We stayed at the Shangri-La Golden Flower Hotel for two nights, 4 and 5 August 2009. We arrived late into Xi’an after a flight from Lhasa. Unfortunately the taxi driver had no idea how to get to the hotel, despite me having printed the directions (in Chinese) off the website of the hotel prior to our trip. We eventually found the hotel after much frustration, especially since he spoke about as much English as we spoke Chinese (zero!!). You should expect to pay around RMB 150 from the airport to the hotel, but make sure that you do not take a VIP taxi from the airport if you want to save costs. The VIP taxi is likely to cost you around RMB 450, if not more.
The hotel itself is very nice. The staff were most welcoming, and spoke good English. We even booked a day tour for the following day upon our arrival at the hotel – they assisted us with that (though the tour is arranged by the hotel itself).
We had a room on a high floor and it was most comfortable. The rooms are very nice and large, the beds are most comfortable and the bathrooms are well appointed. This was one of the nicest rooms we had during our 3 week vacation in China.
The first night we made us of the discount coupon for one free item from the menu at the restaurant downstairs. The restaurant (I forget its name – to the left of the hotel entrance) provided excellent service and we enjoyed our dinner (for a reasonable price as well). The second evening we returned to the same restaurant. Aletta ordered the Peking duck (for the first time since being in China). Out came a full duck, head and all. From that duck various other meals were made, including pancakes and other duck related courses. An interesting experience.
Before dinner on the second night we visited the pool and Jacuzzi on the upper floor. A thing I found weird was their insistence that we use a shower cap when in the pool (which I did not have, but they are available for purchase at RMB 30), but not in the Jacuzzi. Apparently, however, this is a rule in all hotels in Xi’an (or in China, or in that province?).
The day tour that we arranged through the hotel was OK – we visited the Terracotta Warriors, the Huaqing Hot Springs, the KFC for lunch, the Wild Goose Pagoda, the city wall and the bell tower. We spent a great deal of time at the Terracotta Warriors.
(Word of caution in connection with the Terracotta Warrior site – do not buy teacups or kettles at the tourist gift shop on the grounds – they are substantially more expensive than other places you will see in Xi’an and elsewhere. Also our tour guide took us to the so-called museum store where there is a man claiming to be the famer that found the Terracotta Warriors – he is the one in the photo with Bill Clinton. We got him to sign a Terracotta Warriors for us (that we have now had framed for the house). However, after investigating on the Internet I understand that he is not in fact the person that found the warriors – he uses the photo of him and Bill Clinton to lure tourists into thinking that he is the actual person that found the warriors – me up your own mind and decide whether you want to support the museum shop).
Due to the length of time that we spent at the Terracotta Warriors, the rest of the day was very rushed. I believe that the guide arranged by the hotel could have planned the tour better and made it more enjoyable, rather than being so rushed, but we were pleased to see most of the main attractions in Xi’an.
Aletta used the business center for around 5 minutes, and was charged the amount of RMB 30. The hotel does, however, offer free in-room Internet access which I thought was a great idea, and something I believe all hotels should aim for. We used the business center as we do not take a lap-top on vacation.
All in all we enjoyed our stay at the Shangri-La Golden Flower Hotel and would recommend it to other travelers. When leaving for the airport, ask the receptionist to arrange a taxi for you. There is an agreement between the hotel and the taxi drivers for a standard rate – you are likely to get a better deal than trying to find a taxi off the street.
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- Also Known As:
- Shangri La Golden Flower Hotel
- Golden Flower Hotel, Xi'An China/Shaanxi