Oct 052008
 

Hotels in Zhuhai, a southern China city neighbouring Macau and Hong Kong, are not as expensive as those in Shenzhen or Guangzhou, and you can find quite a few hotels here which have seaviews and yet the charges are reasonable. 

If you look for a hotel in Zhuhai to relax, I would like to recommend this hotel to you – Zhuhai Maihao International Hotel (珠海邁豪國際酒店, 91 QingLu Middle Road). The hotel is pretty new, opened in 2006. When I asked the taxi driver to take me to the hotel, he was at a loss. “Is this a new hotel?” he asked. 

The hotel is wonderfully located, just five-minue taxi ride from the Jiuzhou ferry terminal (less than RMB20), along the tree lined Qinglu Road (Lover Road), facing the Xiangzhou Bay (香洲灣), and the island park Mingting Park (名亭公園). 

If you book the hotel through elong, the room charge is RMB370 for Mondays to Fridays, and RMB430 for Saturdays and Sundays, for a seaview room.

You can also make the booking through the hotel website, but the price would be slightly higher. 

The hotel lobby is not as elegant as a four-star hotel can be, but the hotel rooms are just gorgeous. It has carpet to ceiling window, opening to the bay, with fishing boats parked around. The bathroom has window glass open to the bedroom, and to the seaview. You can have a very open view even when taking a shower.

The room is spacious. Its broadband internet worked immediately on my computer once I put in the cable provided. And the internet was fast. Three floors of the hotel are dedicated to non-smoking rooms. So you can enjoy a non-smoking and spacious seaview room with free internet. The staff are also friendly. I don’t think you should ask for more for this price.

But mind you that the TV in the hotel room has no international channels such as BBC or CNN, and the dining and recreation facilities look a bit poor. Also, there are cracks and marks on the wall in my room, not to mention a big splash of yellow water stains on the wall near the window (a result of rain seeping from outside the window?). It seems that in China, buildings for public use get run down easily, no matter how new they are, as a result of sub-standard of the buiding material and how people use these buildings.

 Posted by at 3:21 pm
Aug 312008
 

I’ve been to this hostel, so I am not bluffing here. Also, if it is a hotel that is intended for entertaining state leaders in China, that must be something. What I am talking about is the Hangzhou Xihu State Guesthouse (杭州西湖國賓館). As the name suggests, it is in Hangzhou, and Xihu means the most famous sightseeing spot of the city – West Lake.

west lake, hangzhou

west lake, hangzhou

Situated to the west of the beautiful West Lake, and surrounded at three sides by the lake, the hotel commands unparalled location. Its beauty lies not only in its furnishings of the hotel rooms, or the architecture of the buildings, but most importantly, in its garden area of 360,000 squre meters with quitessential Chinese garden designs. The garden dates back to the late 19th century and was redesigned by one of the most prominient Chinese architects Dai Nian Ci (戴念慈) in the 50’s, and remodified again in the late 90’s. The area of the hotel is dotted with willow trees, flowers, water, pavilions and bridges, evoking poetic lyricism. It has a gold course, a tennis court, a lakeside tea house, etc.

The hotel has entertained three most important figuers in the contemporary China – Mao Zedong (毛澤東), Deng Xiaoping (鄧小平)and Jiang Zeming (江澤民). In fact, the hotel was not open to the public before. But since China’s opening up to the world, so is this hotel. So if you are looking to stay in a five-star hotel in Hangzhou, you should really consider coming to this hotel. It is much better than Hyatt, or other luxury hotels in the city. Because the hotel setting is so unique, not only in Hangzhou, but across China.

The hotel’s website:
http://www.xihusgh.com/ - for the full picture of the hotel, you must come to the Chinese website – content is a lot richer than the English website

You can make bookings through the hotel website, but it is not direct booking and there is no price showed. For direct booking, you can go to Ctrip.

The price ranges from RMB1150 to 2300 per room.

 Posted by at 10:00 am
Mar 262008
 

Hangzhou International Youth Hostel at the Nanshan Road (No.101-3 Nanshan Road) is very ideally located – just right at the side of the beautiful West Lake. Opposite is the famous China Arts Institute (中國美術學院).  Nearby, on the tree-lined Nanshan road, you can find good bars, teahouses, restaurants, cafes, museums and galleries.

You cannot find another youth hostel in the whole Hangzhou such nicely located. I was very impressed by the location when I visited it years ago.

The hostel is well run and has a nice garden and a tastefully decorated spacious living room. Room price ranges from US$4 in a dorm to US$ 18 for a single private ensuite. Some rooms have view over the West Lake.

You can book online here via Hostel World.

 Posted by at 1:59 pm
Oct 042007
 

I recommended a youth hotel in Shanghai in my last post. The group (Utels) which runs the hotel is actually big. It runs 91 youth hotels with most in China, and a few in Japan, Nepal and Phillipines. Apparently the group is very successful. It aims at a niche market in China: hotel service that combines the characteristics of a youth hotel and a low budget hotel.

The group operates hotels in most of the provinces and major cities in China. It has the strongest presence in Beijing, which sees 31 of its hotels.

You can make booking directly through its website.

 Posted by at 4:31 pm
Oct 012007
 

shanghai wuning wanli lu youth hotelIf you look for a decent place to stay in Shanghai, I can recommend you a youth hotel. It is in a nice old neighbourhood of Shanghai called ¨Wuning¨, in a calm area. But at the same time, the hotel is centrally located, with convenient transport at hand and proximity to metro station.

Quite a few foreign young backpackers stay here. The price is reasonable, with RMB188 for a double room, with internet connection. The hotel started operation in 2005, so the rooms are pretty new, and clean. My friend is staying there, and he has high praise for the hotel.

Well, though it is called ¨youth hotel¨, it is not like the youth hostel you will encounter in the West where you may find some fun. But it has several computers in the lobby for the use of hotel guests and offers ticket and travel service. It also has a restaurant/cafeteria where there are a few sofas for travellers to rest , use wifi, and have drinks/food. Don´t expect that you can sit here and use your laptops without ordering any food. The restaurant staff will come direct to you and ask if you want food and drink once you enter the restaurant/cafeteria.

The hotel is called Vtels-shanghai Wuning. In Chinese, it is literally called ¨ten thousdand mile road international youth hotel¨(wanli lu guoji qingnian jiudian). You can book it directly through the Chinese page of Elong, but not through the English page.

Click here for the English page, and here for the Chinese page.

 Posted by at 4:56 pm