In 2005, we took a tour to China and this hotel was the one that we stayed in for five nights in Beijing. Based upon our experience at this hotel, it is our recommendation not to stay at this hotel.
We want to make it very clear that we are seasoned travelers. We have taken bus tours, land tours, railroads tours and cruises before. We have traveled to China, Europe, Canada, Mexico, Bahamas and etc. as well as throughout the United States; therefore, we have stayed at several hotels. In addition, I spend at least 100 nights a year in hotels as I traveled throughout North America on business. Furthermore, we have stayed in several hotels in China on our own on previous trips and this trip.
From the beginning, we knew that hotel will be a ‘problem.’ We came to a Beijing a few days earlier on our own before this tour started. We stayed at the Marriott Renaissance Beijing Hotel. When we left the Marriott Renaissance Beijing Hotel, it took us over twenty minutes to find a taxi driver from the line of taxis that were lined up at the hotel that had a general idea of the location of this hotel and how to get there. The taxi driver had to make two stops to get additional directions from people from street to get the hotel.
The entrance of the hotel reminded us of an international border crossing. They had a guard to open the arm gate. There were a bunch of people conducting a ‘sidewalk flea market’ on the sidewalk in front of the hotel using the sidewalk as tables.
It took us nearly ninety minutes to check in. We walk in and said that we are with this tour and we are checking in. Not a single person at the front desk (a total of four front desk personnel), the concierge desk and the assistant manager had any information on our tour or even knew who in the world our tour operator was. It is our understanding that this tour stayed at this hotel several weeks of the year for at least two or three years. We kept saying the tour company and etc. and it seems like we were talking to a concrete wall…no response at all. We show them the tour coupon book where it states to hand them the coupon for your hotel stay and etc…yet nothing registered on any of them.
None of the individuals at the front desk spoke more than two or three words of English; therefore, you couldn’t even carry on a simple conversation with them. In addition, their employees in their restaurant could only speak simple English like ‘thank you’ or ‘do you want a beer.’ By the way, everyone at the Marriott Renaissance Beijing Hotel at the front desk, concierge desk, spa, swimming pool, lounge and restaurants could speak English and could carry out a conversation with us. The bottom line is if this hotel was a Chinese hotel, we would have no right to complain about the staff inability to speak English. However, the tour company’s brochure as well as the hotel's brochure claims this is a western hotel and the hotel puts itself out to be an international hotel, they should have a staff, especially the front desk, which speaks fluent English not a few broken words and phrases.
In the tour company’s brochure, it states that the hotels are first class and five –stars rated. This hotel is five-star rated by the Chinese Tourist Industry. Based upon my experiences with hotels around the globe, I would have rated the King Wing Hot Springs a one or two stars based upon the conditions of the room.
After they look through hundreds of registration forms, they finally found our reservations. At this point of time, they asked for my passport and they wrote the information on the hotel registration document. They didn’t want to take the passport from my wife and put her information on the hotel registration document. When we checked into the Marriott Renaissance Beijing Hotel, they took both passports. When we traveled to China before, they took the information from both passports when checking in the hotels. When we have traveled to other foreign countries, they took both passports to gather the necessary information. At first, they wanted my wife to print her name on a scrap sheet of paper. My wife refused and request to speak with the assistant manager that was on duty. This took another 15 minutes. They ended up typing my wife name wrong into the system.
It was past 3:00 PM and our room wasn’t ready. After waiting 20 minutes, we went to our first room that they gave to us. We walked in and there was a haze of cigarettes smoke floating in the room and everything such as the carpet, chairs and etc. were dirty with spots, stains and etc. We immediately left and returned to the front desk to ask for another room.
We explained the situation and were told that the hotel has no non-smoking rooms. If this is a western hotel and a five-star hotel to boot, why do they have no smoking rooms or floors? Marriott Renaissance Beijing Hotel had non-smoking rooms something that you expect from a ‘western’ hotel, a four or five-star hotel and etc.
They assigned another room to us so we went to this room…there was no cigarette smoke haze floating in the room but you could smell the residue of cigarette smoke, the carpet was dirty and had stains, there was a hole in the wall (the size of a dumb waiter, in the bathroom showing exposed plumbing pipes.
The bed had no box-spring…only a mattress that was four or five inches deep…it was hard as a rock plus the bed was very low to the ground since there was no box-spring. Everyone on the tour complained about how hard the bed was and how uncomfortable they were.
In the tour company’s brochure, it states that this hotel is located downtown. It isn’t located downtown…it is 10 kilometers from the edge of the downtown area. It is located in the southeast corner of Beijing. Since this hotel was located in the southeast portion of Beijing, we spent many hours every day fighting the traffic while traveling to most of the attractions which were located on the west side. There were days that we spent over five hours on the bus in Beijing. The minimum was four hours on the bus.
Before we started this tour, we were on our own for a few days and we took a tour with Grayline which was outstanding. The tour guide for this tour told us of a show to see at the Red Theatre. He said that Grayline doesn’t sell tickets to this show but it will be worth seeing. At the concierge desk at the King Wing Hot Springs Hotel, we asked about getting tickets to the show. The concierge left the desk to make a phone call (there was a phone on the desk) and told us that only the most expensive tickets were left. Since we were very unhappy about the hotel room, we just wanted to get out from the hotel so we want to the box office at the Red Theatre to see if they have any lower price tickets available. Of course, they had several lower price tickets remaining…we purchased tickets that cost 4X less. The bottom line he wanted to sell us the highest priced tickets so that he could make a bigger commission. By the way, we went to another show before we started this tour which we purchased tickets at the concierge desk at Marriott Renaissance Beijing Hotel which we were able to purchase lowest price tickets not to be forced to purchase the highest price tickets.
The food at the hotel is poor. In the morning, the food at the breakfast buffet was cold and generally undercooked. The milk didn’t taste that good. The milk at the Marriott Renaissance Beijing Hotel tasted like milk in the US. The food for dinner was equally poor. One night, we had dinner with another couple. The wives ordered a duck plate where the duck meat was terrible…very tough and stale. I ordered a cheeseburger and that was terrible.
The size of the hotel room was average. The closet was small so you couldn’t put your luggage inside of it.
Again, it is our recommendation not to stay at this hotel.
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