We spent seven nights at the Crowne Plaza Ningbo. We checked in at the Club Floor and because of our Platinum IHG status, were upgraded to a two-room suite. The room was large and spacious and located in the Great Wall Wing of the hotel a few floors below the Club. The only negative was that the bed and sofa were extremely hard by Western standards. Otherwise, housekeeping always did a great job and the laundry service was very good.
The Crowne Plaza is in a great location for tourists. We were within walking distance of many attractions: Tianfeng Tower, an ancient tower which is an iconic symbol in the center of the city; Chenghuang Temple Commercial Area, an area with shopping and traditional dining area (i.e., lots of food stalls with a large interior seating area); Tianji Square – a huge, ultra-modern shopping area; the Catholic Church (a cathedral by most standards); Qita Temple; Moon Lake Park; the Drum (Clock) Tower; Tianyi Library Pavilion; etc.
The Club is a bit unusual compared with most other clubs at IHG properties. The staff members were professional and friendly. In particular, Luna and Fiona were very helpful with regards to touring (and their English was pretty good). However, since the Club is also the Business Center, the staff had to stay at the reception desk. So, once inside the Club, it is totally self-service.
We were told our rate did not include breakfast at the restaurant but only at the Club (very unusual). So, we had breakfast at the Club as well as evening cocktails and snacks. During our stay, we virtually had a “private club” for happy hour – that is, we were pretty much the only guests except for a couple of evenings when a British couple was there and one evening when two German businessmen showed up.
Each morning a breakfast buffet was served. Since we were practically the only ones eating there, it certainly would have been more cost effective to send us to the main restaurant. Instead, each morning the hotel chefs brought up several hot dishes (mostly meats) and then the Club staff put out salad, great breads, cheese, cereal, fruits, assorted sushi and a real treat – smoked salmon. We enjoyed these each morning along with espresso and café latte (Luna showed us how to use the coffee machine).
During the evening happy hour, there were four bottles of liquor – gin, vodka, Irish whiskey and scotch. There also was red wine, white wine and beer. The staff didn’t have access to liquor so if a bottle ran out, that was it for the evening. It wasn’t a problem for us as we typically have a gin & tonic so we were able to switch to vodka & tonic when the gin ran out one evening. The staff members were able to replenish wine and did so when a bottle ran out.
Food during the happy hour was very repetitive during our stay (i.e., fried small whole fish, chicken skewers, lamb skewers, salad, cheese, fruit and a few sweets). We did fine since smoked salmon and/or smoked chicken was usually one of the cold dishes along with some small sandwiches. However, we found it odd that while cheese was served at both breakfast and in the evenings, there was no bread in the evenings – just a few crackers in a jar. Also, there were no snack foods like peanuts or chips.
Again, it was a very different Club Floor experience for us and not what we typically expect from an IHG property.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.