We were escorted to our room, and as we walked the corridor, it became evident that the hotel was a little on the shabby side and in need of some TLC, and indeed, a major re-fit. The lifts were painfully slow and really were inadequate for the size of hotel.
However, our bedroom was fine. There was a small balcony just big enough for two to stand on and take in the less-than-inspiring view. There was a firm bed (just what we like), a TV (no English channels), two upholstered chairs, drink-making facilities, an unreliable alarm clock, and stylish wooden flooring. Complimentary slippers were provided, along with shoeshine mitts, combs, toothbrush, shower gel, and a strange selection of non-complimentary goods (including male underwear!). The bathroom did look excessively tired, and occasionally there were some strange smells emanating from that room (nothing to do with us!!). There wasn’t a bath – somewhat disappointing, as a good soak is often required after a long day of sightseeing – and the towels, although clean, were lacking in "pile" and somewhat grey. Having said all that, the room was generally comfortable, and having rung room service for extra pillows (they responded within minutes of my phone call), we slept like logs.
Breakfast, not included in our deal, was a sorry affair. We only ate in the barn-like, sparsely decorated, poorly furnished restaurant once. Ordering an English breakfast was not a problem, but there was a 20-minute wait and the end result was a major disappointment – one egg, two wizened sausages, and a bit of overcooked bacon. The toast had hardly seen the grill and they had no fruit juice, but the coffee (only one cup) was fine. We ate out on other days!
The staff really tried to be of assistance and was friendly, always giving a welcoming smile as we entered the large foyer, and there was a very competent travel desk where we arranged our trip to see the Terracotta Warriors. They were not yet geared up for international visitors, but the manager assured us that they were working on that!
April 21, 2005
From journal Eating, sleeping and getting around in Xian