This was the second of three hotels we stayed in on the Wendy Woo 10 day China Experience (Shanghai / Xian & Beijing).
As an opening comment, I think you have to remember the price you pay and what it includes in the whole tour before you judge the hotels too critically.
On arrival our cases were taken into the lobby, though then you are on your own.
Checking in was swift, though again this was down to our guide Tom (‘Du’) who had called ahead to ensure we weren’t hanging around. If you are lucky enough to have Tom he’s a great national guide.
The lobby area is large, with free Wi-Fi. The name is ‘wireless’ and you don’t need a password or login. The Wi-Fi was very hit and miss in the lobby, dropping off every 5 minutes or so.
The hotel is quite dated in décor even in the lobby area.
Though there are 6 lifts to the rooms, as the hotel spans 24 floors, the lifts are quite slow and it took 10 minutes one day to get up to our room!
Our room was quite large with a king bed and the sheets were clean.
There’s a TV, min-bar, tea and coffee making facilities, though the coffee is a sachet of Nescafe with powdered milk so if you take black coffee you are out of luck.
There’s also a mini safe, an iron and robes and slippers.
Our room was quite shabby and the carpets quite grubby, so the slippers came in handy. We should really have asked for another room.
The bathroom has a separate bath and shower, with a selection of toiletries replenished daily. Toilet rolls appear to be on ration.
The bath and hand towels were really grey and shabby; though they had been laundered they just looked bad. They are replaced daily if required.
There’s a wall mounted hairdryer in the bathroom.
Breakfast wasn’t a great selection though there’s both a western and Chinese selection. The western include the usual cereals, eggs to order, bacon and sausage. The quality of the food in my opinion wasn’t good, so I survived on toast with sliced cheese and buns.
The bar area is in the lobby, and a small bottled local beer was around 28 Yuan (25 Yuan + 15% tax). Service in the bar was quite slow and there’s no atmosphere.
The hotel has a pool which is in the basement with no natural light. We didn’t see the pool so I can’t comment on its condition.
Generally the hotel was Ok, though it’s definitely worn out and requires refurbishment in the rooms. It was fit for purpose during our tour as you don’t spend so much time in the hotel.
As other reviews state the hotel is right on a roundabout adjacent to the Xi’an city wall, and watching the antics of the cars, bikes and pedestrians provided amusing entertainment.
A few from our group went out to a couple of bars next to the hotel.
The first you can see in one of my photos to the centre with the green umbrellas, it’s a local restaurant popular with locals, very basic and a little scruffy, but cheap at 12 Yuan (about £1.30) for a 600ml bottled local beer. The food being cooked outside and the condition of the restaurant might put you off, but for just a beer it was fine, and some of the locals were eager to talk with our small group.
The second bar was much more modern, and very popular with young Chinese. There was some live music, and the place was very nice. A small 330ml beer here was 50 Yuan, so about £5.60 and therefore not cheap! This bar on the photos is over the moat from the first one, just at the bottom of the city wall, the red building above the red bus.
As a few general comments about the Wendy Woo tour:
Be prepared for a hectic time, all the days are an early start around 7-8am and a late finish around 9pm. You’ll only come back to the hotel on a couple of days to get showered and changed, and the other days you are out all day before returning to the hotel.
The hotels are not 5 stars, but bear in mind the itinerary of the tour and the experiences you will have and what’s included. In my opinion it is very good value.
The food isn’t what you are used to, and don’t think you’ll be getting your local Chinese takeaway cuisine. You will eat a large and varied Chinese table buffet each lunch and dinner. This gets very repetitive. Some people on our tour also felt it was very bland.
I ‘broke’ twice during the tour and resorted to finding a McDonald’s / Pizza Hut for a ‘western fix’, however even this isn’t the same as the UK.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.