We stayed at the start of July, when it was very hot (40C and sunny each day). Generally, our stay went well, apart from 3 incidents - check-in, inappropriate behaviour by some hotel staff, massage services offered by the hotel.
First the good things about the hotel...
The hotel is very close to West Lake. You cross the main road and walk about 2 minutes and you're at the lake. From there, it is only a short walk of about 5 - 10 minutes around the lake to the dancing fountain (directly in front of the Hyatt).
We stayed in superior rooms (not facing the lake, which we were told would cost more). Even so, the rooms were spacious, clean and cool (very important in 40C weather!). We could actually see the lake from one side of our window, which was nice.
Buffet breakfast was varied - both western and eastern dishes offered. Quality of the food was generally ok except for the non-hash brown mornings (potatoes offered in some form each morning - avoid the mash at all costs!) Bread-and-butter pudding was on the breakfast menu (unusual in any country) but if you like baked custard then definitely give it a go - it was very good. Coffee was good too. Staff serving breakfast were polite and helpful. Note: although our booking said breakfast was not included in the price (ie. we would have to pay extra), they did not charge us the extra, which was a nice surprise. I'm not sure why this happened - we did have a booking as 'seniors' (I travelled with older relatives) and my relatives said that when there is a senior booking, breakfast is automatically included - not sure how true this is though!
We booked train tickets to Nanjing through the hotel - this was convenient, minimum fees charged by the hotel and the booking was accurate.
Now the bad things...
Check-in did not go smoothly. We had booked directly through Wyndham hotels back in February and requested non-smoking rooms. On check-in, we also reiterated we wanted non-smoking rooms, which we were assured we would be getting. However, after being taken up to our rooms, we realised we had been put in a smoking room, as the room smelled faintly of cigarette smoke and there were ashtrays and matches in the bedroom and bathroom. I went back down to reception and spoke to a different staff member and was told that the room had been 'treated' for smoking. After insisting we wanted non-smoking rooms, we were told we could be moved the next day, as there were no non-smoking rooms available. Although we were moved to a non-smoking room the next day, we would have preferred to have been told of this situation upfront instead of the hotel staff pretending they were putting us in a non-smoking room when this wasn't the case.
Staff generally were friendly and helpful, however, possibly there needs to be more consistent staff training, e.g. one of the bellboys kept following us around when we went to the reception desk and even to the private office (where we booked and paid for the train tickets) - I think partly because he wanted to see what was happening (curiosity) but also in case he could offer us the services of his friend who drove a private car (he had already told us about this when he took our luggage to our rooms the first day). Staff need to be told that it is inappropriate to follow guests around (particularly when they are taken to private offices) in the hopes of offering them non-hotel services.
The hotel also has a massage service in the basement. During our trip, we thought we would get a foot massage as we were doing a lot of walking. While the massage was quite good, the behaviour of the masseuses was not. After our massage, the masseuses told us we had to tip them and that we should tip them CNY 50 (the massage cost CNY 129). We had already decided we were going to tip (tipping is not compulsory by any means in China) but not almost 50% of the massage price. When they realised this, they became sulky and after taking the money, just left us in the room without showing us out. I was later told that the massage services were probably provided by a separate entity from the hotel (the hotel just rents them the space), but the massage services are advertised by the hotel in both the lobby and information folder in hotel rooms, so give the appearance of being part of the hotel's services.
Compared to the more expensive hotels, Ramada Plaza was comfortable, clean, in a good location and the rooms were furnished nicely. Just make sure you are given the room you booked when you check-in and avoid the massage services.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Ramada Plaza Hangzhou Haihua is a four star international hotel overlooking the north eastern shore of the famous West Lake adjacent to the city's commercial center. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Ramada Plaza Hangzhou Hotel Hangzhou
- Ramada Hangzhou
- Hangzhou Ramada