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“Your Only Hotel Option in Dandong”

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Friend Plaza Hotel Dandong
Ranked #3 of 149 Hotels in Dandong
NJ
Level Contributor
49 reviews
42 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“Your Only Hotel Option in Dandong”
Reviewed May 2, 2012

When in Dandong, this Crowne Plaza is the only place to stay. Do not kid yourself, there have not been any alternatives in town for accommodations if you desire any semblance of Western style service since the hotel opened its doors in 2008. In this part of China, warm hospitality services are uncommon, that is until the staff members get to know you. The employees are bound by fairly strict rules, and it does not help that the GM is no longer a Westerner, but a local with a financial/accounting background (ie penny pinching). The majority owner of the hotel is the local electric power company.

This hotel is in the flood zone (ie outside the flood barrier walls), so in the rare case of flood warnings during the summer season, the entire hotel may be evacuated.

The peking duck in the on-site Chinese restaurant is good.

Your best bet is to talk to Vanessa (if she is the duty manager; she has spent time abroad in Europe), for any situations that may require special handling.

I always request the Deluxe xx09 rooms, they are the corner rooms that affords you the best views at nighttime when the neon lights turn on all over the city and the bathroom is not tiny like the Superior or Executive Floor rooms; the trade-off is that the room is colder in the Winters and hotter in the Summers that the other room types.

Do not have high expectations of the executive lounge, other than it is a nice spot for scenic views of North Korea (there is a telescope up there). If you are not staying on one of the three executive floors, just take the handicap accessible elevator and press 27 and you can get up there for a visit.

Room Tip: Book a Deluxe Room for best nighttime views.
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  • Stayed January 2012, traveled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Rm_1272
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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130 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
  • Location
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (20)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Japanese first
  • Russian first
  • Any
English first
Singapore
Level Contributor
135 reviews
51 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 154 helpful votes
Reviewed May 2, 2012

Its a fairly standard Crowne Plaza, nice clean, new, shiny, the food was good - of course accepting that its in a pretty off the beaten track location. The brazlian/mexican restaraunt was a little bit comical, but all well intentioned. The chinese restaurant was great.
About an hour walk into town, but taxis are plentiful and cheap.
The staff were awesome, really helpful and friendly, they made the place.
The breakfast was extensive, japanese, korean, chinese and english food in large quantities.
The service in the spa was great, the massage great, but expensive, european prices.
We were warned to check our bill, and friends in our group had random costs added to their bills.
Overall definitely worth staying if you need to stay in Dandong.

Room Tip: "city view rooms" are very boring, go for the river view and enjoy the view over to North...
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  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
Thank gregandcath
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia.
Level Contributor
16 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed April 24, 2012

After a week-long visit to North Korea we wanted to stay in a nice hotel when we arrived in Dandong and this hotel really made us feel like we were back in civilization. The Hotel is a 15 min taxi ride from the centre of town (about RMB12 from Dandong railway station) in a new development area on the river. The room was very comfortable and the service and public areas were excellent and of a very good 4/5 star standard. I was a little worried about being allocated a smelly smoking room as the Crowne Plaza website clearly stated that non-smoking rooms were allocated "subject to availability" (... smokers are the clear majority in this part of China!) but fortunatley this didn't seem to be a problem at checkin as it didn't seem to be a busy time. The room rate was cheap and the Breakfast Buffet (which was included in the room rate) was the best I've had. There was nothing it didn't have and all presented, cooked, baked, fried and brewed to perfection.. and that was just the Western section! (...the Chinese section was just as diverse!).

Room Tip: If you are a non-smoker, be wary of being allocated a smoking room .... smokers are the clear majori...
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  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Nigs67
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cambridge, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
30 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed April 22, 2012

Comfortable room.
Decent food.
Average service.
Beware of added extras.
Concierge's are a PITA!

Room Tip: Best hotel in Dandong!
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  • Stayed April 2012, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank Daren W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gold Coast
Level Contributor
47 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed March 18, 2012

On a recent business trip to Dandong we decided to stay in the Crowne Plaza because we're members. We also didn't really know what to expect from Dandong as it's a bit of a crazy place in the middle of nowhere being built for 2.5million people in a period of 5 years!!

The view from the hotel is of the Yalu River and across to North Korea - that's a great start. The hotel is new (only about 18 months old) so everything's spankingly clean and fresh. The bed was extremely comfortable, a selection of pillows to choose from and the air con works really well - not too hot, not too cold. There's even a thoughtful little window that you can open for fresh air if that is what you like (I do and I did).

We were on the Executive Floor - do this as the free internet (both LAN and wifi) is a good idea given the charged for variety.

The breakfast is nothing to write home about - usual in provincial China unfortunately - I just don't understand why bacon has to be cooked till it's like strips of plastic!!!

All over a good experience - well priced for what the 5 star variety too. Don't be put off by the outside - Dandong lacks ANY landscaping and this really lets the aesthetics of hotels down a lot.

Strangely I had a bath (it was winter and it was absolutely freezing in Dandong) and the water wasn't very hot coming from the tap. The shower had good hot water though.

Ask for a high floor (and non-smoking), watch the revolving doors if you're an Aussie and not used to them and brush up on your Chinese (or take a good phrase book). There's not much English around. The staff tried to be helpful but a lot is lost in translation.

Room Tip: Stay high and non-smoking. Pay the little extra to get the Executive Floor in order to jag the free...
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  • Stayed March 2012, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
Thank KerrytheBerry
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Beijing, China
Level Contributor
9 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed February 25, 2012

I recently traveled for business to Dandong and stayed at the Crowne Plaza, which is probably the only international hotel in this city. Great location directly on the river and with stunning view over to North Korea. The hotel facilities and the rooms met my expectation of a Crowne Plaza and the service was good and friendly. I had dinner at the hotel's Chinese restaurant and a very courteous waitress recommended me fresh seafood, as apparently Dandong enjoys the freshest seafood in North China and indeed it was delicious. The hotel is definitely a safe and reliable place when you travel to this part of China and a welcome treat when coming back from North Korea.

Room Tip: River View and high floor!
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  • Stayed January 2012, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank AnneArt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney
Level Contributor
59 reviews
35 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
Reviewed November 14, 2011

I went to Dandong mainly because of my interest in looking at the North Korean Border. The Executive Suite I took has good river view but at over US$350 per night for a low cost city like Dandong you would expect decent treatment. The Executive Lounge has very friendly staff but no breakfast is served there so you have to go to the coffee shop for buffet together with other large tourist groups. When you go to Executive Lounge for their evening cocktails, there is no basic items such as red or white wine. They only had a limited selection of liquor like Vodka, Gin and Whisky. Worst still was when I used their hair dressing salon, they charged international price but gave me a treatment was substandard. Upon contacting the duty manager Candy Tang about the problem I experienced at the hair dressing salon, she was running for cover by explaining that these are outside contractors and she did everything possible to avoid solving my problem, a typical state owned enterprise attitude and certainly showed no adequate training from the Intercontinental Hotel Group.

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank JackMSydney
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Friend Plaza Hotel Dandong

Property: Friend Plaza Hotel Dandong
Address: No.158 Binjiang Middle Road, Zhenxing District, Dandong 118002, China (Formerly Crowne Plaza Hotel Dandong)
Location: China > Liaoning > Dandong
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 149 Hotels in Dandong
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:4 star — Friend Plaza Hotel Dandong 4*
Number of rooms: 356
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Friend Plaza Hotel Dandong, on the banks of the Yulu River, is the city's first International 5 star Hotel. Luxurious guest rooms, meticulous service and quality entertainment make it the choice for both business and leisure travellers. ... more   less 
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