The lobby of the hotel looked impressive and grand. My room on the 17th floor was adequately furnished, clean and the bed very comfortable. The only grouse was the construction noise outside the hotel late at night, which could be faintly heard. Housekeeping was not totally thorough in their job though. Some things were not put back in their proper places as what you would expect. Breakfast consisted of mostly Chinese dishes, some salad and a few types of bread. It was fine in the beginning but I got tired of the same dishes that were served over the next few days!
Got a room on 25f. Managed to even get an iron delivered to the room. Breakfast ok. Bed very hard. Could not sleep on the side as usual. During night woken up by sound of running water that came from the heating fan system. Had to use earplugs to sleep again. The most kitschy hotel I been to in a while. It is so much it actually gets fun.
The infrastructure of the hotel was OK, if you take a room that is on a higher level you will have no noise from the streets...
There was the fact that they do not speak English enough what makes it difficult when there are problems or questions related to the check-in/out procedure. We had somebody with us of the company to do the Chinese translation.
So nothing special, typical ostentatious entrance, and really poor service. Arrived at 12.30 am and took over 20 minutes to check in with a trainee who was having difficulties, whilst 3 other staff seemed more interested in their iPhones. Room rate mysteriously increased by 50% from the confirmed price until I kicked up a stink. Speaking of stinks the bathroom had a quite unique smell 5 minutes after taking a shower. All my colleagues reported the same. Room was OK but a little tatty, and the whole place is showing it's age.
As reported by others, the upfront charge on your credit card is steep, yet they then refused to accept payment to my room at the bar for a large tab as I had somehow managed to now not have enough credit. Seriously, this crap shouldn't happen unless they suspect us all of having stolen credit cards. But on the positive, the room was quiet ( 9th floor and no road noise) and the breakfast was good. The Karoake bar is quite a spectacle and very OTT, but we had a great time with a party of 10+ at a reasonable price.
The lobby was an attempt to recreate the sistine chapel meets Las Vegas. By now, after travelling in China for more than 15 years, I relate the amount of pomp and stucco inversely to the level of service to be found within those faux-renaissance domains. And so it was the case in Harbin.
The executive rooms are not on the top floors - dont ask. They are in the middle which gives you a view of the highrisers across. How the non-executive rooms look like I dont know. Presumably they have a lot better view.
The hotel had a gym. Upon asking when the opening times were I was told 07:00 a.m on the phone, and when actually being there, a very service-oriented individual had me talk to his hand in the attempt to get him to do anything before nine in the morning.
The room was full of things, especially the floor. I am sure I added to the generations of hair since there was no plug in the bathroom to use the hair dryer, and so you have to do it over the writing desk. It still does not explain the absence of a vacuum cleaner in a hotel of 5-stars. I do expect a clean room when I check in - period.
This, combined with the observation that none of the staff seemed to speak any English (I do speak Mandarin though) makes me give this one not many stars or recommendations. The reason why I stayed there was that the Sofitel upped their price overnight by 200 RMB.