buffet.
4, Lotus restaurant
No english menu anymore - they used to have the one with pictures. Now all in Chinese. We have been told that its because its managed by someone new...?
I used to love their "family chicken soup". But now, they put so much oil in it... you can drink a lot of vodka on it without getting drunk..

Another thing, which I pointed out - they dont have a SPA - you have to walk quite a big distance - like on the other side of the hotel, and although its inside of the hotel, its managed by different company. Price - not worth it. The massage they will offer you in their hotel to your room - not worth it too. We complained, so we got one more massage free - that one was good. But only after complaint.

Now back to Sheraton vs HJ buffet. HJ buffet price is around 240RMB SH is 190RMB. Food variety of SH is a lot bigger and a lot better. I will suggest HJ to go to SH and look around. + free live music, a lot better sashimi, hot pot, lamb etc.

I used to stay in HJ in past 4 consecutive years - but I dont think that I will give it another try next time. Sorry.

  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled on business
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Thank Ig0rk0
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 September 2013 via mobile

We made a one night stopover in Changzhou and were very impressed with the Howard Johnson. The rooms were beautiful and offered great views of the city. The breakfast is terrific and offers a nice mix of Western breakfast staples and Asian dishes. This hotel will not disappoint business travelers or tourists.

  • Stayed: July 2013
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Thank CalgaryTim
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 September 2013

I stayed here for one night whilst on a business trip to Changzhou. On checking in I was informed that I would get complimentary breakfast which was a nice surprize as I had not included this in my booking. However after taking the elevator to the 10th floor and after what seemed a long walk down a maze of corridors I arrived at my room which on inspection was not what I had booked, it was rather small with an inappropriate office and small bathroom, it was OK but disappointing. As it was 7.45pm I wanted to take a shower and then go to one of the hotel outlets for a drink and something to eat so I decided not to complain about the room. After a nice shower I went to the lounge bar and ordered a drink, the service was pretty poor and the type where they stayed as far away as they could so you did not bother them. I paid the bill and went to the main restaurant, it was 9pm and on entry I was told that sorry we are closed, its 9pm, I asked is there another restaurant open and was told the Japanese, however on entry we found all the staff sitting around the tepenyaki table eating, I was told that they are open but will close at 9 30pm, so I did not bother. I then proceeded to reception and asked if there was any restaurant open in the hotel and was told, no they are all closed at 9pm, ah a 5 star hotel! I was recommended by the bell boy a restaurant only 20 minutes away in a taxi but declined and went back to the hotel lounge for another beer, I then found that they did snacks there and ordered a sandwich but wish I had not, it was an age in coming and when it did arrive it was awful. On top of that I had to endure a party of 10 Chinese guys who had their shirts rolled up to their chest whilst a few others turned the very nice sofas into beds and were sleeping, Ah a 5 star hotel!
There is in fact a very good selection of 5 star hotels in Changzhou but this is not one of them. Its badly managed, the staff are not trained to a 5 star standard that you would expect and no restaurant after 9pm and that was a Friday evening. The breakfast was adequate and although they had the usual bacon and eggs it more favoured the Asian palate, I am glad it was complimentary because it was not worth the $23 USD they were charging

Room Tip: Make sure its near the elevator to avoid the hotel maze
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  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled on business
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Thank Alan C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 June 2013

Stayed here for 1 night with my wife on a business trip. Booked a suite .
The room was up a heap of twists &turns through several doors etc, it was like being a rat in a maze

We had a late meeting and went to dinner at 840 pm The restaurants close at 9pm???

We asked if there were any restaurants near by
NO
We ended up eating in a shopping mall , not a great night

Bathroom (toilet was squashed between shower & basin) was very small.
The suite was a terrible design with a long hallway with a tiny bedroom & living room

If this was their top room I would hat to see their worst room

Breakfast was ok

I'll not be back in a hurry

I'll not be back in a hurry

  • Stayed: June 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank BigWayneD
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 June 2013

The staff are friendly and welcoming.
I had problem with the Wi-Fi in my room; I met in the lobby the service manager and his assistant. They welcome me with a smile and friendly manor.
Within 2 minutes the IT guy was there asking for the problem.
I went to dinner arriving after 23:30 a router was installed in my room, all was working just perfect.
Next day at breakfast the service manager, a friendly gentlemen from the US came over to investigate if the problem solved.
(I later found out he was waiting for me till 22:00 to see if the problem was solved.)

They always have a smile and don't keep you waiting.
If in Changzhou I will choose this hotel

  • Stayed: June 2013, travelled on business
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Thank Itzik L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Howard Johnson Kaina Plaza Changzhou

Address: No.8 Tongjiang South Road, Zhonglou District, Changzhou 213003, China
Region: China > Jiangsu > Changzhou
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #43 of 522 Hotels in Changzhou
Price Range: £58 - £76 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Howard Johnson Kaina Plaza Changzhou 4.5*
Number of rooms: 343
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Urban flair and tranquility converge at Howard Johnson Plaza Changzhou, located in the heart of the city, adjacent to the Railway Station and only 45 minutes train ride to Shanghai. Extravagant modern appointments, classic styling and uncompromising personal service make this Changzhou's best choice for both leisure and business travelers. ... more   less 
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