The Golden Gulf Hotel is a wonderful place to stay in Yantai. It is located along the water at the end of the waterfront esplanade. It has nice views of the islands and of the city, especially at night.
The staff is the best part of this hotel, they will always go above and beyond to help you. Not all the staff speak English, but all the higher level staff do. All of the staff are always smiling, friendly, and accommodating. We went to a western shopping store called Metro, the staff recognized that finding a taxi back to the hotel would be difficult so they gave me their personal mobile number and when we finished shopping we called them and they arranged a taxi to pick us up. Without their help we would've been stuck there forever! This is just one example of many on how the staff go above and beyond to make you feel comfortable and welcomed.
The buffet breakfast on the 1st floor is another plus. It is quite large and contains both western and Chinese food, including a station to have your noodles made for you and your omelette made for you. There is a section for juices, pastries, congees, meats, and vegetables. There is sure to be something even for the pickiest eater. There is also breakfast on the 5th floor, but I never ventured beyond the 1st floor breakfast to check it out. There are several restaurants within the hotel, but we only had time to have lunch at the Japanese restaurant which was very good with all the food prepared and cooked teppanyaki style.
The executive queen room in section "A" (faces the ocean) that we had was quite large with a separate living room, bedroom, and outdoor patio with furniture overlooking the ocean and esplanade. The bathroom was also big with a large tub with an adjustable/handheld shower head and an overhead rain shower head. The room includes free Internet, fresh fruit daily, complimentary water, and other amenities such as bathrobes, slippers, electrical adapter, fridge, minibar, 2 flat screen TVs, etc. Some reviewers have commented on the outdated style of the hotel, and yes, the furniture and style hasn't changed since it opened but it worked at achieving the overall style of the hotel which is "Chinese opulence without going over-the-top" (massive lobby, huge lounge, large breakfast area, etc). Some reviewers seem disappointed that it didn't have a western modern or chic look or feel about it, however, this isn't the goal of the hotel.
The hotel has a fairly nice and large gym, and also a business center where you can use their computers and print things. I noticed that they also offer a service to translate documents in many language (for a fee). There is also an ATM machine in the lobby where I had no problems withdrawing money from my American and Australian accounts.
Behind the hotel is an expat-friendly alley of bars and restaurants with great live music, just ask where Druid's Irish Bar is located and you'll be in the right area. Another nearby place for shopping and eating/drinking is along the esplanade on the same alley as the Polaris Timepiece Watch Culture Museum (I can't remember the exact name of this museum, but you'll see a timepiece).
Overall, an excellent stay. We will always stay here when visiting Yantai.
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