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Reviewed October 5, 2016

We had one night in Dandong and we chose the Zhonglian Hotel because of its location directly across from the Yalu River's Broken Bridge and the North Korean shore.
At check-in, the staff fumbled our reservation and checked us into the wrong room - on the parking lot side. Please note, if you're in this hotel and have the parking lot view and not the river view, you've totally missed the point of staying in this hotel. After moving our luggage to the room, we went back down and showed them the reservation receipt. Only at this point did they look again at their records and notice to their surprise that they had given us someone else's room (with an entirely different name).
Once this was sorted out we got the river-facing room (brighter and more spacious than the carpark view) that we reserved.

The view from our upper floor room overlooked the Broken Bridge, the Friendship Bridge, a very busy intersection and the river walk. It must be said here that drivers in Dandong seem overly fond of using their car horns so there's seemingly a constant din well into the late evening. Nevertheless, we chose this hotel for this very view and in that aspect, the Zhonglian is incomparable.

The decor is jarring and the upkeep is, frankly, rather shabby. The colors, patterns, textures and styles collide - none of this bespeaks quality or taste. Carpets are worn, stained, and not thoroughly vacuumed. Upholstered furniture - including the upholstered headboard of the bed likewise had dingy, greasy stains. Windows were dirty on the outside and had grease marks inside. As others have mentioned, there is no avoiding the smell of old and new cigarette smoke.

The south-facing room (all rooms overlooking the river) experienced tremendous solar heat gain during the day. Our visit, being on a relatively mild weekend in October, was after the air conditioning was decommissioned so, try as we might, we could not get the room to cool down to a comfortable evening temperature. If you thought you were paying for AC from October through March, you were mistaken. There are many convenience and toiletry items in the room - most of which are clearly marked as available for an extra charge. The river side room had a mini fridge, whereas the carpark side room did not.

The breakfast buffet was 95% Chinese style - not a criticism, just an observation. It did not meet the standards of variety and freshness that most of the breakfasts I've experienced in Chinese hotels. The reason may be that they charge four times more for the river side rooms as they do for the carpark side rooms. If you've paid tourist-class prices for your room you might expect a breakfast to match - temper your expectations. There was an attendant at breakfast who went out of his way to provide a carry-out box for one of our party who was unable to join us before the line shut down - a much appreciated kindness.

Finally, upon check out, we were told that we had to pay for the replacement of one washcloth that had been used to remove makeup. The room-checking attendant claimed that it was used to polish shoes and therefore could not be laundered. I can say we've never encountered anything of this sort before - but we had to reimburse the hotel for the cost of that washcloth - less than 1/100th of the cost of the room. Not worth fighting over, but presumably, it shouldn't have been worth their insistence either.

This is the only hotel in Dandong with this pride of place. For what they charge, they should be much better.

Room tip: River view side is hot and expensive - but you're paying for the view, right?
Date of stay: October 2016
  • Trip type: Traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
1  Thank ChinaCarolina
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 31, 2015

I stayed here for one night after arriving by train from North Korea. The hotel itself seems like a quite nice budget hotel, but the rooms could use a little restoration.

Positive: The location is good, right by the river and not far from the Sino-Korean Friendship bridge and the old Yalu bridge. The staff, especially the young doorman whose name now escapes me, was nice but they speak very limited English so communication can be a bit tricky.

Negative: The rooms were a bit run down, especially the bathrooms. The sink was cracked, as was the tiled wall (see pictures). I can just imagine the mold that must be thriving inside the wall, so if you have mold allergies my room isn't the place for you. These details make the place seem a bit shabby. The bed was quite hard, but that pretty much seems to be the norm in China, if not Asia. The breakfast buffet wasn't the best I've had in China.

Date of stay: September 2015
  • Trip type: Traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Thank ab8630
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 22, 2015

This is one of the best locations in town and the staff is friendly and tries hard to please. Since they cater mostly to Chinese tourists their english is limited. Be prepared and write down some handy phrases in advance. The caveat is that this is a Chinese hotel, meaning you will face harder than usual beds if you are used to Western hotels and in this particular case rooms that, while clean, are dated and in need of renovations. Think wallpaper that isn't firmly on the walls in some spots and carpet that's worn out. It's central, safe, ok and very, very affordable, hence I'm forgiving.

Room tip: get a river-facing room
Date of stay: February 2015
  • Trip type: Traveled solo
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
1  Thank krautland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 23, 2015

stayed here for 2 nights... based on reviews was not the best but i still chose this hotel based on its location... and no regret on my decision...

looking right across the yalu river, with the view of the yalu broken bridge and the friendship bridge... the room is spacious and comfortable enough, but the stale tabacco smell is inevitable in most china hotels :(... the hotel looks aged due to the newer hotels that mushroomed around the vicinity...

check in and out was swift and they offers free sauna bath facilities when staying with them... plenty of restaurants along the river or slow walk about 15mins to the prime jidao jie area for more choices...

free wifi works well and the room even has a binoculars for you to "see" over the river... they have a chinese restaurant at level two... that serves daily breakfast as well and a coffee house
with view of the bridge as well... breakfast was good with mostly chinese foods selection and little section for breads, enough to satisfy your stomach...

apart for a little pricy, this hotel is recommended for all groups of travellers maybe not so for budget travellers...

Room tip: request for river view
Date of stay: December 2014
  • Trip type: Traveled solo
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank gecko_cheeko
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 28, 2014

When we checked in, they wanted a 500 RMB deposit.

It was a Sunday evening when we checked in and had no local currency. Exchange facilities were advertised at the the reception desk. We ask to change money, apparently they don't change money in evenings or on weekends. We were told to go to a bank. When we asked where is there a bank, the staff just laughed at us.

Our room smelt of stale cigarette smoke, and some items in the room felt sticky from he deposit of nicotine from cigarette smoke.

The carpet was disgusting in places.

Went to breakfast, most of the food was cold or luke warm, the candles in the heaters keeping the food warm had all gone out and the staff did nothing.

The floor in the restaurant is disgusting, years of grease and fan ground into the tiles and grout. I could feel my feet sticking to the floor as I walked.

The standard of this hotel is from a time gone by - avoid it.

The view from out bedroom of the two bridges was very good, the only good point I can make.

Room tip: Go to another hotel
Date of stay: August 2014
  • Trip type: Traveled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
2  Thank kathekas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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