As part of a film crew working in this boondock of a town, I had the distinct displeasure of staying here for months at a time.
Overall, the worst part about being here was dealing with the staff. They have absurd ways of doing things and defend those ways, rather than actually try to make some sense. Let me enumerate:
-The ample pool is only open until 10am and then again after 4pm, so no swimming during peak hours.
-If you want to just go out and get a tan, prepare to argue with them for the right to do so.
-Breakfast buffet, while decent by mainland standards, is served in chafing trays, but the AC blows filthy air directly onto those trays.
-AC, a must for any decent hotel, is turned off during the hottest part of the day on weekdays so they can save money
-There is no heat during the winter. None. (But then again, the 'top-end' Peninsula Hotel doesn't have any, either).
-The spa has a soaking pool that is empty, and a sauna and steam room that are broken, again both because they want to save money, because that spa is actually just a happy-ending massage place, not even foot massage is available.
-There is a basketball court and a tennis court, but they will cost you 100RMB/hour to use, which explains why you will never see anyone use them, ever.
-Those "stores not yet open" are simply garage spaces with fake banners hanging over them. I've been here over 2 years and that situation has not changed. Nothing is ever going to open here.
-Dear Lord, the mosquitoes. There is a stagnant canal behind the hotel that breeds mosquitoes. Open your balcony door after 5pm and you will regret it for the rest of your stay (I once used an electric racquet and killed, no joke, THIRTY of these things in a 24 hour period in my room alone).
-They do not vacuum, ever, unless you explicitly ask them to.
-When they mop the floors, it's with filthy water that actually makes the floors dirtier.
-The hallways are cleaned even less than the rooms, so there are dead bugs and their fecal matter lying all around.
-The staff does not speak English at all.
-The attitude of the staff is very local, which is to say they get defensive about anything and have an excuse for everything.
-There is now a convenience store open within walking distance, but everything else requires a taxi.
-Rats. Which helps to summarize much of the above...
Our balcony was never cleaned unless cleaning was requested. So each day, we'd get more and more rat droppings. I got fed up and bought a sticky trap, which immediately caught a rat within 3 hours of laying it down. Called the front desk the next morning and instead of dealing with it, they told me to call the maid service directly. Called the maid service and they said they would deal with it "today". That's right: some time today. I questioned that and they said, "Maybe someone will come right away." Someone did come right away, smooshed the rat dead as it tried to flee, then I had to ASK to have the balcony cleaned of the rat poop. Well, I have a cereal bowl I use for travelling and guess what? The cleaning woman helped herself to that bowl to carry water for rinsing down the balcony. I complained and she got a mop and bucket, tracked feces and water all around the room, and the balcony is still not cleaned.
Bottom line: I can only dream that the production company had put us up at Wilson Hotel, not much more expensive, but way, way better located in the middle of the only busy part of town.
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