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Ahhhh….the city that I first loved in China.
I moved to Hangzhou in August 2017 after being hired to work at a training center. The company gave me several centers to choose from based on the city that I wanted to live in. I didn’t want to live in Shanghai because it was too internationalized and I wanted to have an authentic experience with Chinese culture.
So I made my decision to move to China using the most rational method possible.
Out of all of the cities I searched for, Hangzhou was the one that excited my soul because of this:
THIS BIG HUGE GOLD BALL.
My curiosity, admiration, and astonishment were all on 1000!
What in the world could this big gold ball be? Is it a museum? Is it a shopping center? Is it a restaurant?
I had no idea what it was but all I knew was that I needed to find out.
So there you have it, friend.
One of the most important decisions of my life was made based on a photo found on Google. ?
Unfortunately, I never visited the hotel while living in Hangzhou because I had no money and was too busy being overworked. ??♀️
Now that things are quite different for me, I did something special for my 36th birthday (while in Hangzhou for business), and I booked a room at the golden ball, officially known as The Intercontinental Hangzhou, an IHG Hotel.
What’s hot? ??
?? The hotel is a GIANT GOLDEN BALL!
?? The customer service.
?? The western food options.
?? The private spa tub in the bathroom.
??The TV monitor hovering over the spa tub.
?? The Sony sound system with the TV.
What’s not? ??
?? The streaks on the window that distorted my view.
?? The aging cracks in the room structure.
?? The price of the hotel for a last-minute stay.
Doctora’s Rating? ⭐️
8.5/10 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ _ _
Would I stay again? ?
Purpose of My Trip ?
This was the second hotel that I stayed at during my 3-week business trip in Hangzhou. I spontaneously reserved a room on July 9th around 10 pm because I decided that I wanted to spend my birthday there to relax.
The Check-In Process ?
I arrived at the hotel at 8:10 pm on Saturday, July 10th, and went to the front desk to check in. Thankfully, Martin was there to help me in English as much as he could with the check-in process.
Charlotte, the assistant manager, helped Martin as needed and both were completely patient, communicative, and helpful with my check-in process. They wished me a happy birthday and sent me on my way to check in to my room
Property Amenities ?
Like most facilities in the international hospitality industry, the Intercontinental IHG Hotel property amenities include:
- Room service
- Non-smoking rooms
- Accessibility for disabled guests
- Famliy rooms
- Car rentals (most likely will never need this in China)
- Work desk in room with cable management ?
- Private spa bath tub ?
- Oversized bath towels! ❤️
- Restaurant ?
- Room Service ?
- Special diet meals (by request)
- Meeting/Banquet Rooms (additional charge)
- Business center (additional charge)
- Fax/Photocopying (additional charge)
All About the Room ?
My room was on the 17th floor and had a beautiful view of the skyline, bridge, and the Qiantang river.
The room was nice and spacious but I think because I stayed at Le Meridien Hangzhou the week before, my hope was that the room would be comparable to that.
The room was a bit aged but I’ll get into that in a moment.
Sadly, it wasn’t but it was still a relaxing environment that was worth the overnight stay.
I had a distorted view of the city at night due to the residue left on the exterior of the window.
Also, the following sign on the windows said they would be cleaned but that didn’t happen during the time I was there.
The view improved in the morning as I could see more of the beautiful landscape, bridge, and Qiantang River.
The workspace was perfect but confused me a bit. I couldn’t figure out how to work the outlet console.
That’s usually not an issue for me but I couldn’t get it to work. Fortunately, there were still other outlets nearby to plug my computer adapter.
The room’s decor was pretty standard. I really appreciated the tv and sound system that was included. It gave me theater vibes as I watched several movies on Saturday evening and two on Sunday during my bubble bath.
Which brings me to the bathroom!
If you recall, since apartments and homes in China usually do not include bathtubs, whenever I book a hotel, I specifically request rooms that have a bathtub so I can have a detox bath (one of my self-care routines).
This tub may not look like it, but it was very spacious!
My feet couldn’t even touch the opposite end of the tub! I just kept floating around! ?
One of the details that I liked most about this tub was the headrest (which I put a towel over because I don’t know how clean it may have been) and the bathroom caddy.
Oh! And the shower/tub room had a mini-monitor to project the movie in the room on the screen hovering above the bathtub. That was fun to soak in my Epsom salt and essential oils while watching Avengers Endgame.
The Mattress & Bedding
The bed was very comfortable.
It was the kind of comfort where as soon as you lay down, your body instantly feels relief.
Yeah. That kind of comfort!
Maybe I wasn’t as excited about the room as I’d hoped to be because of the cracks in the walls, ceilings, and bathtub.
After seeing how old it was, in comparison to the other rooms I’d been staying in, the room seemed to be a bit dated.
Nonetheless, it was still a relaxing environment to be in.
Is There Room Service During A Pandemic??? ?
I’m not sure about the room service but Martin & Charlotte sent up this thoughtful basket of fruit and wine to me with a note that said, “Happy birthday!”
That really warmed my heart.
Dining Options ? ?
The next day, I went down to the main restaurant, FRESH, for breakfast.
Breakfast times were from 6:30-10:30a. Since I am an early riser, it made sense for me to get there early while the food would be FRESH (see what I did there? ?) and before crowds of people would arrive.
There were many western options to select from and few surprises, too! In all of the hotels I’ve stayed in, none of them served duck (one of my favorite meats since living in China) for breakfast!
I was thrilled and added it to my plate.
The view from the restaurant was pleasing to the eye as I sat on the inner edge of the gold ball to enjoy my meal.
You can read about my experience at the restaurant in my upcoming review.
Location, location, location! ?
The Intercontinental IHG Hotel is situated in a prime location in the Qianjing district of Hangzhou. As previously mentioned on TripAdvisor, InterContinental Hangzhou is located in beautiful and scenic Hangzhou Qianjiang CBD, the hotel is nestled in the pride of the city. The hotel is directly adjacent to a station of Metro Line 4 for convenient cross-city access.
What to Expect While Staying During a Pandemic ?
In addition to notices about regularly scheduled maintenance for the room, there was also a sign explaining that if there is a need for additional toiletries, guests would need to contact customer service as they would not be proactively provided.
Hand sanitizer was available to guests & staff. High-traffics areas were regularly sanitized. Staff and servers were required to regularly wash hands, wear face masks and adhere to the safety protocols at all times.
I had the most pleasant experience with Teresa, the Intercontinental IGH Hangzhou call center representative who helped me with my wifi connectivity issue. I couldn’t connect my computer to the hotel’s FREE wifi so Teresa helped me over the phone with resetting my IP address.
The phone call took a total of 12 minutes or so. Teresa was extremely patient and more pleasant than most call center agents I have dealt with in the past.
So, How Much Does It Cost to Stay Here? ?
I booked the King Classic River View room on booking.com and checked in after celebrating my birthday at dinner the following day.
The total price for the room including breakfast, taxes, and fees was 1503RMB ($232USD).
Although there weren’t any out-of-the-ordinary bells and whistles at the hotel – I mean…aside from the fact that the hotel is literally a huge, gold ball – staying at the Intercontinental Hangzhou was a pleasant experience.
Was it worth the money? I wouldn’t say it was worth reserving at the last minute because it was overpriced, however, I think it would be worth the value if reservations were made in advance.
The view probably would be my favorite if the windows were clean and I had a clear view of the outside world, but I think this is just like life. Sometimes the view is a bit unclear but nonetheless, you still have an idea of what the other side looks like. ??♀️
And it’s still worth looking at. ☺️
I would like to thank the staff and servers at the Intercontinental IHG Hotel Hangzhou for their hospitality and the cleanliness of their facilities. From the moment I was warmly greeted by Martin upon check-in, to the moment I left, my stay was the best way to celebrate my birthday. I thoroughly enjoyed the chance to relax and steal away from the busyness of my business trip while safely remaining COVID-free.
Question: How comfortable would you feel staying at the Intercontinental IHG Hotel Hangzhou during a pandemic? I would love for love to hear from you about this in the comment section below and share your thoughts with me. ♥️