I really want to write a nice review of this hotel just based on how friendly the front desk staff seemed to be and their attempts to try to help me out but in all honestly I found my stay at Canaan very trying.
The biggest problem I had was with communication. I find it a massive shortcoming that in a popular tourist destination (terracotta army) and STA recommended backpackers hotel that not one of the staff at the front desk had even basic English to communicate with, as this made everything very difficult, even checking in.
When I first arrived I was confused because the pictures on trip advisor for the outside of the hotel look nothing like the hotel itself leading me to question whether I'd gotten the other Canaan hotel (there's also the international one). My fears were then doubled when there seemed to be some confusion over my reservation. The staff then tried to get me to pay again having already prepaid but I genuinely believe this is be a mistake due to communication.
Having come to Xi'An as part of my gap year, this being my first time in Xi'An and travelling alone as a single female traveller I was naturally nervous and I had expectations that the staff would be able to help me out with queries regarding tours and things to do nearby but the lack of understanding made everything very testing. I even broke the Mandarin book and pointed to phrases but I got confused and humoured looks from the staff.
It wasn't later when I was re-reading some of the reviews on this website that i saw someone had written that the manager Joy spoke good English, that I finally got somewhere. I was confused that she hadn't been called for before.
Through Joy I managed to book a guided tour for the following day to the city walls, Terracotta Army, Banpo Museum and Silk Factory for $45 which i can't stress enough was amazing value! The only thing was that reception had not told the tour company that I had already paid, making me wonder if this was an extra cost which i could have accidentally paid. So more confusion. The guide was absolutely lovely and very knowledgable so if you do stay at this hotel I would recommend this trip! He even asked reception for me to book a taxi and arrange a wake up call for the following day which is where my other problem with communication occurred. The taxi was fine, the driver arrived on time and quoted a reasonable price but I received no wake up call that morning (thankfully i had my phone alarm) which considering I had a very early morning flight I could have slept through was at this point the cherry on top of a bad stay. I had however received numerous 'prank' calls the evening before which could have been anyone considering no one answered. Maybe they had forgot, maybe the staff had misunderstood- though i doubt this because our guide was very clear, maybe the phone was broken, who knows.
I'm sure Canaan is an amazing place to stay for Chinese tourists and those English speaking travellers who are greeted by Joy at the desk but as previously said for me I found it very trying, a bump on the road in travelling. My room was more than fine with good modern facilities and much larger than expected for a backpackers price. Shame Wifi is only in the lobby.
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- Also Known As:
- Canaan Hotel China/Shaanxi