46HOWTEL is wornout "design hotel" with hardware and software issues.
The first issue is the poor upkeep. While it must have look pretty swish 6 to 8 years ago, not anymore. The carpets in the hallways are filthy and faded, needing a good scrub if not tossed altogether. Their eponymous sculpture in the garden is rusting at the edges. The walls in my room needed a new lick of paint to cover all the scuff marks. Their Starck(ish) chairs in the room and cafe need reupholstering.
The second issue is with the details. The air conditioner / heater in my room was cranky, To get some air circulation, I tried the cold function. Well, that didn't work because (according to the staff) it was a centralised system whereby either everyone used the heating or the cooling function. Fine. So I tried the heating function, set it to 22C, and the temperature rose past 30C. I gave up and turned in off, settling for whatever temperature Nature decided. Then the shower decided to act likewise - either it was too hot or too cold, but nothing in between...Great. Advice: forget showering, just run a bath (except, note the next issue).
To top things off, the management clearly wound up about controlling costs. There was no tissue box in the room, so you either used the towels or the toilet paper. The toilet roll was half used, which is fine since I'm all for cutting waste but just seemed at odds with the image they were trying to project. Then, after I ran a bath, I was out of shower gel and thought to ask the hotel for some but discovered in the welcome folder that they charge for extra piece of toiletry asked for. C'mon. Seriously? Don't get too excited about the included breakfast either - it's basically a bacon lettuce and egg sandwich with soymilk.
I think the fundamental problem is that it was conceptualised with style but not followed through in terms of running it professionally. Perhaps it is to be expected in a small place like Gulangyu. I'm aware that accommodation prices are generally high on the island and I'm not sure if the other options in the same price bracket are any better/worse, but I'd definitely look hard or pay a bit more next time.
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