Even after receiving their own chain's 5-star status (not to be confused with the authentic international rating system), the Grand Mercure Oriental Ginza is trying hard to compete in an ever-growing race to in the upper-end hotel market in Shenzhen. But, besides a few bright parts, it has a long way to go and, overall, is just a so-so place to stay for international business travelers.
Bought by the France-based Accor chain a few years ago, the hotel has made some modest improvements. They added a new Chef in their hotel "coffee shop" restaurant that has improved the selection and quality of dinners (breakfast is still rudimentary), they were an official Universiade Games hotel, and they recently redocorated their executive lounge. But to gain traction on their higher-quality competition in the area (JW Marriott, Intercontinental, Shangri-La) it needs to cater more to the international business travelers and higher-end customers. With Shenzhen booming, primarily due to the huge influx of business and investment from outside China, the Grand Mercure could take more advantage of these opportunities.
The small things are what define a quality hotel, and here are just a few of the blemishes the Shenzhen Grand Mercure needs to work on, in no particular order.
The cable TV in the rooms is less-than adequate for the international travelers. Most of the channels are local China stations, good for those fluent in Mandarin and for the China-only market. But there are just a handful of English-speaking channels, including CNN International, ESPN with soccer and rugby, Discovery Channel, and the much-needed recent addition of BBC. The Asia-Pacific HBO seems to have more censored content and usually plays a bizarre mix of movies, from recent Hollywood hits to dated 1990s-era B-movies. There are only a small number of rooms with flat-screen, HD TVs, apparently the bare minimum needed to get their chain's 5-start rating. The rest of the rooms have bulky tube TVs reminiscent of the 1990s.
For business travelers, there is an open "happy hour" in the Executive Lounge with free beer and soda, but the appetizers are less than appealing and usually consist of fried food. The staff are extremely friendly and professional, throughout the hotel, too, and appear to be under-appreciated by hotel management.
Concierge service consists only of baggage handling and storage, and helping to get a taxi. They are extremely helpful and friendly at that, but don't expect them to make dinner reservations, get theater tickets, or know where the best tourist spots are. Once again, it’s not a reflection on the staff, but rather on management and adequate training and marketing to a higher-demanding guest-list.
There is no Wi-Fi except in the lobby and in the Executive Lounge, and even then it's not an open network. You need to have staff enter the password (and they won't give it to you). Although there are LAN connections in the rooms, the network is slow with constant drops in connectivity, so you shouldn't plan on long conference calls using Skype without some disruption.
Another missed opportunity is the Sports Bar located on the 7th floor. Adequately spacey, and containing a Wii game machine on a wide screen television and good sound system, the many times I’ve been there it’s been empty. It seems the hotel guests either don’t know about the bar or there are inadequate activities or functions to create demand.
The biggest plus of this hotel are the staff, the hotel's proximity to the Shenzhen Metro, and the Japanese restaurant up on the 25th floor.
Staff is extremely friendly and hard working, but seems to have a lack of management investment in their training. They are friendly, professional, and even willing to help with your Mandarin if you're learning the language.
Just outside of the hotel is the Zhuzilin metro stop. Centrally located, the stop offers quick and efficient transportation to a large area of Shenzhen (thanks to the newly expanded routes).
The Japanese restaurant is very good, offering a good range of sushi, teppanyaki, and an all-you-can-eat menu.
Overall, this is a 2-star hotel, but I’d give a 4-star to hotel staff.
Some rooms facing the front have small kitchens in them.
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dear Eric N,
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Thank you for choosing Grand Mercure Oriental Ginza Shenzhen, P.R. China as your accommodation choice during your recent visit to Shenzhen and we would like to express our gratitude to you for your comments about our hotel.
We appreciate that you enjoy the friendly and professional of our employees. Indeed, hotel management is paying high attention to our employees’ development. For your information, as part of our human resource department, we have a training depart provide including internal training to our employees. And this internal plan come in addition of Accor yearly cooperate plan of accor by accor academice. Allow us to clarification: the five star rating will arrive on November 22 is not an own hotel chain as you mentioned but an official rating given by the national tourism bureau.
Thank you for your detail comments and we all look forward to welcoming you again soon to the Grand Mercure Oriental Ginza Hotel.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.