Initially, I had a little trouble with my reservation and I was a little apprehensive about my choice. Luckily, Jeffery the front desk manager took care of everything upon arrival and things only got better.
This was my first trip to China so I wasn’t sure what to expect. I booked the hotel car upon arrival and everything was smooth. Since not knowing what to expect, I wanted someone to greet us. Upon arrival to the hotel, we were briskly ushered to the executive level for check-in. This was nice since the lobby check-in always looks rather crowded.
The hotel lobby is large…..it is an expansive and impressive scene. The executive floor is on the 22nd level and has nice views of the river. The executive lounge itself is very nice also. I like how the lounge is separated into one large section and a more intimate smaller room. I am a huge fan of the Mandarin Oriental including their service and décor. I think the Xiamen Kempinski was every bit the quality of the Mandarin.
My stay was about 24 nights. During this time, I got to know a lot of the staff personally. In my experience, I have never met a more delightful and engaged staff. Their English was hit or miss, but their attitude was top-notch. Normally, my experience with Chinese is Singapore or Indonesia…..and we all know how rude and unfriendly Singaporean Chinese are (sorry, Singapore but you know it is true).
Upon arrival, I was properly upgraded with my GHA membership. Obviously, this benefit is as-available but I did later learn that the hotel takes this benefit seriously and makes every effort at providing the upgrade. The GHA member card is a very fair and valuable program. As a black member now, I am more likely to stay in a GHA hotel versus my Ritz-Carlton Gold (1 room upgrade) benefit.
The rooms themselves are very tastefully designed and I luckily visited every room type including the Presidential Suite. The standard room itself is very nice. Each floor has three suites in two different floor plans. I liked both suite floor plans – each having a few advantages over the other. The Diplomatic suite was rather large and had a nice bar. The Presidential Suite was not really complete with all items since rarely rented…..but I didn’t like it much….seemed like a KTV den.
My room was a Grand Deluxe Suite on floor 17. With all suites are club benefits. Either you value this benefit a lot or possibly not…I am the type that loves the quiet atmosphere. I don’t drink but I think the alcohol selection was larger than a few other clubs I’ve visited in the past. The daily food selection was also nice. I talked to the Executive Chef Markus on several occasions. My compliments were as follows: I loved the dripping breakfast honeycombs, the juice glass bottles, and the cinnamon loaf. I also thought the alfredo sauce with the penn was heavenly…..it was rich. Markcus previously arrived from the Shangri-La in Surabaya and the Indonesian Shangri-La is known for its immense and incredible breakfast. This was 85% as good. The food needs to be labeled would be my only gripe.
The suite room itself was tastefully done in a mixture of complimentary fabrics and colors. The little mini-bar is nice…..the ambient lighting is nice in the room when set to an evening setting. The automatic curtains is a nice touch. I think the curtains could use a little more coverage from the outside – as I like to sleep late and like total darkness. The bathroom had a small TV above the tub. It would have been nice if I could have figured how to work it. So it was a TV or a one-way mirror for the Chinese government to spy – I really don’t know. The suite has two bathrooms. The bed itself is very comfortable and the Duvet is very soft. I also visited my employees room which was a Deluxe and it was basically the same thing only smaller. I think you can’t go wrong in whatever room you choose.
I visited the gym daily. It was nice…..and as expected of any 5-star. I did stop by the salon as I was leaving the gym one evening. It is inside the hotel. This was a major mistake. I didn’t ask the price…..and 30 minutes later I was signing a bill for 680rmb ($108). I was shocked. I’d never paid over $40-45 in America and this con-artist was charging me $108. I was mad. Avoid this trap…and keep running.
The hotel’s location is super. It’s rather centrally located – but all the major 5-stars seem to be within eye distance. The taxi system needs a little work and is not the fault of the hotel. For such a nice city, they shouldn’t allow this behavior. One of the quirks is from like 4-6:30pm, the driver will drop you within eye distance of your destination. If they see where you want to go, you might get a stop and a pay now.
Ultimately, the big plus was the attitude and friendliness of the staff. I have to say this was my first trip to China so I can’t give you any reference to other Chinese cities. I can just say I that the management of the Xiamen Kempinski has got an excellent HR department. I own my own company and know how important employees are to any operation.
I know there are several 5-stars to stay within Xiamen now. I am sure each have their plus and minus…..but there will not be another hotel for me. If you think I am being too easy on them read my review on the Jakarta Kempinski for a 1-star review. I’m not an easy person….but the Kempinski Xiamen deserves its praise and success.
Note – I want to say the Kempinski Xiamen forwarded my diet coke mini-bar request to the Kempinski Jakarta. When I opened my mini-bar in Jakarta, it was full of diet coke. My only displeasure with Kempinski was later discovering the benefits of the club mini-bar are different at each hotel. The hotel chain needs to standardize rules across the chain – or make it clear. Plus, I hate those charge immediately mini-bars that have sensors under the drink floor. To me it is cheap. Plus, the décor of the Jakarta hotel is cheap….ugghh, I can’t stop complaining about that visit. What was up with those lobby iron cheap junk chairs? I saw some businessman sitting in them in Jakarta and thought what a fool he looks like…I would be embarrassed to meet any client sitting in that chair. The high-back wing sofas in Xiamen are incredible. They are scattered around the lobbies and they were impressive!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Kempinski Hotel Xiamen, ideally located in the heart of the city overlooking the scenic Yundang Lake, features 460 luxury rooms and suites including Kempinski Executive Floors with 24 hour butler services, 5 innovative Food and Beverage options, plus over 2,600 square metres of meeting and banqueting facilities, a chic Wellness Centre that includes a gym with state-of-the-art equipment and a large indoor pool, a Business Centre, branded retail space, and the exclusive K SPA with 17 luxury treatment rooms providing unique Tea Inspired therapies. ... more less
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