Sunday, May 24, 2009

Our Hotels in China

Our first sample of a Chinese 4 star hotel was the Sunworld Hotel Beijing.

We had been travelling since 6:00 am on May 2 and arrived in Beijing on May 3 at 3:30 pm. We had been travelling 20.5 hours by the time we reached the hotel. This hotel is ideally located 1 block from Wangfujing St. a pedestrian outdoor mall with every shop you can think of and sidewalk cafes to watch the world go by. The rooms are very comfortable. Breakfast is served on the main level overlooking the street. The hotel doesn't appear to have any bars or smoking areas for the guys to enjoy their cigars.

Next hotel was the Meihua-Goldentang International Hotel in the old part of Xian. The room view was outstanding showing the Drum Tower all lit up at night. This was labelled as a deluxe room. It was extremely large with a huge bathroom. Again a super location for getting around.

We went to the dining room for dinner as it was after 9 pm. The service was terrible and the food worse. Not a good choice.

From Xian we headed to Chongqing to board the Yangtze cruise ship for 3 nights.

Our next hotel was The Bund Hotel in Shanghai. This was probably the favourite of the guys as it had a Cigar Bar and Chinese Scotch! This hotel charged for internet service unlike the other 2.

Breakfast buffet was served in an elegant setting on the 2nd floor. The hotel is used by many business travellers from around the world. This hotel had an odd rule when taking your credit card for a deposit of putting only a very small amount on it. This meant the first time we charged drinks it had to be increased causing much confusion on our part.

From Shanghai we flew to Guilin where we stayed 1 night in the Guilin Bravo Hotel. It also was a good location for shopping and restaurants but I think we were still full from a very late lunch so we lounged around the pool area (the first hotel with a pool) and had drinks and of course th guys could smoke their cigars. We later ordered sandwiches from room service which were excellent. This was the first hotel where we encountered hordes of large tour groups. This meant that the restaurant for the breakfast buffet was packed and lines long. This hotel has a very good shopping area located in it.

The next day we took the Li River cruise to the Paradesa Resort Hotel in Yangshou. This is a beautiful resort with an infinity pool. It also seems to be a main stopping spot for all the large tour groups and school trips. We missed all the groups at breakfast as we had asked our guide if we could have a later start this day as it was going to be a long day since our flight to Hong Kong had gotten delayed from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm. Breakfast location is at the Junk Boat Cafe and was very good.

Our hotel arrangements in Hong Kong had been booked by ourselves based on a recommendation from an associate. We selected the Royal Pacific on Canton Street. We had requested 3 rooms on the same floor overlooking the harbour. As our flight was delayed Sarah had checked in and her room was on the 16th floor overlooking the harbour. We ended up on the 17th floor not overlooking the harbour. Hotel claimed this was due to us arriving late. As it was already almost midnight the desk suggested we go to the bar if we wer hungry before going to our rooms as it would close at 12:30. Very expensive mediocre food and bad service.

The rooms are definitely boutique style as they are extremely tiny as you would associate with any big city such as New York or London. Internet service was expensive.

Let's just say Hong Kong is an expensive city.

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