As the first big hotel in Guangzhou it has certainly had it's day but is a quaint 3 star best. To get to it ask the taxi driver to take you to 'Gwarnjo Pingwa'. Taxi drivers neither speak nor read English and for some reason even have trouble reading the Chinese version of this name. Mention it as phonetically and it's like watching a secret code get cracked. Go figure. Theynhave been undertaking room upgrading for some time and I would suggest that you refuse any room under floor 13. Pay the extra for a Superior Business Room or above. The are works near the river presently so if you want the view of the Pearl River which is wonderful at night I recommend a good set of silicone earplugs as the building works start early and finish late.
The reno'd rooms are clean if not basic. There is now a safe in the room and a fridge if you are lucky enough to score one that is cold. Water pressure in the shower is excellent but the nozzle must have been bought from a Chinese 2 yuan shop as mine squirted only horizontally.
I had a king? Bed and yes it is strangely firm but surprisingly comfy.
The restaurants in the building are very local for both breakfast and dinner. Across from the seven eleven a few doors up is a famous Chinese seafood restaurant. Food he is exquisite and I eat there whenever I stay here. Food choices are in English and Chinese with good coloured pictures and a full range from basic sweet and sour to the more exotic. Perfect for fussy eaters who won't hold back the adventurous.
At the boutique shopping centre across the street above the Metro is a McDonalds (McCafe) with free wifi-(ask for the password) and a Cafe de Coral both of which ar entirely in Chinese so you
just point at what you want. There is very little English bordering on none spoken in this area.
The Day Spa is a hoot and a must visit. Very very cheap. Level 4 is for foot massages that comes with a clothed massage for not much. Here they will try to upsell you into a pedicure which you probably need anyway by then and also ear cleaning and candling. Go for it as it's all cheap and a real experience. I was with a couple of other girls and the whole thing had us rolling in hysterics. Cold drinks are complimentary and it is customary to tip around 20 rmb.
Level 5 is a whole other world and frequented by males predominantly but if you are happy to do the girl nudie shower area thing with your girlfriends, be given pink short pj's to wear and go hang out on big comfy chairs in a large communal lounge area while waiting for your massage then you can't beat the value for the experience. While there you can surf the net, watch tv, cold drinks free, alcohol charged, manicures, pedicures etc., all on offer while there and no restrictions
on time spent there.
Local shopping areas are shoes wholesale past seven eleven on other side of street and keep going to a solid ten minute walk to Beijing Lu which is a large more commercialized shopping area. On every corner they will try to get you to wander off with them to the usual copy watch haunts and this can get tedious. If you come out of the hotel and hug to the left you will see huge malls of fashion accessories with more diamantes than you ever need to see in a lifetime.
For trade fairs Guangzhou Hotel offer free shuttle service, metro trains are across the road and taxis everywhere so basic value for money this place is great. Again just ask the concierge to write in Chinese every place you want to go before heading out including Guangzhou East Railway Station or Airport.
Last word on the GE railway station if this is where you embark from probably Hong Kong keep walking until you get to the official taxi rank out the from of the train station, get in the queue and go from there.
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