Located on the southern shore of Qinghai Lake, the hotel is easy to get to from the main highway (it's about a 3-hour drive to Xining Caojiabao Airport) and is a very short walk from the shore -- so it does have its convenient location going for it. But in almost every other category it falls very short.
To be sure, standards for accommodations in this area are going to fairly low anyway -- Qinghai Lake is somewhat remote and anyone traveling here likely isn't looking for the Four Seasons when it comes to lodging. My husband and I are used to traveling in some fairly rugged conditions around Asia and we had pretty reasonable expectations, but this hotel failed to meet even the very low bar we had set.
I'm really not very picky. I have no problem if the decor in a a hotel is dated or worn-looking, or if it is lacking in amenities. But I do have a big problem with hotel rooms that don't appear to have been cleaned.
We had two rooms; both were dirty, and one was downright filthy. The carpets weren't just stained, but were actually gritty. Both rooms were both in very poor shape, with broken furniture and torn wallpaper and drapes. In both rooms we found some of the previous guests' things left behind. Additionally, in both rooms we discovered that one of the complimentary bottled waters was half-empty. (Needless to say we did not drink the other one.)
The showers did work, albeit poorly (however, the shower curtains weren't adequate to stop the shower from soaking the entire bathroom floor), but only one of the toilets did. The bathroom floors were so gross that it was unbearable to walk on them without slippers, and one came with the added bonus of cigarette butts under the counter. The little complimentary shampoos and soaps were also half used.
The hotel was noisy and drafty, even during off-peak season when there didn't seem to be all that many guests there, so none of us got much sleep.
I will give credit where credit is due. The beds were softer and more comfortable than you might normally expect in China, and the bedding -- at least in our room -- looked and smelled clean. The Chinese-style breakfast buffet was quite tasty and the staff was courteous enough, if a little shy with Westerners. None of the staff speak English, FYI.
The great location and the lack of very many other options in the area might mean that travelers have no choice but to stay at this hotel (it does beat sleeping in the car, after all), but just be aware of what you can reasonably expect. And if nothing else, an early morning walk down to the water's edge to catch the sun as it rises over the lake might just make up for some of the place's drawbacks.
- Also Known As:
- Qinghai Lake Hotel Gonghe County, China