on my fourth business trip to china (second that included the sichuan province), the government agency hosting our higher education group went out of their way to make us feel like honored guests. no doubt, putting us up at the himalaya was intended to be a "four star" experience. but like so many "four star" hotels in urban china, things are a bit ragged around the edges. starting with the what i am now convinced is the standard nationwide, get used to the hard beds and the interesting toilet paper rolls that have more roll and less paper and are never accompanied by a back up. if you need an iron, there may be one but it'll be for the whole hotel. there was a tv with cable but, there's only one english channel on CCTV (channel 9) and the promised english language "china daily" was never available. staff at the himalaya were friendly but only one front desk person per shift appeared to be able to speak english and not much beyond hello, goodbye and a few travel related phrases. i only had the breakfast buffet there and the "western" items were very limited (fried eggs and toast) with coffee limited to the everpresent small instant packets of presweetened nescafe. if you are a big fan of airconditioning, china may not be the country for you.
i don't know what the daily room charge was but i assume it's about $50-$70 per night including breakfast. the good and bad news is that this hotel is about as good as a non-u.s./international chain three to four star hotel gets in urban china. but, how much time will you actually spend in the room?
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