I visit the Chinese Academy of Science on a regular basis, and this is where
I usually decide to stay. It is about a 1.5 km walk to the academy. Other hotels
may be closer, but I like to be comfortable and this hotel aims to be comfortable.
First of all, the hotel is about 100 m from Hongshan square subway. So getting
around to the other side of the river, or the shopping hub of Gunggu is now a
lot easier. On the otherside of Hongshan square is a carrefor, a big supermarket
department store. Up the road (Zhongnan), Zhongnan plaza is a another supermarket and zhongnan plaza which is a large chinese style shopping mall.
There are also some pizza huts (2!), KFC and mcdonalds for those not brave
enough to walk a local restaurant. Hongshan square will soon have a subway
connection to the fast train terminus so I could imagine this hotel, like others
near hongshan square will become more popular.
The area around the hotel is basically the centre of government for Hubei province.
Lots of communist type buildings, with gates, guards, large driveways and so on.
The traffic just outside the hotel is awful, but the good news is that it does not
go that fast so you can usually get across the street without too much stress.
This hotel has a number of room categories, there is the budget, standard ..
I go for the deluxe room, since this has a reasonably sized desk. The deluxe
rooms have a good shower, with a glass wall separating bath area from bedroom.
On my last visit, I decided to go for a 45 m2 room. No kitchenette, but the bathroom
was seperate. The interesting feature was the flat screen TV at the end of the bath,
and the bath is big. A deluxe room sets me about about $100 per night (booked
with agoda), the 45m2 room was about $160.
The bed, like all chinese beds is very hard. What I do is to fold up the quilt in half,
and sleep on top of that. It takes a few days, but generally the cleaning staff
then make up the bed like that automatically. AC is the room is good, one can
make it as hot or as cold as one likes.
TV. Those who have stayed in truly chinese hotels will understand the potential
for sensory deprivation here. There are some English language TV stations at
the poly hotel, including HBO. I am usually there at least a week, so being able
to watch a movie or Mad Men makes life a little bit easier.
One thing to emphasize, thise is a CHINESE hotel mainly catering to chinese
visitors. The staff try to speak English, but not always successfully. But there will
generally be one person in the lobby, usually the duty manager who has reasonable
English. But they will not get much practice. If I have something to discuss, I
will take a notebook with me to write out any words that are difficult. One of the
duty managers remembers me from previous visits. One day, I was followed
back to the hotel by a prostitute, who was even going to get in the elevator with me, and I needed the duty manager to shoo her away. Since then, she has remembered me.
Breakfast is OK, but as in most places in asia, one does not get cold fresh milk.
One get get bacon, some pastries, has browns, and fruit, so it will do. The dinner
buffet is one the expensive side (for a chinese meal), and includes soft drinks
and costs about $40 AUD which is slightly less than I would pay for an Australian
buffet. To put this in China perspective, I have taken 5 students out to dinner
elsewhere, and the bill has cost less than the hotel buffet.
I have alway requested and gotten a non-smoking floor. So no problems with
that. I have usually had Chinese hosts to help me at check-in.
The general ambience in the lobby is a bright airy clean feeling. At dinner time,
there is usually someone playing live music on the piano which usually cheers
There is a small bar fridge, which is usually packed on arrival. I usually unpack
the fridge into the storage area so I can put my own refeshements in the fridge.
Staff try to be helpful, but communication can be a problem. It took me a
few days to get them to get the mouse fixed in the in-room computer
(Old battery). A bit of patience is sometimes needed here. However,
one day it way raining, the concierge, made sure I was given a hotel
umbrella. I could not fault their willingness to try and be helpful, if
I stop in the lobby, generally someone will come up to me within 10 seconds
(provided it is not busy) to ask if they can help me.
I expect that I will stay in the Poly hotel next time I go to wuhan.
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