Rated 4.0 out of 5 by 48
Rated 5.0 out of 5.0 by jasonzh 极好的精品酒店
16 December 2013
Rated 5.0 out of 5.0 by HappyRider 深具历史感的园林式酒店
13 December 2013
Rated 4.0 out of 5.0 by chadontheorad Beautiful Grounds, Standard Local Service
If you travel in China, you know that service is something not generally understood by the masses. Since these masses make up the working populous, you are left with wait staff and attendants who aren't really interested in waiting or attending. Topped with a no-tipping culture, there is little to motivate entry-level help to want to excel, other than their own pride in their job.
That said, one has to temper their expectations in Chinese hotels and hope for the best, but expect the worst. When anything less than the worst happens, you are on your way to having a nice time!
So I could say that my weekend spent with my wife for her birthday at the Ruijin Hotel was great. The property was exceptional, probably the nicest hotel grounds in the entire city. Centrally located, so we parked our car (for free# and walked around the city for the duration of our stay. The layout of the hotel was such that you checked in at one building, and stayed in another. When we arrived at 8:00 pm, there were no signs to direct us to which building to check-in. We did see a sign that in English read "reception building" and in Chinese read "great hall" but that gave us doubt it may be a place for weddings, not the check-in desk. So we drove around the twisty roads a little, until we found the correct building. It may also have been easier to find if there were bellman out front, but alas there were not.
Check-in was relatively smooth, and they had upgraded us to the executive building which basically was an entire elite hotel on its own. The building was very nice, and the lounge breakfasts were good, with a menu of eggs #including eggs benedict# and other things to accompany the small buffet. The cappuccino was perfectly made at the classy bar by a young Spanish gentleman who was in charge of the lounge, making sure everything was just so. He even directed us to which bakery nearby made the pastries for the hotel, so that I could go out and buy some to take home. If the weather was better, we would have taken breakfast on the patio, overlooking the waterfall, but it was December.
Breakfast in the "Great Hall" was excellent, but the service was not as good, but the cooks themselves surprised me by all speaking English, and also made an even better eggs benedict than the lounge upon request. The coffee in this restaurant were not exceptional, to the point of undrinkable.
The rooms were nicely appointed, not a good as the hotel that directly competes with it in town, but better than most. The windows opened fully to look out over the park, which was very nice. The television had HBO, but very poor sound, so you could hardly hear it on max volume. The heating controls #as in many Chinese hotels# did not have the capacity to offer both hot and cold selections, even though the buttons were there. So the room was generally a pretty toasty 24.5 degrees, even with the windows open. In December. We just turned it off when we were in there, but the housekeeper came back a few times a day to turn it on again, and get the temperature back up for our "comfort".
The spa and pool are very nice, but the Jacuzzis are in the change rooms, so you can't join your spouse, and you have to ready for the unexpected naked dude jumping in next to you!
The pool was large and the deepest I have seen in a Chinese hotel #2m#, with a lifeguard who unfortunately had been given rules that everyone has to wear a swimming cap. Now this is one of my beefs with this pace: My wife is Chinese and I am Canadian, she was accosted at the door of the pool and told she could not swim without a cap, but she could buy one at the desk. They turned her out flat. I arrived five minutes later, and the guy tried the same thing on me. I just dove in, and 30 seconds later, he showed up with a "loaner" cap. No mention of buying for me. I waited 40 minutes for my wife to appear, and even asked the attended who had kicked her out if he had seen her #I speak adequate Chinese#, but he had nothing to say. Afterwards we finally met up, and I learned why she was not at the pool. This was the one true lowlight of my stay; staff following orders without offering the same options to local or foreign guests, even when they are paying the same money. This needs to be addressed.
Upon our departure, the check-out was faster and simpler than other Chinese hotels, but this is one area of service that is getting better in China overall. People don't want to wait 30 minutes to check-out while housekeeping searches the room for things you might have stolen. A bellman did help us to our car and saw us out.
Overall a great experience and coupled with a surprise birthday dinner with 14 friends that I had planned, it was a perfect 30th birthday for my wife, one that will be truly memorable for her. I recommend this hotel to anyone looking for a romantic time in Shanghai, reminiscent of the past golden era of the 1920's. You will not be disappointed, unless you try to go swimming without a cap, also kind of 1920's, I guess? ;)
12 December 2013