As an expat, living in a country where you speak very little of the local language, there are times when you just need to get away from your day-to-day life and experience a bit of pampering. The Grand Mercure Sunshine in Jinan knows a lot about pampering. When I realized that I forgot to pack my travel adapter for my laptop, I contacted guest services and they happily sent someone upstairs with one for me to use during my stay.
The view from my room was very nice. I was on the 20th floor and had a wonderful view of mountains. My room was clean and well-furnished. (Well, clean except that the toilet didn't appear to have been flushed by the last person to have used it, as the water was yellow.) It did take a bit to cool down the first day, but it was a hot day.
The bed was VERY comfortable. I am normally a very bad sleeper; I toss and turn most of the night. The bed was so comfortable that I slept straight through the night and felt wonderfully rested upon waking. The huge walk-in shower was also nice, though it did leak out a bit from the bottom of the glass door and "flood" the bathroom (which thankfully had a drain in the floor, in an inconspicuous location, so it wasn't an issue).
While the staff don't speak native-quality English, they certainly speak it well enough for me to be understood and for me to understand them. There was never a situation where communication was a problem. Considering that Jinan isn't a world-class city with a huge expat population, it was a very pleasant surprise. The concierge was always happy to find a taxi for me and let the driver know where I wanted to go.
The hotel is quite near Harmony Plaza (which is a great shopping mall that should appeal to most Western shoppers) - easily walkable, if you're inclined, or a cheap 8RMB taxi ride. Still quite near, though far less walkable, is the impressive Wanda Plaza (a six floor shopping mall with cinema and Tesco - though don't get too excited by Tesco because it is simply another Chinese hypermarket, only it bears the name and brand of the English store, they have less imported foods than an Inzone market) which is about 12-13RMB (about $2USD) by taxi. Quancheng Square (where I usually spend most of my time in Jinan) is probably a little bit further than Wanda Plaza, but not by much. Regardless of where you want to do your shopping, the hotel staff WILL understand where you want to go and WILL let the taxi driver know where to take you. If you don't speak much Chinese, make sure you have a hotel business card (or the room key folder) when you want to return, because the taxi drivers really don't speak English. I don't know how far the hotel is from the train station(s) or airport, but I know it's less than 20RMB by taxi from the long-distance bus station.
The breakfast buffet (included in rate) was a nice blend of Western and Chinese - while none of it was OMG amazing, it was all quite edible and filling. There was a selection of juices, milks, teas, and even decent, strong coffee. They had a number of cold cereals as well as congee, plus yogurts, fruits, danishes, croissants (plain and chocolate) and toast (white, raisin, and wheat). If you prefer a hot meal, they also had bacon, potatoes, eggs (boiled), and a variety of other items (including Chinese dishes).
Their dinner buffet was, by Chinese standards, quite expensive, but it was only about $20 USD and it was pretty decent. To not have to go back out and find somewhere to eat, it was certainly worth it. Again, they had a variety of Asian and Western dishes - salads, seafood, sushi, jiaozi, Chinese buns, pot roast, pork, veggies, etc. In addition to the prepared foods, they also offered cook-to-order grilled meats and pastas.
- Also Known As:
- Grand Mercure Jinan Sunshine By ACCOR China - Shandong
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