Paid 180RMB for one night in a twin room with three people. Do NOT stay here.
This place is alternatively known as "He Ye Guesthouse", "Jiuzhaigou Administration Heye Hotel" or in Chinese, 九寨沟管理局荷叶迎宾馆. As a result, in addition to this listing, there are two other listings for this hotel on tripadvisor (at time of writing):
Ranked #19: http://www.tripadvisor.com.au/Hotel_Review-g303770-d659706-Reviews-He_Ye_Hotel_Jiuzhaigou-Jiuzhaigou_County_Sichuan.html
Ranked #34: http://www.tripadvisor.com.au/Hotel_Review-g303770-d1852923-Reviews-Heye_Guest_House-Jiuzhaigou_County_Sichuan.html
This hotel basically caters to the domestic tourist market. They don't speak much English (I only spoke to them in Mandarin). We stayed on 3/1/12 during the low season. I accidentally found this hotel through lonely planet, when trying to book an alternative hotel (which had closed down). This hotel has the same phone number as the one that has closed down (in the 2011 China Lonely Planet, I can't find the name of the hotel that has closed down - sorry!).
As soon as we arrive 3:15pmish, reception asks if we want to eat (as we hadn't had lunch we thought it would be a good idea) the food was prepared quickly and specifically for us, the only people there and eating at the time. They told us we should hurry so that we could go into the park. I thought as the park closed at 6pm (as advertised on the jiuzhai website) we'd have plenty of time. Not to be. They stop selling tickets to the park at 3.30pm. We arrived at 3.55pm. So no park for us! It would have been nice if they told us before serving lunch (which admittedly we wanted to eat, and they did tell us to hurry up, after providing the food very quickly) that the park would stop selling tickets.
The three bed room (3rd floor) assigned to us didn't have wifi access as advertised, so they moved us into a twin bed room (2nd floor) where there was reception.
No possibility of breakfast until 8am.
Very very dated. The carpet looked like it needed a good good clean. The tv remote wasn't working, the air conditioning unit to heat the room wasn't up to the job and was basically useless. I'm sitting here in my goose down jacket writing this and still a little cold. The room was very dark (not helped by the fact that one of the bed lights wasn't working).
The bathroom was pretty gross. There were empty and disused soap/shampoo/conditioner dispensers, with no alternative soap provided. There was no floor mat, so it looked like people used the hand towels as the floor mat (they were stained and dirty but laundered). The tap wasn't properly affixed to the sink and moved a lot when turning it on and off. I was told hot water is only available from 8.30pm till 8am. The 'hot water' only started working from 9pm. In a room that was 13degrees inside, with barely lukewarm water dribbling out of the shower head I almost froze to death.
Wifi Internet stopped working at 8.30pm, reception never picked up the phone when I called. I was too cold to be bothered to go and ask about it. Wifi Internet also wasn't available in the morning, when I asked reception, the lady looked into it, but never got back to me. The Internet didn't start working again.
The primary good point about this hotel (aside from the price, 180rmb for one night) is that it is right next to the park entrance.
The walk to Abu Luzi (Tibetan restaurant recommended by lonely planet) is at least 15mins (not recommended in the cold). I was the first and only customer at 7pm. The fried rice equivalent was very oily, recommend the potato yak ball type things.
Location and price (it's cheap for many good reasons). The food in the in house restaurant was actually quite tasty.
Pathetic hot water system that started half an hour after the time advertised and did not work in the morning. The 'hot water' at night wasn't hot, but lukewarm (at best) and water pressure very weak (see picture). No hot water at all at 6.30am. When I asked reception in the morning, I was told, "the hot water is not hot enough for a shower in the morning, only enough to wash your face".
The lack of proper heat for the room when the outside temp is minus 8 degrees (after asking specifically when booking whether there was a functioning heating system).
As an aside (and slight rant) about getting into Jiuzhaigou from the local airport:
Arrived at the airport 1pm. Tried to catch the bus (45rmb) into jiuzhaigiu proper, but found out that it wasn't running on that day due to ice on the roads. The regular 'going rate' for taxis was supposed to be 200rmb, but because there were no buses, the taxi drivers had formed a monopoly and were charging 400rmb for one taxi to go to Jiuzhaigou. After some intense bargaining, they refused to budge on the price. Afterwards, Local chengdu people (who also wanted to go to Jiuzhaigou) told me not to bargain because, 'they might give you trouble later'. Reluctantly, we combined with a single traveller and caught the taxi to town for 400 rmb. Other tourists (who also felt they were being cheated) also grouped into fours and caught different taxis for the 400rmb.
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