Rooms include flat-screen TVs, minibars, coffeemakers, and desks with USB outlets
Suites with living rooms; some with whirlpool tubs
Four restaurants and bar, including a steakhouse and market-style restaurant
Outdoor pool with city views and a lifeguard
Play area for children on the fourth floor
15 meeting rooms plus a ballroom
Executive lounge with computers, free breakfast, and happy hour
24/7 health club with a gym and massage services
Tennis court with basketball hoops
Jewelry and liquor shops plus beauty salon
Wi-Fi is available
Not much of interest in the immediate area
Interiors are a bizarre blend of styles, many of which are dated
Wi-Fi only free for Marriott Rewards members and Executive Room guests
The 850-room China Hotel is a massive upscale property near one of Guangzhou's main train stations. The style throughout the hotel is difficult to pinpoint -- expect to see everything from Egyptian motifs to sparkly accents to 90s-era colors and fabrics throughout the property. Rooms include flat-screen TVs, minibars, coffeemakers, and desks with USB outlets. In addition to a tennis court and pool, the hotel has a modern gym with a nice selection of equipment, a hot tub, and a sauna. There are multiple dining options including a steakhouse and imitation street food, plus lots of meeting space. The location is convenient to public transportation, but guests wanting a more vibrant neighborhood may prefer the Hilton Guangzhou Tianhe, where interiors are more modern but rates are higher.
Massive hotel with a wild blend of styles and a busy vibe
The China Hotel is a large, upscale property under the Marriott brand, but interiors are a bit of a confused mess when it comes to style. Given its size, the hotel is almost constantly busy -- the shops and dining venues like Food Street almost make it feel like a mall -- and there are many features on-site to keep guests active. Upon stepping inside, guests are greeted by a massive pink-granite-lined lobby. Look up, and there are gilded Egyptian designs carved into shiny black surfaces -- a motif that reappears throughout the hotel. Look up even further and there's a ring of shimmering white light fixtures that adds a bit of dazzle to an already visually hectic space. The contrasts begin here and continue throughout the hotel, with some restaurants looking lifted right out of the '90s, with their bold colors and velvet fabrics. There's also an abundance of carved ceiling treatments that contribute to the overall muddled effect. Not surprisingly, given the brand name, the hotel predominantly attracts business travelers, though families with children are also drawn here.
In Guangzhou, beside the Yuexiu Park Metro station
The China Hotel is in an area of Guangzhou that’s sometimes called the "Old City District,” though there's not exactly anything historical about the immediate area and little in the way of entertainment in the immediate area. Next to the hotel are two parks, a Starbucks, and a McDonald’s, and authentic street food can be found in the alleyways surrounding the property. The hotel is also next to the Yuexiu Park Metro station. It’s a one-hour metro ride, or a 30-minute drive, to Canton Fair and the Canton Tower. The express bus stop -- which has connections to Hong Kong and Macau -- is a three-minute walk from the hotel. It's also a 15-minute walk or metro ride to the Guangzhou Railway Station, which has connections throughout mainland China (but not to Hong Kong). Within 25 minutes by car are the Guangzhou Opera House and Guangdong Museum. Tianhe, a more popular tourist spot, is reachable by cab in half an hour, but getting a ride -- especially during rush hour -- is often difficult. It’s a 40-minute drive to Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport.
Slightly dated rooms with elaborate accents, some with separate bedrooms
While the hotel's guest rooms are a bit more focused than the common areas -- from a design perspective at least -- the look is still just barely modern. The same bizarre Egyptian theme is deployed above the beds in many rooms, serving as an unavoidable focus that's not altogether unattractive, but doesn't exactly look fresh either. Higher-category rooms -- like the Executive Room that we visited -- have subtler decorative panels, with recessed black-and-gold panels that look a bit sharper. These rooms also have lovely Chinese paintings plus patterns in the carpet and wall panels inspired by cherry blossoms. Some rooms offer a blend of traditional furniture and more modern cherry pieces, while others are done in light wood veneer furniture that's overall slightly more contemporary.
The hotel offers 850 air-conditioned rooms with large windows, but views of the city aren’t anything spectacular. Executive desks have USB plugs and other in-room technology includes flat-screen TVs, digital safes. Kettles and minibars are other convenient features. The hotel claims that all rooms have iPod docks, but we did not see them in the Guest Room that we visited. Additionally, Wi-Fi is only free for Marriott Rewards members or guests staying in Executive Rooms, Executive Suites, and Executive Studios.
Studios offer sitting areas and one- and two-bedroom suite-style units have separate living rooms. The Dynasty/Palace Suite has two bathrooms, a dining room, a living room, a walk-in closet, and a whirlpool tub. Executive level units have come with an array of other perks detailed below. Most bathrooms have showers or shower/tub combos and some offer windows into the main body of the room, though there are blinds for privacy. They are sharp, and dark marble vanities with long countertops that provide plenty of space for storage. Despite being in the middle of Guangzhou, noise is not an issue in any rooms.
Pool with city views, a health club, an executive lounge, and multiple dining options
As a massive hotel, there are a number of features at this hotel, and some that are surprising given the city-center location. The outdoor pool is lovely, with greenery surrounding a large deck that overlooks the city. There are a number of places to sit, ranging from lounge chairs to cafe tables. One of the more surprising additions is the hotel's tennis court, and the hotel's fitness center is quite spacious. It includes a large number of modern cardio machines, as well as weight machines and free weights. There’s also a hot tub and a sauna, and massages are available.
Dining is casual at the hotel’s four restaurants, including the brightly lit Four Seasons, Prime Steakhouse with a wine cellar, Cafe Veranda with international buffets, and the Sapphire Lounge bar. The style varies, and some dining venues -- like the Sapphire Lounge -- look lifted straight out of the '90s, with bold velvet furniture and a multitude of patterns all under low ceilings. Others, like Cafe Veranda, are more modern and have a subtler palette that makes them a more pleasant place to hang out. Most guests are pleased with the quality of food and the number of options. Additionally, Food Street offers street-style open kitchens that serve Chinese food to give hotel guests a little taste of local-style eating (though actual street food can be found within a five to 10-minute walk from the hotel).
Wi-Fi is free for guests in Executive Level rooms and Marriott Rewards members (guests can sign up for membership, free of charge online). For those visiting on business, the hotel offers 15 meeting rooms for rent along with the Crystal Ballroom, which can fit up to 160 people for conferences. Executive level guests are entitled to other freebies like snacks and breakfast, as well as limited garment services. Most of these perks are offered in the Executive Lounge. For those traveling with children, there is a simple play area on the hotel's fourth floor. The property is also home to a liquor store and other outlets for anyone wanting to do some shopping.
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