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“My Home Away from Home”

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The Loft Design Hostel
Ranked #2 of 563 Chengdu B&B and Inns
Reviewed November 11, 2013

I stayed at The Loft Hostel for two weeks in October, 2013 and I loved it! I had never been to a hostel before so I booked a single room with a king size bed and a private bathroom. The staff at The Loft are its biggest asset. They're all in their 20s and are friendly, helpful, efficient, generous, hard working, and they speak English! The decor of The Loft is really stylish and eclectic too. It's a converted warehouse of painted brick, rough floors, and high ceilings. There are many nooks, crannies, and a TV/DVD nook with comfy cushions to chat with the interesting, friendly, adventurous people you'll run into there. There's also a pool table in the back patio/garden area. I felt hip even though I'm middle-aged! The location was central and within a 10 minutes walk to Kuanzhai Alley, People's Park, the subway, buses, and taxis (very cheap and handy). If you don't mind walking about 15 minutes, you can walk to McDonalds and Starbucks. Also, for you animal lovers like me, there's a sweet, shy cat who lives at The Loft.

Here are some important things to know though so you have accurate expectations.

1. There is no elevator so if you're room is on the 4th floor like mine was, or if you want to sit on the roof on the 5th floor, prepare for some exercise. This is not a shortcoming for the hotel though, it's a cultural thing. Most buildings in China with less than 8 floors, don't have or legally require an elevator.

2. You can buy a token at the front desk to use one of their 3 washing machines to wash your clothes but be aware that the one tiny clothes dryer doesn't work well at all. Almost everyone dries their clothes by hanging them from provided hangers on clotheslines on the 5th floor roof. However, Chengdu is often damp and rainy city so it may take 3 days for your clothes to dry. Also, they didn't have a iron at the hotel but I bought one for hotel use so hopefully it's still working when you visit. There are no laundromats around, only dry cleaners.

3. There is air conditioning and heating in the rooms but I never could figure out how to operate the complicated remote control with everything on the buttons printed in Chinese. Ask the front desk for lessons on how to use it in advance!

4. The restaurant in the hotel has wonderful desserts made by Gio, a lovely young woman who I became friends with. However, if you're an early bird you're out of luck. They don't open until 9 am and the night time hotel employee doesn't even have a key to the soda fridge so you can't buy an early morning soda. Don't worry though, about 2 blocks away there is a wonderful French bakery, Rosa Cake, with the best bread and pastries I've every had and you can sit on their narrow front porch and people watch while you eat. Also, when you want an easy dinner, ask the front desk to alert you when the noodle man comes by on his bike around 5-5:30 pm. I'm a picky eater but I LOVED his cold noodles so much I ate them 6 times in my two weeks there and each time it only cost me the equivalent of 50 cents US. By the way, you get a 10% discount at the restaurant. They don't have Diet Coke but you'll be walking off your calories. Also, they don't allow outside food to be brought into the restaurant which was frustrating when I wanted to eat my cold noodles in there. Even if you buy the rest of your meal from them, you can't bring in your cold noodles. I'm hoping they fix this before I return next time.

5. If you're staying in a room without a private bath, the shared bathrooms aren't always as clean and fresh smelling as they could be. Lesson, get a room with a private bath! However, my private bath was a bathtub with a shower curtain only on one side so water got everywhere. I guess that didn't matter much though because the tub water actually drains onto the bathroom floor and then goes down a drain in the floor. Also, if you're new to China, be aware that toilet paper seems to be a valued commodity and is carefully doled out in small quantities. Save yourself the worry of asking for extra tiny toilet paper rolls at the front desk by just walking down the street to the convenience store and buying several bigger rolls. Same goes for soap and shampoo. They sell tiny packets at the front desk but it's easier to buy some at the convenience store.

6. There are area maps in English at the front desk but you need to ask for one, The staff is happy to write the name of where you're headed in Chinese for to you give a taxi driver. Most drivers don't speak any English and couldn't understand my poorly accented attempts at speaking Chinese.

7. If you are from a country like the US and need to use your hotel booking receipt to apply for a tourist visa to China, the online booking receipt from The Loft is not detailed enough for most Chinese consulates. I had to book at another hotel, submit their receipt, then cancel the reservation, and stay at The Loft.

8. There is wifi in the lobby of The Loft but it's not up 100% of the time. If you'll be in China more than a few days, I suggest buying a cheap smart phone and prepaying for voice and data so you can stay connected to the English tools you'll need such as Google Translate and Google Maps. Also, the wifi signal doesn't reach the 3rd, 4th, or 5th floors but my room had an ethernet plug and the front desk let me borrow a cable (and power outlet strip) so I could have access there. I installed virtualrouter.com software on my laptop to create a wifi hotspot in my room to use my cell phone with.

Overall, I loved The Loft and will stay there again. Take the time to get to know the hotel and restaurant employees. They will make you feel right at home!

Room Tip: To avoid some of the street noise, ask for a room on the 4th floor before you arrive. If you like so...
  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled solo
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3  Thank AnnetteThompson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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30 - 36 of 192 reviews

Reviewed November 10, 2013

Nice trendy hostel, the dorm rooms were a good size and very clean, they provided lockers within the dorm room. The location is great just a street away from the busy tourist Kuanzhai alley street. The staff were very helpful with tour advice and advice on what to do in the city. Nice little cafe downstairs that serves a good breakfast. The hostel also provided a VPN Internet connection which was great, although it only worked downstairs in the common areas.

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled solo
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Thank Roxy W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 16, 2013

stayed in he loft designed hostel which is YHA (my first in a good few years) that was a printing house in the 80s. This place has not quite decided what it wants to be. It has the coolest cafe (with excellent breakfast but the worst salad - essentially a pile of lettuce leaves served with 1000 island dressing - huh?), but the rooms are wanna-be lofts. Nice colored bricks but penny-worth curtains and wifi signal so weak on the floors that I am not sure why they can't just buy more routers for the price it costs in china. Still a very pleasant place to stay in assuming you accept it's character. And someone must have got it wrong in the design of the shower...isn't the curtain suppose to keep the water within the shower?
More of my recommendations in my blog: http://chinainmyhands2013.blogspot.com/

Stayed: September 2013, traveled solo
1  Thank ggbazza
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 14, 2013

Right next to Kuanzhai Alley it was a great location for us since we had only one night and a little more than half a day in Chengdu as a layover to Jiuzhaigou. Very modern for a hostel and an amazing common room downstairs. The ensuite rooms had plenty of space and the wetroom was fine. there was a slightly raised area in the shower that kept the water in the shower part and there was a curtain. Plenty of hot water. Blow dryer in the room. Bed was not too firm. Funniest part was the complementary condoms on the night stand! A/C worked well. We walked around the corner to Kuanzhai Alley - about 3 blocks of "old town" Chengdu with some good shopping and restaraunts. We had quite a bit of luggage between my daughter and friend and I that we checked out of my friends room the next day and just left her luggage in our room and paid a small charge since we did not get back from seeing the city until about 4PM which was about 4 hours after checkout time. I'll stay here again when I'm in Chengdu.

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank 7barb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 9, 2013

The rooms are large and the bed is comfy and clean. However, the rooms vaguely look like the professional photos they are very misleading. There was exposed wires wrapped up with insulation tape, a noisy air-con unit, the floor was dusty, the TV didn't work and the original radiator hadn't been cleanded in years.The bathroom is pretty dull, it needs a revamp but is reasonably clean. The rooms is a cross between a students bedroom and a squatters den. We stayed on the 3rd floor where there was supposed to be wifi but an iPad and iPhone didn't pick up the signal so we had no wifi in the room even though we was supposed to. We asked the reception staff to why this was and thy said they will look not it but it never got fixed and we was never given a reason why.

There is a cafe downstairs which was nice at first - good food and service. However, upon our second visit we was serviced by a girl called cindy. My girlfriend asked for an omelette with just cheese and bacon with no ingredients (onions etc) but was told that this wasn't possible as it would impair the taste, although, that is how she likes it so it wouldn't impair the taste for her. She ended up ordering scrambled egg and I ordered an omelette with 2 sprites. The scrabbled egg came and it was awful. My omelette never came after another 20 minutes of waiting and we had to order it again along with the sprites which we didn't receive. It took 45 minutes for for me to eventually get my omelette and the 2 cans of sprite. The omelette was again terrible. It also didn't have any cheese inside which was an ingredient on the menu (obviously the missing ingredient must have impaired the taste).

The reception staff are very helpful. Probably would stay here again for a night or two just for the cheap price. The hotel is within a 10-15 minute walk to the metro station with some nice local restaurants.

Room Tip: High floor piece and quiet or a low floor if you want wifi
  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Day48
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 25, 2013

I spent 10 days in The Loft and loved it. The place is really cool and comfortable, staff is very helpfull, bathrooms are very good. Location is very good too and theres a great place for masagges in the same street as well as good coffee shops and restaurants. Highly recommended!

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled solo
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1  Thank Angeles B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 11, 2013

We stayed here for two nights in May and had a wonderful time. The hostel has a really friendly and relaxed atmosphere and everything about it is to a very high standard- it was our favourite hostel in China by far.

We had a double private en suite room which was very clean, spacious and nicely decorated. The wifi in the communal area works well. You should also be able to use the wifi on each floor, however we had some difficulties connecting in our room on the third floor. Luckily this wasn't a problem as the communal area is a really nice and a very comfortable place to be so we were happy to sit and relax and use the wifi downstairs. There are various 'cubbies' with sofas/beanbags, TVs and DVDs for you to cosy into and relax. We didn't interact with many other travellers but everyone seemed very friendly.

The hostel is in a convenient location with a metro line within walking distance and many bus routes serving the area. The area is surrounded by many cute/chic cafes and bars and has a really nice vibe to it.

One of the best things about this hostel was the staff- incredibly friendly and very helpful. We ended up changing our itinerary while we were there and they were particularly helpful in this regard- letting us change our reservation and allowing us to use the phone to change our flights. They recommended a great restaurant for us to go to locally, helped us chose dishes we liked in advance and wrote these down in chinese for us to hand to the waitress when we arrived as there was no English/picture menu! They have typed strips of paper at reception which you can take to hand to taxi drivers which have the Chinese for where you want to go to which comes in very handy. We were also able to have a proper conversation with the staff, who had a great sense of humour!

We booked a trip to the Panda Breeding Centre through the hostel as we worked out this cost about the same as going independently with a taxi driver. We have no complaints about the trip and were glad we booked in this way.

To the staff at Loft Hostel- thank you- to everyone else- you must stay at this hostel!!

  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Rosie W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Loft Design Hostel

Address: No.4 Xiaotong Alley, Zhongtongren Road, Qingyang District, Chengdu 610031, China
Location: China > Sichuan > Chengdu
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 563 B&Bs / Inns in Chengdu
Price Range: $32 - $37 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:1 star — The Loft Design Hostel 1*
Number of rooms: 28
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Welcome to the Loft Hostel, a fun and comfortable place to stay. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Loft Design Hotel Chengdu

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