After visiting a string of less-than-stellar hotels, it was a treat to arrive at the Pearl River Hotel in Guangzhou and get the service and the facilities I always hope for. While not particularly modern, this is a large, spacious and generally well-run facility right along side the Pearl River. The rooms are generously sized. The bathrooms are clean and work well. The internet was fast enough. The breakfast buffet was terrific and highly recommended, although their coffee just isn’t up to par. The hotel also scored high with a luggage rack in the room.
The lobby bar makes a nice latte, and was able to pour me a glass of wine, but one gets the impression it’s an after-thought. Sometimes it was hard to find the bartender, and I don’t think they view it as a real focal point in the lobby, which is too bad because it’s a lovely spot to sit.
The neighborhood is very interesting. The streets are lively and safe. You can walk around the area and get a haircut, a bottle of wine, a manicure and visit a variety of restaurants. Directly behind the hotel is the Pearl River, with an ultra-long pedestrian walkway that is a delight to stroll, people-watching, boat-watching and just catching the scenery.
English language skills for most of the staff are weak, but they’re very friendly and eager to help, so that compensates for a lot.
If you’re coming in from the Guangzhou Airport, take the number #10 bus (see photo) for 27remembi, a terrific value. The taxi ride back to the airport was 150 remembi! Use the wash room before getting in either the bus or the taxi, because it’s about an hour ride.
Lastly – the room rates vary wildly. I paid $150/night for my room because the huge “Canton Expo” was in progress. During normal times, rooms drop to $50 a night.