We spent the first three days of this month during the 60th Birthday Celebration of China in Changchun in this luxurious hotel that we found online. We rarely stay in hotels that have not been reviewed on TA, so this was a bit risky. But it turned out to be a fine hotel.
With an online reservation requesting a nonsmoking room, we arrived at the hotel hoping for the best. The ultra-modern lobby is impressive with at least a 30 foot high ceiling. The staff went out of their way to help us telling us that our son had stopped by the hotel an hour before we arrived.
The bellman took us to the first room, which was lovely but obviously a smoking room.
We then looked at Room 1606 on a nonsmoking floor and took it even though it cost about $30. more per night than the first room. There was no way we could spend three nights inhaling smoke with my sensitive nose and sinuses.
Both rooms were very large, clean and modern with a glass desk for a laptop and a glass wall between the roomy bath and the bedroom. The light beige custom carpet had a huge, bright flower in one area of the room. There were several types of lighting with many switches in somewhat confusing locations. The room safe and fridge were convenient; ice in a bucket was quickly delivered after a call to the front desk. There were a couple of English channels on cable; National Geographic was our favorite. CCTV was in English on one channel, so we were able to watch some of the National Day parade and ceremonies in Beijing in our room.
The view overlooked the downtown area and revealed the pastel colored 5AM sunrises due to the northeastern location of Changchun. The air pollution and dirt coated the windows, so picture taking through the windows was difficult.
I had read that in some cities there is a government policy that air conditioners are turned off on a certain date around October first, and not turned on until later spring or early summer. We arrived on October first, and the air was off. While the temperature was cool outside at night, we could not get enough airflow through the window because it opened only a few inches.
The front desk said that they could not turn on the air, so the room was stuffy and about 4-8 degrees F too warm during our stay. Also if we left the curtains open to allow more cool air to enter the room, the morning sunrise blinded us. We just pretended that we were tent camping in the summer...at a very expensive campground somewhere.
The Lobby Restaurant
We ate a fantastic free breakfast each day in the lobby restaurant. There was a huge buffet with all kinds of Chinese and Western foods. We were even able to get fried and scrambled eggs almost cooked to order. Chinese chefs tend to overcook eggs, so you have to be vigilant and watch as they approach doneness.
We could tell that there were European guests in the hotel because there were cold cuts and cheese as well as many kinds of breads and coffee. We saw only a few Westerners during our stay in Changchun., but really appreciated the breakfast buffets. We did not eat dinner in the lobby restaurant, but did attend a lovely traditional Chinese dinner (in one of the meeting rooms on the 3rd floor) for the grandfather of my son's girlfriend.
The Health Club and Pool.
We did not try out the health club, but found the pool to be perfect. The hotel was almost empty because of the national holiday week, so I had the pool to myself for swimming laps. This was the second empty hotel pool I found in China. There was no attendant in the pool area, so you will need to take a friend along to swim safely. Swim caps are required of both sexes in China.
There was not a concierge per se during our stay; all of the front desk staff were helpful. They charged us about a dollar for the only copy of an English map of Changchun they could find after a long search. We found that few Chinese in Beijing or Changchun spoke English well enough to answer our questions, so be prepared for lots of communication difficulties. I tried learning some Mandarin Chinese using a Rosetta Stone course before leaving home, but did not have enough time to make sufficient progress before reaching China, and was too busy to keep studying while there. Unlike the easier Romance languages such as French, Italian and Spanish, Chinese is very difficult for Westerners. And it is clear that English is difficult for the Chinese.
This hotel was a great base for our stay in Changchun. We loved our room, the large indoor pool, and the Western breakfasts. The staff were quite friendly. The reason for the 4 circle rating is the problem with the room being too warm and the increased price for a nonsmoking room.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.