From all appearances, this looks like a five star hotel. It has well-appointed, spotless, air-conditioned rooms with fast wi-fi, separate bath and shower and large comfortable beds. Our room also had a lovely view of a pretty park. Unfortunately, as with many upmarket hotels in China, service barely reaches one star.
We visited in winter which means they are probably running a skeleton staff. Was that any reason for the porter to take our bag up in an elevator while he directed us to climb a huge flight of stairs to the lobby? Not the best greeting. The two sullen girls at reception had to ring for someone who knew how to do a passport check-in. They then squinted and frowned and acted like it was a major drama because we wanted a queen bed (as per our elong booking) and they had booked us into a twin room. There are a hundred rooms and twenty guests at most. Really, the change shouldn't need THAT much huffing and puffing. The lacklustre service remained throughout our stay. No-one brought us a menu in the lobby lounge (the apathetic waitress just stood around looking...well....apathetic whilst the waiter chatted on his phone.
Most of the food outlets were closed so we went to the French-Vietnamese restaurant near the "Bailian" Shopping Center. What a contrast! Friendly, warm greetings, courteous staff and pleasant atmosphere. This only highlighted the empty, austere milieu back at the Golden Tulip.
Obviously, this hotel depends on sporting events during the summer when it probably runs at near or full capacity. Clearly, they don't care too much for the poor, brave souls who venture to stay near the murky, artificial beach in winter.
Other factors that might prove annoying are the lack of English throughout the hotel and only one English TV channel. In fact, the only English used during our stay was upon check-in when one of the receptionists asked, "Pay renminbi or American dollar?" If she had looked at our passport she would have seen that we are Australian.and have lived in China for eight years. The rain shower also lacks pressure which basically reduces it to being a drizzle shower.
The breakfast is standard Chinese fare. It is adequate but uninspiring. As I left the hotel at eight o'clock in the morning, I could barely see my way from the lift to the lobby. The lights had been turned off, which would be fine on a sunny summer's day but on a cold, wet, winter's morning the lobby looked like a struggling hostel trying to save power, not part of an international, five star chain as it purports to be.
Golden Tulip is a European chain. The hotel has many of the attractive features you would expect from a continental hotel. It's a pity they haven't managed to export some European savoir-faire to their staff.
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