My family (wife and two young children) and I ecently spent 4 nights at the BuddhaZen hotel. There is a lot to like about this property, but there are also several, shall we say, "disadvantages" of which you should be aware.
First, its location is both a plus and a minus. The hotel sits in what's known as a "folk community" full of traditional Qing dynasty architecture. This "community" is comprised of several blocks and each entry point is bounded by a gate, which at first glance all look the same.
We loved the area of town, but finding the hotel was a challenge--even for experienced cab drivers. The pre-printed directions provided by the front desk offered little help. We were typically dropped off at one of the entry gates and left to find our own way home. NOTE: It is impossible to be dropped off at the entrance of this hotel, as it sits in the heart of the folk community. You have no option but to walk a few blocks.
The building is showing considerable wear, but that seemed typical for the area. We rented a two-room suite (room 202) that overlooked the front of the hotel and adjacent shops. We appreciated the two balconies but wish there would have been additional bedding. The king-size bed meant our two children slept on couch and chair cushions on the floor. We were told that rooms with two beds were rare and that Chinese travelers typically have but one child--hence the lack of additional bedding. We thought that a bit funny, since other hotels we stayed at had two double beds.
The Continental breakfast (included with our room) was basic but offered both Western and Chinese necessities--toast with butter and jam, cold cereal, dumplings and sticky buns, coffee & juice, and fresh-cooked eggs upon request. Unfortunately, I managed to find a hair or two every morning on either the food or the plates.
There are many restaurants in the area. Just around the corner from the hotel (two Lefts out of the main entrance) is Cuisine Street, which is lined with Chinese eateries (if you dare). We tried several places, but our favorite neighborhood restaurant wound up being the one in the hotel. We only ate there one night, but the food was very good. I had steered clear of it because of the breakfast hair, but wish we'd eaten there more often.
The staff is friendly and accommodating, though not all speak English. One morning I went to ask a question but was told the "English speaker" didn't arrive until 8am.
There is a spa on-property which was very good and reasonably priced.
The internet access was spotty at best and we were often disconnected without warning.
Our room had all the expected amenities, though the lighting throughout the property is quite dim. As is expected in China, the beds are rock hard.
Also noteworthy is that the hotel is a good 40 minutes from the airport (minimum).
On the whole, we liked this hotel. Yes, finding it was a challenge...each and every time...but it provided more of a cultural experience than a more modern high-rise hotel would have done.
Would we stay here again? Probably. Would we recommend it? Yes, with caveats.
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- Also Known As:
- Buddhazen Hotel Chengdu