Value for money, accessible location, but close to noisy train tracks.
ROOM: Booked a “Deluxe King Bed” on Agoda.com at a discount, 8 nights for US$207.52 (around US$26/night). We pre-paid for the entire stay online, so after reading a previous review on TripAdvisor that they didn’t honor Agoda reservations, I was kind of worried since we also arrived late at night. But when we got to the hotel and showed the voucher printout, there was no problem. We were given a room on the 5th floor. They don’t help you with your luggage but there’s an elevator so it wasn’t difficult to bring our bags up ourselves.
Upon entering, the room strongly smelled of smoke. They allow guests to smoke in the rooms, ashtrays are provided. But once the aircon is turned on, the smell will kind of go away.
There was a king-sized bed as promised but it was hard, as most beds are in China, and you can feel the springs on your back. 2 pillows, a comforter, plus 2 decorative square pillows are provided.
Room was a bit dark. One hallway light, recessed fluorescent light in the room, 2 side table lamps above the bed.
AMENITIES: Airconditioner. TV (purely local Chinese channels). Electric water kettle. Water dispenser on every floor. Phone. Free internet via LAN cable, no WiFi. No in-room refrigerator. No safe.
BATHROOM: A bit small, but clean. Shower is right beside the toilet with no shower curtain so it gets quite wet everywhere. Central water heater provides hot water for both the sink and shower. High water pressure was a good thing. Towels & toiletries provided: soap, shampoo, shower cap, toothbrush & toothpaste, & comb. A/C outlet available. We had a bit of a problem with the toilet getting clogged and they provided us with a plunger to clear out the clog ourselves (LOL).
SLEEP QUALITY: Unfortunately, there’s a railway track located right next to the hotel. So be ready to hear and feel train noises & vibration, even at night and very early in the morning. You literally are rattled awake. Light sleepers, be warned.
SERVICE: Staff doesn’t speak English. So if you don’t speak Mandarin or Cantonese, bring an electronic translator or use a translation app if possible. Staff is very helpful otherwise. Room & bathroom were cleaned everyday, no fail. Towels & toiletries replenished daily as well.
LOCATION: 10 minute walk to MTR, XiCun (西村) station. Walking distance to restaurants (including KFC & McDonalds if you want fast food), Trust Mart (supermarket), convenience stores (7-11 located inside the XiCun station), street market (selling fruits, vegetables, food), tea shops, liang kuai/2RMB shops (equivalent to a Dollar Store), hospital & a police station.
Taxis RARELY pass by Xiwan Road, so you have to ask the front desk to call a cab for you if you want one. Otherwise, you can use the metro.
VALUE: For a room with a large bed, high-pressure hot shower & sink, good working aircon, TV, free internet, and accessible location, this hotel offers good value for the price.
TIP: For transport convenience, ask to borrow a Yang Cheng Tong (羊城通) card from the reception. You pay a RMB50 deposit, which will be refunded when you return the card. It has zero value when you first borrow it, so you need to reload it with a minimum of RMB50 in any 7-11. You can use it on the MTR, bus, taxis, 7-11 & other convenience stores. Note: Unused value remaining in the card will not be returned to you.
Via MTR - Around RMB 10. From Baiyun Airport, take Line 3 (Orange) towards Panyu Square/Tiyu Xi Lu and get off at Jia He Wang Gang station. Transfer to Line 2 (Blue) towards Guangzhou South Railway, get off at Guangzhou Railway Station. Transfer to Line 5 (Red) to Jiao Kou, get off at Xi Cun. Use Exit A, and you will see a McDonald’s, KFC & Trust Mart across the street. Cross the street and walk away from the main highway towards the small roads & hospital. You will see a fork in the road. Stick to your right, hospital should be on your left. You know you’re on the right path if you pass by a police station to your right. Just keep on walking and the hotel will be to your left.
Via Taxi - We paid around RMB110 (metered taxi) from Baiyun Airport to the hotel but it was worth it for the convenience. There was a long queue at the airport to get a cab. Avoid fixers who offer you to skip the queue and get in their private for-hire cars/taxis. They will agree on a fixed rate but may give you a different rate once you're already in the car. Also, bring smaller bills to avoid typical taxi driver scams. A driver may take your 100 RMB bill & switch it with a fake bill, then returns the fake bill and tells you either (a) he doesn't have change or (b) your bill is fake.