First off, i managed to get a very good rate through booking.com. Only at 239 RMB per night, which as it turned out was a wrong rate (apparently the hotel had increased its rates but the website hadn't). But i just so happened to be checking out with the person who appeared to be the manager, this wasn't a problem, though she did make a couple of phone calls to clarify the rate. AND it helps that i speak enough mandarin to steer my way out of such situations. So at such a price, i thought that the accommodation was quite a steal. Yes, the room was rather small (i might have been better off in the Ibis in the Old City in terms of size), the bathroom definitely flooded a fair bit after each shower, and my room did have that musty mix of wet wood and stale smoke smell. But at least it was a clean place, and they met my booking request for a room that is quiet and has a window (note not all rooms do). I liked that it was near enough to the bus terminal and metro stations from which you could get to/from the airport and hongqiao train station (to get those "gao" trains to hangzhou) because you are backpacking then it is but a short walk. also french concession area (luwan) is just a short 20 min walk away.
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