My first visit to Crowne Plaza Science City was back in September 2010 for one week. My second visit was in July 2012, when I stayed for 3 weeks. As other reviewers have said, the location is far from the city center but it is a nice quiet area, if that's what you like. My company has a plant in Science City but Science City must be pretty big because it took a 30-45 minute car ride to get there from the hotel each day. Since my first visit to Crowne Plaza, the Jade Club was built next door but I'm not exactly sure what it is. There is also an "I-Mall" a block away but I didn't see any stores in there. I'm guessing that it is in the beginning phases of being built because the only businesses that are open in that building are KFC, Pizza Hut, a Chinese restaurant, and a movie theater. I didn't get a chance to take advantage of the free shuttle service that takes you to the Tianhe district but might try that in the future.
The lobby is very nice looking and well maintained. There are four restaurants in the hotel: ADD Pan Asian, Mei Hua, Hao Chi, and Miss Saigon. I have been to all but Mei Hua. The breakfast is served buffet style in ADD Pan Asian and it has a pretty good selection. There are many different juice options, eggs made to order, pastries, and some traditional Chinese breakfast items. I would have liked to see bagels with cream cheese and a wider variety of fruits, like some berries, grapes, and pineapple, but maybe these fruits are less common in the area. The workers that greet you are very friendly and some even remember your name and what you like to drink, so that is very nice. In addition to the restaurants there are three little shops next to ADD Pan Asian restaurant. The first one is the "Deli Corner." This needs to be renamed because there is nothing deli-related in here --it is really just a little convenience store with snacks and other essentials. The store next door has flowers and the one after that has luggage. I never saw anyone shop in either of those stores. There are two bars: The Hub and The Mad Scientist bar. The Mad Scientist has a daily 2 x 1 happy hour from 6 – 8. It is a nice bar with video games and comfy seating and big tvs but it didn’t seem to be open very often. Outside by the pool is a snack bar and there are tables and chairs but I rarely saw anyone there to serve food. I was able to sit there once and get someone to wait on me but it took awhile. I would have liked to have eaten there more often since it was a nice little snack/sandwich menu but it just seemed like no one was ever working there. I would have liked if the hotel had a food option that was like a little quicker / more convenient. There were times when it would have been nice to just get a quick sandwich to go or carry-out from the restaurants to take back to my room, but I’m not sure that was an option. At all the restaurants you need to ask for the check or else you will sit there forever because they don’t ever ask you if you want it. The dinner buffet at ADD Pan Asian is pretty good. It has different sections, including a rotisserie with different meats (but good luck finding out what they are if you don’t speak Chinese), a sushi section, one part with made to order pasta (3 choices), breads, salad, lots of seafood, some Chinese and Indian dishes along with some western options. I would have liked to have had a station with sandwiches and would have liked to see a made to order Chinese station that served fried noodles/rice with different options to mix in. The dessert section was pretty good. I liked the ice cream and the chocolate fountain, though would have enjoyed more options to dip in the chocolate, such as strawberries, pineapples, and angel food cake. The servers weren’t able to always keep my water glass filled and weren’t very good about asking if I wanted additional drinks but I think this is because the Chinese drink a lot less in general. The price of a 12 oz coke zero in the restaurant is 25RMB but you can get it in a bottle at the deli corner for 8 RMB.
The pool is pretty nice with lounge chairs and a couple hammocks. There are also two small rock climbing walls. One time when I went to the pool, they made me take my flip flops off before going outside. I’m not sure why – I wasn’t going to swim with them on. At the lounge chairs and tables, there are drink/ snack menus but I never saw anyone walking around taking orders/serving people.
The gym was the biggest disappointment for me because I am a regular gym-goer at home but the temperature in the workout room was just too warm. It would be way more appealing (to me at least) if the air conditioner was turned on / set lower. Another problem with the gym was the fact that it doesn’t open until 6 am. This doesn’t give someone enough time to work out before work if they have to leave the hotel by 7 or so. It would be great if it opened up at 5 am. It’s not like anyone was in there at all times anyway, so I wouldn’t think it’d be that difficult to extend the hours.
The hotel has bikes that are free to borrow. I thought this was a great idea, especially since there are so many great biking paths around the area. However, the quality of the bikes isn’t that great. I had a chain break on me and another one I turned in with problems and it still had problems the next time I tried to borrow it. Also, they are all very short. I’m not sure if they will adjust them for you or not but I’m only 5’5 and I had a hard time finding one tall enough for me.
The hotel rooms are very spacious and attractive. The bed is very comfortable, the desk and chairs are all comfortable and there is a big flat screen tv in each room. There is wired and wireless internet and a printer also there in the room. Supposedly each room has a dvd player but mine did not. The bathroom is great. It has a full-sized tub and a separate shower. I had problems with the bathtub drain staying shut but they have a maintenance card in the room and when I had problems, I’d simply write it down and then it would be fixed by the time I got back. Maintenance and maid service was very good, keeping my room and the rest of the hotel in tip top shape.
Do not plan on getting your laundry done at the hotel! It was extremely expensive. I spent almost $300 USD getting less than half the clothes I wore in 3 weeks washed. Had I known how expensive it was going to be ahead of time, I would have definitely paid the fee for a second check bag because I would have saved a lot of money.
So, overall, the hotel is a great option if you’re looking for a place to stay in Science City or if you don’t mind a lengthy drive into town. The hotel is very well maintained and for the most part, I felt very comfortable staying there for an extended time.