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November 11, 2010
by Re Carroll
Abbotsford, British Columbia
July 4, 2005
The reality was a different story. The building looked old and dirty, and the front desk staff seemed to have exchanged their uniforms for wrinkled shirts hanging out of their pants. Our room was on the sixth floor, and stepping off the elevator, we were greeted with dingy hallways, dirty carpets, and peeling wallpaper. The room was a bit better – clean, but with a drab and depressing decor that looked like it was from the ‘70s – brown bedspreads, thin brown blankets, brown carpet, and green floral wallpaper that was separating and peeling from the walls. The twin beds were as hard as a board, and we had one thought in mind – get us outta here!
We’d paid at the airport and couldn’t get our money back, so decided we’d stay one night and find something better for the rest of our time in Shanghai. Fortunately, the sheets were clean, as was the bathroom, although the facilities were a dull beige that looked in need of re-glazing. The bathroom had the usual toiletries and thin but acceptable towels.
Although there was a small TV, air-conditioning, and a mini fridge to store cold drinks, this was not a room that we wanted to spend much time in, so we hit the streets ASAP to find better accommodations. After much searching, we were able to book The Nanjing for the following night.
We stayed out late exploring, and it was dark by the time we walked back from the Bund. Although the neighbourhood was rundown and the streets were dark and almost deserted, they were safe, and we felt comfortable walking alone.
Unfortunately, a good night’s sleep was not to be had even though there was no traffic or other noises. The beds were just too darn hard to be comfortable, so we decided to have an early breakfast and check out. After the sumptuous breakfast buffets that we’d had throughout China, KIND was a joke. We were given little coupons and directed next door, through a dingy alleyway to a skuzzy-looking restaurant. Thinking positive, we found a semi-clean table and sat down to a breakfast consisting of one piece of bread topped by an egg fried in oil – definitely not appealing, but consistent with the lack of quality we’d come to expect from KIND.
To be fair, there were a few decent things about the hotel. The staff was pleasant and the room deposit was only 100y. This didn’t make up for the poor quality of the room or breakfast, though, and, overall, I wouldn’t recommend KIND unless you had exhausted all other options.
Note: The hotel is also called Kai En Hotel.
From journal Shanghai - The Neon City