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Townsville, Queensland, Australia
August 30, 2001
The porter service was fast and needed no tip so we were tucked up in bed within half an hour of arrival. The bed was hard but we both slept well. Next morning we surveyed the room with more enthusiasm. This property is one of the older modern high-rise hotels in Shanghai (probably late 1970s) and for many years was operated by the Sheraton chain. You still see the influence in the room. There was space and all the necessary fixtures and fittings for a 5-star hotel (IDD telephone, voice mail, refrigerator/mini bar, 12 international TV channels etc.), but the room we had was a bit "tired."
There are 1009 guest rooms including 65 suites. The Towers rooms are on floors 23-25. These start at US$140 and have 24-hour butler service, complimentary tea and coffee, free afternoon tea/evening cocktail, free laundry and pressing, free fruit, one hour free use of the internet daily, and free use of the health club/tennis/outdoor pool and sauna. That could be an attractive deal for some travellers.
We ate in a couple of the restaurants. Perhaps the best is the Guan Yue Tai Chionese restaurant on the 26th floor. It opens for breakfast, lunch and dinner. For local fare the Bai Hua Yuan Shanghainese Restaurant on the third floor opens for lunch and dinner. The Japanese Kagayaki Restaurant on the second floor is an interesting alternative. For Western and other dishes the best place is the Ka Fei Ting International Café. There is also a deli selling cakes, pasteries, ice cream and sherberts.
One evening we spent an hour in the Lobby Lounge listening to an excellent Filipino group. Two basic drinks cost around US$16.
From journal Seeing China's Future
October 20, 2000
From journal Shanghai before the massacre at Tien An Men square