I had some trousers made in Shenzhen and they were great, but after an hour’s wear and non-tear they somehow changed shape into shapeless. So last weekend I set off again for that glorious city of foot masseurs and debauchery to have the trouser issue dealt with. As I was crossing the border I thought, bugger me DOWN, this time I’m going to stay in the Shangri-la, just to soak up the feeling of being rich.
As I’ve noticed many times in the mainland, the more expensive the hotel, the longer it takes to check in. Shangri-la was no exception. But at least the internet connection is free AND has access to YouTube, Facebook etc, although it says in the Guest Directory that it doesn’t.
The hotel had a beautiful reception of course, marred not a little by a sickening, over-sweet perfume wafting through the cavernous room. This is another bad habit that Hong Kong is enthusiastically copying, notably in IFC. Lose the perfume, people!
A room in the Shangri costs 920 yuan a night, if you book from the hotel booking office next to the HSBC cash machine at the Lo Wu exit. It’s supposed to be a five star hotel, but I think the Hilton in Guangzhou for 200 yuan less was a much better deal. The photo above doesn’t do it justice, but you could easily fit six people in the bed. Seven if slim. But why? Who checks into a room with five other people? Couldn’t they just have a normal-sized bed and some floor space instead? The room was tiny and a bottle of Evian was 55 yuan. But of course the shampoo and conditioner was much better than in a moderately priced hotel.
Beautiful view, though:
So the next day I thought I’d check out the Kong Palace on the 2nd floor, lauded in the guest directory and lift and everywhere. The good thing about mainland hotels is that no matter how expensive the rooms are, the restaurants are still not scarily priced; only 20% more than normal.
I had some spring rolls which were awful. They had in them something like smoked sausage; the taste was overpowering and totally unsuitable. And look at how few there were of them:
The next thing was taro cake, which I couldn’t find under the “fried” part of the yam cha menu. No, because the Kong Palace does boiled taro cakes! What, whoever’s heard such a thing. I asked them to kindly fry them and the result wasn’t too bad, but it still wasn’t right. What is it with the mainland and the more you pay the less you get?
Only next door is a hotel at 1/4 the price of the Shangri-la, the excellent Railway Hotel, and everything is in order there, including the taro cakes. This is what they should look like:
Ahhhh hungryyyyyy. No, people. When in the mainland, it’s really not worth it to fork out. Chopstick out instead.