We booked this hotel fairly last minute, and there was very little available in Guilin. This was the only mid-priced hotel available for internet booking. We booked through the travelchinaguide.com website, as this hotel wasn't available anywhere else. The 1st problem we had was with the booking, which isn't instantaneous, and we received an e-mail the next day to say a room was available, but at £50 per night as opposed to the advertised £40. However, it was still the cheapest 4 star in Guilin, so we booked.
The location was fine, a little out of town, but still just a few pounds in a taxi to the town centre. It's by a lake, with an impressive entrance, so a nice setting. The hotel reception area is fine, but not great.
The reception staff speak little English, and you're likely to have to wait till the person who speaks English can be found to help you, unless you speak decent Mandarin. At first we thought they were rude, but we figured out they were just a bit nervousand unsure about speaking English. We had quite a few communication problems.
There are two sections to the hotel, and we were given a room in the section across a courtyard from the reception. They'll lend you an umbrella if it's raining, but it's a bit of a hassle to trek over to the reception if you're key stops working, which mine did a couple of times.
The corridor to our room smelt damp, and looked poorly maintained. The decor was also very dated. The room itself was faily clean, not the standard I'd expect from a 4 star. There were some mouldy bit of grout around the shower - but I'm fussy - I'm sure most would find it perfectly fine. The decor in the room was very dark and dated, and furniture looked cheap. The curtains were nasty nylon, and didn't have blackout linings. They're fairly thick curtains, but the sun is likely to wake you.
They advertised room service as being available, but there was no menu in the room, and noone I spoke to over the phone spoke enough English to allow me to order. I went to the restaurant in the end, and spoke to a waiter. He took me out to the front desk to get a translator! He was very pleasant, and I managed to order my food, but it took a while. The food was good, but pricey - close to £10 for one course, which is hugely expensive for China.
I'd advise you to avoid this hotel if you have another option, and book early, as there isn't a huge choice of accomodation in Guilin. This was the most expensive hotel we stayed at in China, and it was by far the worst.
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