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Garden Hotel (Daichengqiao Road)
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Reviews (392)
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Reviewed February 8, 2011

We spent one night in Suzhou at the Garden Hotel on our 16-day, 7-city China Spree tour in October, 2010. This hotel was AMAZING, and by far the best and most memorable hotel on our tour (and we stayed in several 5-star hotels). From the moment we stepped into the lobby, the tranquility, elegance, and beauty of the setting was almost mind-boggling. The lobby was decorated in Japanese-style garden motif complete with a classic wooden footbridge and koi fish pond. The decor was both understated and elegant. The lighting was subdued and classic Oriental instrumental music can be heard in the background. You truly have to be there to experience it as words are not sufficient to describe this setting.

At first, there was a young lady playing soft music on a baby grand piano in the corner of the lobby, soon to be replaced by another beautiful young lady dressed in a traditional Chinese gown who sat down and proceeded to play a Chinese harp, with its unique sounds and intricate fingerwork. She played for several hours off and on, and many of our travelling party sat there mesmerized by her talent and beauty. Suzhou women are renowned throughout China for their beauty, and this young lady was a shining example of that. This was one of the highlights of our stay in Suzhou.

Once we checked in, we were almost equally astonished at the comfort and elegance of our guest room. Dark wood furniture and panelling along with plush bedding and a spacious bathroom made for an outstanding room accommodation. There was a glass wall between the bedroom and bathroom areas with a guest closet between them with a door on each end -- again, you will have to see this layout to appreciate it!

We only had one meal at this hotel -- breakfast. The all-you-can-eat Western-style buffet breakfast was just fine for our road-weary travelling party, and the food was ample and satisfying with all the usual selection of dishes.

The one evening we spent in Suzhou, we spent strolling a couple of blocks to the left of the hotel (as you leave the front lobby) and down to a major thoroughfare. This street had a number of interesting western-style restaurants, shops, and bars, but our time was limited and we did not have a chance to do too much lingering and exploring in this area.

On the day that we checked out, we walked right across the street to one of the entrances to the Master of Nets Gardens, a must-see on your visit to Suzhou, and a World Heritage site. Then we took a short bus ride to a large Silk Factory where they educated our group on the making of silk, all the way from the silkwork cocoon to the popular silk comforters which are on sale there. Speaking of comforters, Suzhou is the world-renown silk capital of China (and the world), and since you know the comforters are made of genuine silk, you will surely be tempted to bring one (or more) home with you. After that, we took a quick tour of Tongli, the old water town, and enjoyed a canal ride in one of the many gondolas there. Then after that a relatively short (2-hr.) bus ride to Shanghai, and you have arrived at the mega financial capital of China.

If you ever have a chance to stay at this amazing Suzhou hotel, don't miss it. I will definitely be going back !!!

  • Stayed: October 2010
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1  Thank lemmez
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 23, 2011

We stayed here for three nights in January.
The hotel is very good I would go back, but overall I wasn't bowled over by the hotel.
Certainly the rooms are five star European standard, the beds are comfortable, good bedding and very good bathrooms. Only one minor complaint, in that we were asked it we wanted fruit in the room, which we did. This was one apple and some tomatoes, which were not replenished throughout the stay.
We found the public spaces downstairs - ie bar, reception and restaurant, to be underheated, whereas upstairs in the corridors and lift lobbies and in fact the room, it was a little too hot. It was a very cold January, though, and it it must be difficult to regulate.
Breakfast was good, plenty of choice, fruit and coffee.
We had dinner on one night, and we found this to be very bad. The staff recommended the buffet, and two of us chose this, the other two ate a la carte. The buffet was poor quality and overcooked and the a la carte was it anything worse. I think it was the worst meal we had in 9 nights in China.
The staff were well trained but we felt a bit too well schooled - a bit more relaxed would have been better. The exception to this is the doormen who were much more genuine.
The hotel seems very image-conscious with the doormen dressed in trilbies and sharp suits and the restaurant meeters and greeters in evening dresses and fur stoles. I think they could ease off a bit and make a more genuinely welcoming experience.
I have only stayed in three hotels in China - one of which is the stunning Suites Orient in Shanghai and the other just an airport hotel - so I have no real yardstick for judging this. On balance, I would say, though, that it is good value for money in European terms, the service may not be to my personal taste but may please others, but the restaurant needs some serious attention.

  • Stayed: January 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank Anne B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 9, 2010

I only stayed here for one night in November 2010, but could've used one or two more nights at this lovely property.

The hotel looks nondescript from the outside, but once you walk through the drive and inside, you'll see that it's meticulously kept and serene. The lobby is dark and decorated with a touch of modern Asian flair. The front staff and concierge are very helpful and speak English well. Exchanging money was not a hassle (in fact, exchanging money at the front desk of hotels was easy and pain free AND they don't charge a commission! When I went the exchange rate was $1USD = 6.5RMB).

The hotel is sprawling with only 2 (or maybe 3 floors). My room was on the first floor in the 600s wing, which is a 1-2 minute walk from the lobby. The room wasn't as big as the other rooms I stayed in during this trip, but it was definitely cramped or too small. It was modern and clean with the usual amenities (toothbrush, toothpaste, lotion, shampoo & conditioner, soap, and two complimentary bottles of water per room per day) and the bed was not as firm as the other hotels beds. In addition to the complimentary water bottles, the hotel provides a bowl of fresh fruit (mainly apples and oranges), which I didn't eat because I didn't know how long it was in the room (but it's a welcomed gesture).

If I will definitely stay at this property if I go back to Suzhou and recommend it to family and friends.

  • Stayed: November 2010
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1  Thank i-gots-wanderlust
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 4, 2010

This is a 5 star hotel and everything is up to expectation. It is location within the boundaries of the old city and is well located for tourists. Service is good and the guest service speaks English. Business centre can help buy train tickets for a service fee of RMB15 per ticket. Walk out of the hotel and and you have 2 streets full of shops and retaurants. Had a very good rate on Ctrip for a standard room whch included breakfast for 2. Room was right next to the main street so it gets noisy if you are in the room from like 9am to 5pm. Otherwise, minimum traffic noise in the night. You can't go wrong with this hotel!

  • Stayed: November 2010, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Friendship88
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 9, 2010

The Garden Hotel is right across the street from the little lane which leads to the ancient "Master of the Fisher Nets" classical Chinese garden. It is essential to view this garden on a trip to Suzhou, and this makes it very convenient to go early in the morning or late in the afternoon to get the best photos.
The lobby and rooms are immaculate, and visually attractive. Even the breakfast buffet was very good. The staff was friendly, and even arranged a very good interpreter we hired one day to speak to a local artist.

  • Stayed: November 2010, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Teri0
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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