Smoking in non-smoking areas seem to be a big problem in Qingdao. I have just recently reviewed another Qingdao hotel and we had exactly the same problem. We booked a non-smoking room, in a non-smoking floor. The check-in process was very efficient and the staff that handled our check-in was very pleasant and gave us options about our stay (re:club lounge access etc.) without having to ask. When we checked-in, this guy even repeated our booking "You booked a non-smoking room etc. etc." And we replied yes please, and make sure it is in a non-smoking floor and we briefly mentioned our experience from the other hotel.
We were in the hotel for a week and in about the third or fourth day, I can smell cigarette smoke in the hallway everytime I walk thru even though there was a big non-smoking floor sign by the lift. And right on queue, one of the hotel doors opened and 4 Chinese men walked out of the room, 2 of them with lit cigarettes in their hands. They were walking ahead of me to the lift - they got in and I took another lift because they didn't even bother to get rid of their cigarettes before walking out of their room. I am sure they are doing that because they know they can get away with it, the hotel obviously turned a blind eye to it. And in a way, they must have felt encouraged because even though we were in a non-smoking floor, in one of the drawers in our room, I found an ashtray. I thought if there was an ashtray in our room, it must be in every room.
The room itself was nice and comfortable. The amenities are sufficient, but some days I found the towels old and thin and should be thrown out.
The staff that answered the call from the service button on the telephone needed to learn better English. It took us a good 20 minutes just trying to order room service dinner. I know this was China and English was not their first language, but if they are working in the service industry and catering to international guests, it should be a pre-requisite to be able to speak & understand English properly before being put in a telephone-service position.
The food in the lobby restaurant was a bit limited, especially when we were there (no chicken because of bird flu(?), which was understandable). I ordered Caesar Salad for lunch one day and it was smothered with dressing it was close to being inedible. I just picked on the the bits that didn't get that much dressing on it. Room service food was okay, a bit of hit-and-miss depending on what you order.
The club lounge wasn't somewhere to get that excited about. The service was lousy and they were very slow in refilling the empty dishes in the buffet area. One morning I had breakfast at 9AM, there was only one smoked salmon left so I took it. I went back for another one about 15 minutes later, the dish was taken away but was never replaced. Then I went back again after another 15 minutes, and it was still wasn't replaced. I couldn't ask the staff because again, their English was very limited. And this was only at 9:30 in the morning and from what I understand, breakfast in the lounge was on until 10:30AM. The staff seem to be more interested in writing notes in their folder than getting more food to refill the empty dishes in the buffet. The "chef" during breakfast didn't know what egg-over-easy was. The club lounge staff even got involved in trying to translate and somehow, my husband received an egg-white omelette. How can you mistake 2 eggs ever-easy with egg-white omelette? They even sound different - this was with one of the staff translating.
The food during the evening "happy-hour" was pretty ordinary. Certainly not the kind of spread that will make you not want to have dinner anymore. And there seem to be no variety. It was the same every night.
The coffee making facility in the room: there was a coffee plunger that was good for only one cup of coffee. There were 2 of us so after I made my husband his coffee - the waste matter in the plunger has to be washed off and rinsed. In my opinion, if you are going to offer that type of coffee in the room, either put a bigger plunger enough for 2 people or put 2 plungers.
Another observation was the spa - I had a treatment during our stay. In the Le Meridien SPG channel on TV, there was a spa promo that was being advertised. I think it was for 90 minutes of massage treatment for something like 795 (I can't remember the exact amount but with the extra charge, the total was 900yuan). Anyway, I went to the spa asking about it and the receptionist had no idea what I was talking about. She got one of the therapist and both of them were showing me the menu and they didn't know about the Le Meridien TV offer - and this offer was being shown constantly and repeatedly at the hotel SPG channel. Eventually, what I figured was the manger came out and told them about the promo. She said "they are new that's why they didn't know". I gave her and them the benefit of the doubt - because they didn't sound like new staff to me. And being new was not an excuse for not knowing a promo.
The actual spa treatment was not bad but it was strange because it was a combination of Balinese for 1 hour, 15 minutes of foot and 15 minutes of heat massage. The logical sequence to do that would have been for the therapist to wash the feet before the treatment started. But she started with the 1 hour Balinese massage, then the head massage, then she asked me to sit up so she can wash my feet, then lie down again for the foot massage. So this promo was obviously something that the hotel offered without telling the staff that's why they they didn't know how to do it in a more logical order.
It wasn't all bad. Some good points are the bed sheets, they are so soft and didn't have that starched feeling which was good. The hotel room was quiet. The chamber maid/housekeeper used to leave little "have a nice day" notes, which I thought was very sweet.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Thank you very much for such a detail comment and it was very useful for us improving. Very nice talking with you through phone for so long time and also I appreciated your understanding and kindness. Here I left my email address: lilian.liuyi@lemeridien as talked and together with sending a email to you already. You can reach me anytime if you want to make any bookings for your friend or yourself for making your next stay more memerable and comfortable.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.