I don’t know where to start with this hotel, so I will just say what comes to my mind first:
We took the airport bus, #702 to Qingdao station (about 40 minutes and 20rmb each). Upon arriving at the station, where the driver of the bus decides that the middle of the road would be a suitable place to stop the bus and let all passengers claim luggage in the adjacent. I knew what the hotel looked like from Google Earth and this site, but I was unprepared for it to say Victoria Plaza/ Victoria Hotel both inside and out. We weren’t sure if that was the former name of the hotel or if they were in the process of changing it (and no one else was either).
Levels of spoken English among the staff vary, but you can count on them to be very low in comparison to other international chains in the city. It’s recommended to get them to write your destination on the card in Chinese and show that to the cab driver, depending on your level of Chinese. The staff at the front desk were pretty helpful, but otherwise nonexistent anywhere else in the hotel.
The hotel itself is impressive and a fair value. It is a 28-floor open atrium and every room gets it’s own balcony. The views from both were highly impressive in my opinion. Our room had a small kitchen and was quite large. The design is pretty modern, but it looks like the staff doesn’t put much effort into cleaning or maintaining the otherwise rather tasteful design of the place.
The breakfast is another review of it’s own. Love Chinese food? Rejoice. The buffet is vast and impressive. For the westerner, you will find yourself passing on most of the offerings, but there is some fruit and bread, along with some coffee too. I was excited to see three types of cereal, but there were no bowls or spoons to be found. I guess it was just there to tease us. Our first morning saw us sharing the breakfast area with someone’s wedding, which was perhaps the oddest meal I have ever had. We were unsure of where to sit, and staff didn’t seem to know much more than we did. The next morning felt much more organized.
Weirdness aside, we still loved it here and it’s a pretty good value for someone who isn’t overly pedantic or dependant on hotel staff to assist you in numerous ways. If so, there are other options in the city which seem to be much better suited. But for a semi-independent traveler who can at least memorize a few lines from a phrasebook and plan ahead a little, this hotel is a perfectly fine choice for your stay in Qingdao.
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