Being a high mileage traveller, I don't enjoy enjoy business hotels as much as I did during my early travel days. These days, I much prefer B&B, home stays and special / themed lodging etc. The Astor is a special hotel, full of history and the ambience in the old wing takes you back in time. I have never seen so many guests taking pictures in a hotel -- and indeed the hotel provides some excellent settings if you are a camera buff. Our room had a canopy bed, the floor had old hardwood with just the right amount of wear and squeak sound to take us back in time. Aside from what's inside the hotel (ambience, history) the outside is equally historical with the famous bank street just behind it, where hundreds of off shore banks had set up shop during the days when the 8 western powers had made Tianjin an open City. In fact, this hotel and the bank street and the old Italian neighborhood is a reason in itself to visit Tianjin. I made a reservation for a return visit at time of departure to bring my wife over for a visit as well.
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