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“Good hotel but little things annoy”

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Sofitel Chengdu Taihe
Ranked #18 of 2,747 Hotels in Chengdu
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed June 14, 2014

This hotel is very nice. The staff that I encountered were all very nice and competent. The lobby is beautiful and well kept. The room I had was really a suite and it was also very nice, for the most part. By most US hotel standards, this is a very nice hotel. So why am I saying little things annoy? Well, when I compare it to the nice hotels in China and Asia in general, like Shangri-La chain, it's just not quite there. What are the little things that annoy?
1. The plug next to the desk. It's nice to have the plug right there, but the frame around the outlet prevents my adapter from plugging in all the way, making me move the desk a bit to get to the plug at the wall.
2. I drink decaf coffee and it's sometimes hard to find decaf in China. I bring Starbucks VIA instant coffee with me. There was no creamer or sugar in the room, unlike what I always find at Shangri-La.
3. The shower drain did not drain well, so the water overflows into the bathroom floor making a mini-flood zone that takes hours to dry up
4. There isn't any drawers to unpack my cloth to, despite a suite with a couch, a work area, and a large bathroom. There were no cabinets that I always find in hotels
5. The bath robes were less quality than I normally find in Asian 5 star hotels
6. There were no places to hang a wet face towel
7. At the buffet dinner, there were lots of items, but many are "just not quite right". It looks like they are trying but just couldn't quite get there
8. If you are coming from the Renming Nan Road, you have to cut through 4 lanes of traffic in about 200 feet to make the left turn into the hotel. Pretty much impossible except for late night. So you have to go down the street before making a u-turn. I know this isn't something the hotel can control, but still annoying.
9. The hot water heater in the room is the standard type you find in most Chinese hotels, but the cord is so short and there isn't a table surface you can use except at the desk that has a plug within in the distance of the hot water heater. I had to put it on the floor.
10. There isn't anywhere within easy (5 min or 10 min) walking distance to get food.
11. When I ordered room service breakfast at 6:30, asking for a 7:00 deliver (because I wanted to take a shower and wanted plenty of time before they delivered it), I was told it would be ready in 20 minutes and it was going to get cold if it was delivered at 7:00. I told them to start the prep 10 minutes later then. She sounded a bit annoyed and said she will have to ask the kitchen!! Well, I did get it at 7:00 exactly and it was still warm, but not "hot". Not sure if they actually started it later and it just got a bit less hot during the delivery process or they actually started early and let it sit there. Regardless, I found the order taker's response very odd and not customer centric.

I know some of these items are nit-picky, but I do wonder if anyone from the hotel has stayed in one of the rooms and view it as a guest. It's these little things that differentiate the hotel. Nothing is seriously wrong. Vast majority of the hotel is very nice. The staff is competent but just not quite to the standards of Shangri-La (but then again, I have not found a hotel in China that has the level of service that Shangri-La has (multiple locations).

  • Stayed: June 2014, traveled on business
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1  Thank viperflt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tina X, General Manager at Sofitel Chengdu Taihe, responded to this reviewResponded June 30, 2014

Dear Viperflt,

Thanks very much for your detailed comment and we appreciate all your suggestions and recognition.

At Sofitel, we strive to provide a superior service experience for every customer; therefore your feedback is very important to us.

For things you pointed out like the Hot Water Heater, you will be surprised to find out next time in our hotel that we did make some changes and bring more inconvenience to our guests!

We are looking forward to your next stay and thanks again for all your efforts in making us a better hotel!

Regards,

Hanson Xu

General Manager

Sofitel Chengdu

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Reviewed June 2, 2014

We decided to stay at this hotel, despite some of the rather negative and picky reviews we had read. The first person we met from the hotel was the effusive and very helpful concierge manager, Ricky. I have to say he went above and beyond his duty by going back to the airport with me as I had left my notepad behind and he would not accept defeat and eventually we got it back. He refused to accept a tip and was delighted that we had chosen his hotel as a base to see the pandas at chengdu and bifengxia. When we got back to the hotel we were upgraded to the executive suites on level 20. The rooms were large roomy clean and excellent value. The only complaint i can think of is the chinese delight in using their horns when driving (and thats an experience in itself :) ) even in the middle of the night! . We only had breakfast in the hotel, it was quite an experience with quite a large choice of food given the few people who seemed to use it. The staff were very friendly and unfailing in their desire to help you. When we wanted a taxi, we used the concierge service and they never had a problem stopping one for us.
The hotel is within 15 minutes walk of the city centre and 10 minutes from the peoples park. Both are quite an eye opener in their own way but I wont tell you why, its more interesting to find out yourself.

My wife did the panda photo experience at the panda base in chengdu and it was very expensive, it cost £200 but it was a birthday present and a life long ambition. We also went to the panda research institute at Bifengxia. The cost to be a volunteer there was only £10 and it was a very different experience, Instead of 10 minutes that we got at chengdu, my wife got about four hours, she cleaned out panda cages, prepared the bamboo by whacking it on the floor, weighed and cut up the apple, carrot and panda cake (yep, but it tastes disgusting!!!!) and then she fed the pandas by hand. Such gentle creatures, it was beautiful to see.

We saw literally hundreds of pandas during the week and my wife absolutely loved it so if you are a fellow panda lover then come to chengdu, you'll be delighted.

Fantastic hotel, we would happily recommend it to anyone.

Room Tip: The higher level rooms are definetly quieter.
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  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled as a couple
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Thank tony t
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tina X, Manager at Sofitel Chengdu Taihe, responded to this reviewResponded June 3, 2014

Bonjour Tony,

Thanks very much for your comment on Tripadvisor! We are delighted to read your comment that you have enjoyed a five star experience all the way. This is what we strive for at Sofitel and your compliments are very motivating.

We have shared your review with our Chief Concierge Ricky and the staff like him are all our valued assets.

We are looking forward to your next stay and don't let your Panda friends wait too long!

Tina Xing

Asst. Guest Experience Manager

Sofitel Chengdu

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Reviewed June 2, 2014

I was very excited to stay at this hotel (since we had thoroughly enjoyed our stay at the Sofitel Xian on Renmin Square) but was very disappointed and would not stay at this hotel again. The issues I noted were in themselves only minor but there were so many of them I began to think the main thing this hotel needs is a change in management. We had booked a twin room (father and daughter travelling together) but were given a king room .... OK these things happen and they fixed it by putting a single foldaway bed in the room (foldaway bed was uncomfortable but it was late at night and I can pretty much sleep anywhere so I didn't complain). Bigger problem was the bad bathroom design ... no door and and no privacy for the shower....one person had to basically leave the room while the other had a shower. Also no towel rails in the bathroom and yet it was a huge bathroom. Also no box of tissues in the bathroom...just a few tissues stuffed into the box to make it look like there were some there. No soap in most of the dispensers in the public washrooms. Vases on the tables in the bar had wilted flowers in slimey water ... would have been better with no vase at all. Breakfast in the restaurant was very basic with little variety, totally incorrect labels on many of the dishes, cold fried eggs (and other items that should have been hot), stale bread rolls, and really bad service. our first room was supposed to be non-smoking but there was an ashtray and box on matches on the coffee table. Our itinerary included a return night at this hotel after visiting a nearby city and we asked them to be sure we had a twin room and door on the bathroom for our return stay (they didn't understand the bathroom issue)...we were given a twin room on a non-smoking floor but the room reeked of cigarette smoke. We had supposedly booked 5 star accommodation for our trip... there is no way this hotel would reach even 4 star status in my opinion.

Room Tip: Choose another hotel. Non-smoking rooms may still reek of cigarette smoke.
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  • Stayed: May 2014, traveled with friends
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Thank Kate T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tina X, Manager at Sofitel Chengdu Taihe, responded to this reviewResponded June 3, 2014

Bonjour Kate,

Please accept our sincerest apologies for not meeting your expectations. We would like to thank you for your detailed comments through which we can see our mistakes and improve in the future.

Some of the areas you pointed out are by no means acceptable in a five star hotel. Please rest assured that we are taking immediate actions to prevent future occurrence.

I do hope that we will get the opportunity to welcome you back and better serve you in future.

Tina Xing

Asst. Guest Experience Manager

Sofitel Chengdu

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Reviewed May 27, 2014

We were only there one night but felt like royalty. Upgraded to a suite as they had no non smoking rooms available. Service was offered not asked for. The service was excellent.
The lounge area was quiet and a lovely decor.

Room Tip: Suites are amazing. Not overpriced at all.
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  • Stayed: May 2014, traveled as a couple
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Thank Janice M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tina X, Manager at Sofitel Chengdu Taihe, responded to this reviewResponded June 3, 2014

Bonjour Janice,

Thanks for your comment and we are always delighted to see positive comments.

We are glad that you are both satisfied with our room as well as our service, which is what we always strive for.

Come visit Chengdu and our hotel next time!

Tina Xing

Asst. Guest Experience Manager

Sofitel Chengdu

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Reviewed May 10, 2014 via mobile

Booked for 3 nights for a business trip.

Hotel is located within a short distance from the town center and approximately 30mins from the airport.

Nice lobby deco and check-in was smooth. Staff at the front desk was very polite.

Room was modern, spacious and clean. There is even a corner in the room with an urn deco.

Reliable and free wifi throughout the hotel. There is a good spread of choices for breakfast from Western to Chinese.

Concierge staff was very helpful to wave down taxis for you despite the busy hours in the morning.

The two let downs were from the changing room of the pool and from the breakfast restaurant service.

The pool changing room - it was literally filthy. The floor of the changing room was falling apart. The two staff had their own washing in plastic basins on the floor. The shower area was dirty with black stains on the floor. I had to think twice before walking into it to take a shower which turned out to be a huge mistake. As soon as I walked into the shower, there was a shocking smell! I believe it was from the shower sewage.

The breakfast service - at check-in the staff noticed that my colleague and I did not book for breakfast and offered us breakfast at discounted rate if we were to order it at the front desk (original at RMB 140pp and now at RMB 110pp). We happily took up the offer for all three days to save our hassle to look for breakfast elsewhere. First day was uneventful. On the second day, a staff walked up to us and asked us to sign the bill for breakfast. When I checked the bill, I noticed we were charged at a higher rate (at RMB 125 pp). I enquired about the rate difference and was told that since we did not include breakfast in our original plan and because we were staying at the hotel, they could offered us breakfast at this new rate. I told the lady our whole breakfast story at check-in but she insisted that I have to pay at a higher rate. I asked the lady to check with the front desk and she tutted at us and gave us an annoying look. Eventually after another negotiation, she decided to call a manager from the front desk to the restaurant. After we re-told our story, the manager went to check at the front desk and came back to apologize to us that there were some mis-communication between the front desk and restaurant staff. We were finally charged at the rate explained to us at check-in. On our third morning at breakfast, the same staff walked up to us again and asked the same the question!!!! I just had to tell her that I have already ordered breakfast since day one then she left us in peace. We were very disappointed as this made us feel we were trying to cheat the hotel for only a small amount of money. If only the communication was better, this could have been avoided.

Stayed: May 2014, traveled on business
Thank Thomas L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tina X, Manager at Sofitel Chengdu Taihe, responded to this reviewResponded May 20, 2014

Dear Mr. Thomas,

Thanks very much for taking time giving us very detailed comment! Please accept our apologies that you experienced such inconvenience at our breakfast cafe.

Proper communication within a department and between departments is vital for providing good services. We surely didn't meet our standards. Please rest assured that we are taking immediate actions and training to prevent future occurrence.

We really appreciate you giving us another opportunity to serve you better in the future and thank you for your trust.

Best Regards,

Tina Xing

Asst. Quality Manager

Sofitel Chengdu

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Reviewed May 9, 2014

When we booked this hotel we needed interconnecting rooms, well, we must of been upgraded because we had a suite, and across the hall another large room, and because it was at the end of the hall there was a door on the hallway that could be locked so we had a HUGE space - we wished we could of stayed for a few days!. We had dinner at the buffet and for a 5star we found it very reasonable price and the food was very fresh. It had meat and fish cooked to order, and noodle soup cooked to order etc , also cans of softdrink in an iced bucket to help yourself. It was a lovely dining room also. The breakfast was great too - you could just tell with the buffet they weren't trying to cut corners. Oh ... and the toilet seat was heated !! ;) kids loved it.

Room Tip: Get the Jarque Chirac suite ;) if you want a heated toilet seat
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  • Stayed: April 2014, traveled with family
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1  Thank Kerry553
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tina X, Manager at Sofitel Chengdu Taihe, responded to this reviewResponded May 20, 2014

Dear Kerry,

Very glad to hear that you love our buffet and room facilities. I will share your comments with our team. I am sure that this feedback will serve as an encouragement to all of our staff as we strive to continuously improve the quality of our services.

In the coming months. I hope that we have the opportunity to welcome you back soon.

Best Regards,

Tina

Asst. Quality Manager
Sofitel Chengdu

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Reviewed May 6, 2014

When we first arrived for our 3 day stay, we noticed that the club floor was very stuffy. This experience continued in the rooms especially at night when the aircon was switched off. Blow me, the aircon was not switched on in the restaurant the next morning at breakfast.

We complained to the front office managers who smiled politely but did nothing about it as the same uncomfortable climate was experienced the following night.

On a positive note, the restaurant staff are polite and helpful and breakfasts excellent. The concierge were also very helpful.

When we checked out, one of my bags had a strap ripped. The same front office manager took a photo, appeared attentive and said he would get back to me. I have not heard anything despite two follow up emails.

Sadly, the management of this hotel has forgotten the maxim that if you are looking to scrimp and save on costs, you do not do so as to compromise guest comfort. I would not wish to sleep in this hotel during the summer.

Room Tip: Bring a fan with you
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  • Stayed: April 2014, traveled with friends
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Thank ColonelEast
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sofitel Chengdu Taihe

Address: No.15 Binjiang Middle Road, Chengdu 610016, China (Formerly 索菲特万达大饭店)
Phone Number:
Location: China > Sichuan > Chengdu
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#5 Romantic Hotel in Chengdu
#13 Business Hotel in Chengdu
#16 Luxury Hotel in Chengdu
#23 Best Value Hotel in Chengdu
Price Range: $70 - $114 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Sofitel Chengdu Taihe 5*
Number of rooms: 262
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Sofitel Chengdu Taihe luxury hotel is ideally located in the centre of the city on the picturesque Jinjiang River. The hotel is a 20-minute drive from Chengdu International Airport and 15-minute walk to Tianfu Square and the citys commercial centres.The 162 Luxury Rooms and 100 Suites accommodate guests in French elegance with a subtle Chinese touch. Every detail has been attended to for an extraordinary experience from the indulgent Sofitel MyBed to fragrance lighting entertainment and technology.Three inviting restaurants delight with Chinese Japanese and Western flavours while 3 bars offer a choice of fine drinks to savour. Leisure facilities include the spa fitness centre indoor swimming pool Jacuzzi and sauna for male guests,. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sofitel Wanda Chengdu Hotel Chengdu
Accor Wanda Chengdu
Sofitel Chengdu
Chengdu Sofitel

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