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.
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Expedia, Booking.com, Agoda, Ctrip TA, Priceline, Travelocity, Despegar.com, Odigeo, TripOnline SA and Tingo so you can book your Seaview Garden Hotel reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- Seaview Garden Qingdao
- Hotel Seaview Garden