The Crowne Plaza Yichang definitely seemed like the nicest hotel in town. The property was all new and gleaming. We arrived early and were immediately upgraded to an available club level room. It was quiet, large and comfortable. We had a nice view of the city but not the river. The hotel is part of a large western style shopping mall complex and is right on the Yangtze River. It was about a ten-minute taxi ride into the somewhat older downtown area. Now for the bad part. Language barriers were quite severe. This hotel is clearly not accustomed to western visitors much less tourists. The concierge spoke very little English and the hotel used a third party travel agency, also with very limited English, to book our tour to the Three Gorges Dam area. Due to these language barriers, we were unable to go to the Dam site on what was probably the clear day but had to wait until the next very fog filled day. We were unable to see much of anything on the tour. To add insult to injury, our private tour guide with the help of our private driver rushed us away from the dam site in order to save time for her special gallery visit full of extremely overpriced touristy “art”. The breakfast buffet, included, and dinner buffet, extra, were acceptable but not noteworthy by any means. The staff seemed confused as to why we were there at all. I guess this hotel would be fine for business travelers with a pre-arranged agenda but tourists should probably look elsewhere.
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