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“Do you know what "competent" means?” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Seaview Garden Hotel

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Seaview Garden Hotel
5.0 of 5 Hotel   |   No.2 Zhanghua Road, Shinan District, Qingdao 266071, China   |  
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Hotel amenities
Ranked #7 of 1,362 Hotels in Qingdao
Beijing, China
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Do you know what "competent" means?”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 10, 2012

So I stayed there. That would teach me not to trust any rankings. How this hotel could be so praised for its service, is beyond my understanding.
I just want to make it clear - it's not a bad hotel. Rooms are excellent, very clean, with a lot of space, bathrooms are very good too. The location is not bad, even though it's a bit far from downtown, but there are always plenty of taxis waiting for you. There is also a very nice outside pool with seawater. It looks like all you have to do is go and enjoy your stay... Not!

Not so easy. If you are in a guest building, then your room will face either the parking or the east gate of the hotel and the construction site of one of the hotel buildings. I can't decide which one is the best side for you. I'd say a parking lot side is a bit better, because then you can witness the whole staff exercising the art of bowing. When they are done with bowing, the manager will also teach them how to walk, say hi, and smile. That's a fascinating view - you get up in the morning and get it that the hotel staff can't even walk properly, so you don't expect much.

People keep saying in their reviews how the staff is so nice and friendly. Honestly, I don't come to the hotel to make friends. Good service is not bowing and leaving toys in your room every day. Good service is being efficient and competent. Me, throughout my stay, I couldn't get rid of the feeling that it's me, a hotel guest, who is supposed to please them, not them who are supposed to please me. They are very friendly and polite but combined with their incapability to do anything and complete inefficiency very soon it becomes more annoying than cute.

Moreover, I think it's a disgrace that no one can speak English, including managers, whose English is less than satisfactory(and by that I mean that if you want to have ice-cubes you have to either speak Chinese or make a drawing, and if you want to find a hotel pool, you have to do the same). It's a five-star hotel after all, there are supposed to be at least some people who can understand and speak decent English.

Speaking of the pool - the inside pool smells of mould, mushrooms and lack of habitation and the ceiling is speckled with mildew. It's adjacent to the construction site, which, according to the sign there, has started around November'2011 and hasn't advanced much since then. Once in the pool area, they will make you wear swimming caps, which is absolutely ridiculous and very irritating. They would also try to make your wear their slippers even if you have your own. Overall, it's not a good swimming pool, especially for kids. Just so you know, to rent a water toy for a kid would cost you extra.
Outside pool is very nice, there is also one outside pool for beginners and little kids, but there is some renovation work going on right next to the pool, and the smell is not always good, and the music is lame and extra-loud, probably so that we don't hear the noises from the construction site. Oh, and when you come you always have to sign - your name, your room number, how many people will be swimming in a pool - even though I have no idea what purpose does it serve. And - oh joy! - you have to wear a swimming cap again. In the outside pool. That's so nice.
Btw, pool working hours are from 10am to 10pm. Open-air restaurant closes at 10pm too. Anything to accommodate clients, sure.
Have I told you that there is no gym? No, I haven't? Well, nobody told me too. There is nothing about it on the hotel site, there is nothing about it anywhere, they don't warn you upon your arrival, you only find out after you change into your sports outfit and head for a gym, and then they tell you "sorry, we don't have a gym anymore". But they will bow and smile a lot, while telling you, so it's all good.

They have a business centre, though. That's a room full of absolutely useless people, none of which speaks English(in a business centre of a 5 star hotel), and whom it will take half an hour to book you plane tickets. Then it will take them another hour(literally) and the help of two managers to try and print your tickets correctly. They got mine right on a second try, wow. My boyfriend had to wait through about ten attempts to get his ticket right, and in the end it still wasn't because his passport number was still typed over his booking number and both were impossible to read. But they got his name right, yay! And they apologized a lot. And bowed. And - ta-dam! - when it came to the payment, there was no problem. If there is something they know how to do is how take your money. So they are not bad at everything.

All in all, those guys did everything so that we were not too sad to leave them. We booked an airport shuttle for 10am(called twice to confirm, explained it very slowly and distinctly), and then they called us at 8am, yelling "Quick, we are waiting for you, we are about to leave, hurry up!" Then, half an hour before the departure I found out that they've lost a registration form that was in my passport, but they didn't really care. I had to insist that they would at least look for it, but they were not very enthusiastic, and were not trying very hard. Instead of looking they tried to prove it wasn't their fault. It came to half of the hotel staff standing around us and watching, just for the sake of the show, but none of them would help us look, or go and get our suitcases, even after two requests. We had to ask four times before they brought them, because no one really cared what we were asking for, it was more fun to stand around and do nothing.

The service, as I understand it, is deplorable and lamentable. Because service is not how low you bow, it's not only pressing the elevator button for you, or opening the door, or leaving fruits in your room. Service is solving your client's problems, and definitely not adding the new ones, creating all sorts of displeasures that spoil your holiday. When there is something wrong, the good hotel stuff is trying to make it right, just apologizing and smiling is not solving anything. There is no use in all nice little things, like serving juice and handing out hand towels, when your stay ends with a hotel manager who is whining that you complain about service. Well, I wouldn't have to complain if you knew how to do your job.

Dear Hotel Managers, I suggest you spend at least half an hour a day teaching hotel staff how to be efficient, or teaching them English. They know how to bow all right, I wish they knew how to do something else.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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588 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (10)
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English first
San Francisco, California
Top Contributor
64 reviews 64 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
37 helpful votes 37 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 13, 2012

First, the good: Staff is amazing. Kind, helpful, pamper the kids, and everywhere you turn there's another staffer looking to satisfy your needs.

We joined some family friends who were planning a weekend away from Beijing on the coast. They chose the hotel based on its location and outdoor swimming pool. They booked themselves a family room which they believed would be a suite. At the last minute, we decided to join them and all six of us took the bullet train out of BJ (just 4.5 hours!) We booked our room at the best price we could find which was approximately US$110 per night on eLong.com. The other sites were giving us a consistent US$338 which we would not have paid.

There was no hotel shuttle from the train station but the taxi queue was relatively short and the drivers knew the location which was a relief. We arrived at the hotel and a couple of the buildings are undergoing renovations so the taxi drivers let us off too soon. No matter; in seconds there were hotel staffers picking up our luggage and ushering us to the lobby in a different building. The desk staff found our reservations and when I said we'd love it if our room could be close to our friends' so the kids could play, the staff upgraded us to the nicer "The Distinguished Guests" building. So we wound up with a lovely room with a sea view, king bed and slanted window that had loads of carpeted space beneath for little girl slumber partying. The room was great and the price was still that same elong.com rate. Our friends family room was not a suite, however. It was a larger room with an extra bed. Still they were pleased with it and there were no complaints on that front.

We were greeted with cold washcloths, drinks and fruit as well. Every day, all the kids were given small stuffed animals, and that first day they got them at the lobby and two restaurants. The kids were thrilled. The moms were thinking we would've brought larger suitcases for the stuffies.

The Cantonese Restaurant in the building was yummy but a bit overpriced. The buffet breakfast, which was included with the room, was outstanding. It was obvious that people came there just for the Chinese, Western, Seafood. At dinner buffet, also very great, it included decent Australian Shiraz and also, of course, Tsingtao beer.

But now for the bad and the reason I can't give them 5 stars: I had read the reviews that mentioned room service was poor. I thought that must have been an old report because the staffing was so awesome and the food at the buffet and restaurant was good. So our last night I ordered my kid her standard room service fare: a club sandwich and fries. I asked the staffer on the phone if the sandwich came with fries and he said no, so I ordered a separate order of fries. When the food arrived, there was the sandwich and fries on one plate as well as an enormous separate plate of fries. So, I guess I wasn't making myself clear. [To be fair, I was speaking English and not Chinese to the staff since my Chinese is so unreliable. Alas, I might have been better off attempting to communicate in Chinese.] In any event, my daughter had about a quarter of the sandwich and set it aside. I happened to look over and notice the chicken breast looked funny. So I took it into the light and sure enough: it was undercooked. The middle of the chicken breast was completely raw. I could see that my kid has stopped short of the rawness but still. Not what a mom wants to see, ever, much less in China, much less when about to get on a train the next day. So I called the room service number and had a very very hard time getting across to the staff what had occurred. Ultimately, they said that they wanted to come up and see the sandwich and I said don't bother since we were getting ready for bed. I was very clear: don't come to our room. My kid went to sleep and just a few minutes later someone knocked on the door AND rang the doorbell. Luckily, my kid stirred but did not wake up. I was furious at this point and opened the door and told the two staffers that I didn't want them disturbing us. The guy asked to see the sandwich again (what? didnt' believe me? ) and I said I'd put the rolling table/tray in the hall. It was gone by this point. They apologized profusely and the woman was apparently the manager. They tried to give me a free lunch buffet and didn't know we were checking out the next day. They asked what they could do (I should've asked for a foot massage since they have spa service in the rooms but I forgot) and gave my kid two more stuffed animals. Anyway, at least they tried. The next day at check out it took quite awhile and much back and forthing to get the fries taken off my bill (they'd already taken the sandwich off). It wasn't much money but was pretty disappointing considering the rest of the trip. They did give us a van ride to the train station, which was really nice since it saved us two taxis.

One last issue: the huge gorgeous outdoor swimming pool was closed for renovations. The indoor sea-water pool was nice but not what we'd imagined lounging around sunning while the kids swam. I looked all over the website for some news on it and truly, it wasn't mentioned. Since I'd booked on line and never spoken with a person at the hotel, I guess next time I'd call and confirm that the pool and spa were in fact open. For us, it worked out well since we went to a beach instead and the kids got to do some tidepooling and sand playing so that was good. We also took a boat ride (kind of a rip off) and went to the Underwater World.

I feel for the place and still give four stars because I think it is very very difficult to do what they've done and train (most of) staff to five star standards. It must be so frustrating to get it to that level and have one segment, room service, fall down on the job. But, boy did they fall. Luckily, my kid didn't get sick from that chicken (or not apparently sick).

I'd still recommend this hotel. Just avoid room service!

Room Tip: Ask for a sea view and the Distinguished Guests Building. Once the pool building is done renovating...
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  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 12, 2012

Me and my family have been to quite many hotels in the world: Asia, USA, Europe. But we get the best hotel service in Qingdao, China. I feel so proud being a Chinese myself. The main difference between this hotel's service and others in the world is its sincerity. All the other hotels we've been to are very professional. But this one seems to really care about you. Just quote a few examples. During the first day we arrived, we asked for an adapter. They might have overlooked it and didn't deliver it until we went out for dinner. But after we came back, they called us and apologized for the late delivery. No hotel did that before. Another example, we went to the buffet dinner at their coffee shop and my little daughter asked for a Fanta orange juice. They didn't have it which can happen in any restaurant and my daughter ordered something else. But the next morning when we went there for breakfast, they brought us 5 cans of Fanta orange juice and apologized for not having it the night before!!! We were really moved! The third example: before we went out for breakfast every morning, the would take the initiative to ask us whether it's ok to cleanup our room. By the time we finished our breakfast, the room would have been tidied up. How efficient ! Their breakfasts and buffet dinners and room service are very good too, many choices and most of them are tasteful. Last but not least, every evening the hotel put four very cute little stuffed toys in our rooms and they gave us a very warm feeling. We didn't try their spa though, so I can't comment on it. We love you, Seaview Garden Hotel!

Room Tip: The ones facing the sea are truly beautiful.
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  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed November 2, 2011

Sorry to say that .... but the hotel doesnt deserve the 1st ranking in Trip Advisor nor the 5 star rating. I went there before 10 days for 2 nights with my wife. The good things about the hotel are the following:

1) The sea view is the best in Town I think. 3 Min walk from the hotel and your feet will be feeling the Sea (really near).
2) The balecony.in the room.
3) The room itself can be classified as 5 star.
4) Welcoming staff.

Bad Things:

1) Bad TV with bad chanel selection in the room.
2) Staff not good at English AT ALL.
3) The club Lounge is the worst Club lounge in the world .... period. The really bad thing is that I paid the price requsted thinking that the club lounge will be deserving this as a 5 star hotel. However, I was Really Shocked. No food servings what so ever for the entire day. only some cookies which are there everyday. This is Just Bad and a rip off.
4) Spa is 1 to 3 stars at best. It just cant be 5 Star at All.
5) The room dining is Also just Bad.

Please Trip Advisor ..... Re check your rating so I can keep the Trust in your Word.

Stayed October 2011, traveled on business
Was this review helpful? Yes 12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Shanghai, China
Top Contributor
64 reviews 64 reviews
32 hotel reviews
Reviews in 35 cities Reviews in 35 cities
49 helpful votes 49 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 1, 2011

We spend (unplanned) one night in Qingdao and booked the hotel only after arriving @ the airport (Qingdao). One call to the hotel and a shuttle (free of charge) was arranged. Waiting time in total: max 10 minutes. On the bus, towels and water were handed to everyone. The transfer-time was comparable short (40 minutes) and safe (good driver).

Arriving @ the hotel (excellent location, you can start from here and walk for hours just next to the beach. World olympics (sailing) changed a lot to the positive side), we were warmly welcomed and guided to the room. Check-in was fast, room okay (absolutely clean) with good facilities. In addition, you need to consider, that we lodged in the old part of the hotel...

Service was all the time friendly and supportive. English is okay, pick-up back to the airport worked flawless (without the need to remind multiple times about the arrangement).

Exceptional was the caring staff, where you really felt, that they want to make the stay for the guest special: Room prepared for the night, small gift-items (teddy-bear, cookies, etc.) on the bed, ...

Will we come back? Definitely.

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
11 reviews 11 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 16, 2011 via mobile

This is what you get when you build a modern and elegant building and add a hundred or more well trained staff. There's a person every 25 feet or so saying hello, offering you an umbrella, pointing out a step on your path, etc. The room had every piece of electronics you can imagine - almost overkill. The breakfast buffet was enormous, and had the usual amusing attempts at English translations (eg, "Pork Sausage with Pork", "Blasted Potatoes").

  • Stayed September 2011
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, California
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 5, 2011

I have stayed in many 5 stars hotel traveling internationally. most of the time when I am in China I stay at Shangri-La's, I just visited Qingdao for the first time with my daughter and my sister. this hotel's service is impeccable! from checking in, room arrangement ( we asked to add a bed so 3 of us can all stay in the same room), the evening turn down service ( they cut fresh fruits for us every night), and we enjoyed a couple of very nice meals in one of the restaurant. they even offer complimentary transportation to the airport-- which is pretty far away- a good 40 minutes ride,. Personal attention everywhere you go. My sister was convinced that this hotel has foreign investors and management but it turned out that she was wrong. this is domestic enterprise- used to be a training center for Chinese government of some sort. Amazing service- all the persons we encountered are genuinely nice and soft-spoken. they refuse tips! It is a little far out from the center of Qingdao city but one block from the ocean- the air, the view of the sea, and again excellent attention to every details make up for the shortcoming of the location,. I will definitely stay there again!

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Seaview Garden Hotel

Address: No.2 Zhanghua Road, Shinan District, Qingdao 266071, China
Phone Number:
Location: China > Shandong > Qingdao
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#6 Luxury Hotel in Qingdao
#7 Business Hotel in Qingdao
#49 Best Value Hotel in Qingdao
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:5 star — Seaview Garden Hotel 5*
Number of rooms: 207
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Also Known As:
Seaview Garden Qingdao
Hotel Seaview Garden

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