I usually stay at the Zhong Ya over the road from the East China; however, given that the Zhong Ya has become rather noisy throughout the night on account of the construction of a supermarket nearby, I decided to try the East China for a change.
It's near Shanghai Railway Station. Its standard rooms are slightly more expensive than those of the Zhong Ya.
I arrived at my Standard Room floor. The corridors smelled, the carpets were torn and tatty. I entered my room where my nose was assailed with some violence by the acrid smell of stale cigarette smoke. I knew I could not tolerate one whole night of this so I turned on my heels and down I went to Reception and asked for another room. I explained the cirgarette smell problem.
Well! All Standard Rooms, they explained, are smoking rooms and if I wanted a non-smoking room, I would have to book into a Deluxe room at about 150 RMB per night more expensive than the 320 RMB Standard Rooms. Surely the hotel could not have allowed 100% of its standard rooms to be polluted with cigarette smoke, I complained. Surely, they keep one Standard Floor for non-smokers.
No, the receptionist said, sourly, all Standard Rooms were smoking rooms and all would have the same smell - and, I take it, the same torn, tatty carpets.
There was nothing for it, I said, but to check out and go to the Zhong Ya over the road where, despite the noise, at least smoke-free rooms are available. I moved to the check-out desk - but there came the cry, "OK, we'll change the room" and I was booked into a quite nice Deluxe room at the Standard Room price.
I won't stay there again. 320 RMB should buy quite a decent Standard Room in a 3-star hotel in Shanghai.
My advice to travellers is to avoid the East China hotel unless you're willing to pay a price well above what is reasonable for a 3-star hotel to get a smoke-free room. If you want to pay 450 - 500 per night for a room, you can do much better than the East China. If you've got this sort of money, head into the city to the Nanjing Road area.
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- Also Known As:
- East China Shanghai