I was booked in here by my company while in Hefei on business. The location seemed quite good on paper but there was very little in the way of decent restaurants and bars nearby.
What was most peculiar, and increasingly annoying as time went by, was the ‘loft’ style ( as the hotel so seductively calls them) room layout. We each had a large downstairs living room, complete with TV , while up a rather steep flight of stairs was the bedroom.
Here in China on business for several weeks we all had large bulky luggage which we had no inclination to transporting up to the ‘loft’. Clothes were therefore decanted from the suitcase downstairs on a daily basis and invariably one would find something had been mislaid.
The bedrooms were very claustrophobic, the ceilings very low and furnishings dark. I also never quite worked out how to switch off the downstairs lights after coming up to bed!
The carpets throughout were in desperate need of a deep clean. The bedrooms on our floor were deemed non smoking, as requested, but they all stank of ingrained nicotine. There is something very unsavoury about stained bedroom carpets and I was glad of the free, disposable slippers as with all the hawking and spitting going on in the hotel, one could not be too sure what was underfoot
On the subject of this very unsavoury cultural difference, an awful lot of hawking and spitting went on in the dining room. Although I’ve travelled to China many times now in business I still find it completely unacceptable that this takes place at the table right beside you and the used tissues left on the table top. It always puts me off my food and I’m quite surprised that it’s still seems to be accepted.
After one ghastly experience at attempting to order a vegetarian dish from the menu, which is only available on the hotel tablet, we didn’t venture back for dinner. We each had just a bowl of unseasoned hot water with a few packet noodles floating in it, a couple of slices of tomato and a handful of pak Choi. After taxes and service charge this ‘meal’ set us back almost £10 each
We tried the upstairs Chinese restaurant just the once, since we were most uncomfortable being ushered into a small, windowless private dining room and our request for vegetarian food was met with three small bowls of boiled white rice, a plate of tepid, over cooked broccoli and the most disgusting ‘stinky’ tofu ( recommended by the hotel no less) any of us had ever encountered, and none of us could eat.
Breakfast wasn’t bad and reception were friendly and helpful, despite their lack of English.
I’m sure there are better places to stay, like the neighbouring Crowne Plaza hotel, where we took most of our evening meals less