Hotel Review: Mercure Downtown Beijing – avoid it if you can

I took a red-eye flight in Economy to Beijing from Paris yesterday and must admit to being totally exhausted right now. A colleague was kind enough to pick me up at the airport and take me to the Mercure Beijing Downtoan. This hotel is relatively inexpensive and located a few blocks away from the China Central Mall – too far to walk everyday as the sidewalk goes under 3 freeways, four major intersections, and one canal and it is like 20 minutes. Fortunately, the hotel does have a shuttle bus in the morning…that was booked solid after Tuesday. Comments on the Mercure: almost no staff member speaks fluent English and the miscommunication is rather frequent. The rooms are OK – actually, the best thing about this hotel (and hotels in Asia in particular) is the breakfast buffet which features everything Asian and as well as pancakes, orange juice (from concentrate :(, and coffee (typically bad Asian coffee). The rooms were pretty plain. What I found annoying was that the bathroom had wallpaper that was peeling at almost every junction. Now, I am not an interior designer, but wallpaper in a bathroom, there is something wrong with that isn’t there? Was waterproof paint really that expensive? Last rant: I have been traveling for at least two decades in Asia on a semi-frequent basis and stayed at my share of hotels. This is the first one where the room key didn’t have the hotel address in the foreign characters so that I could show it to a taxi and get home from pretty much anywhere. Fortunately, I had the hotel reservation queued on the iPhone because when I ripped out the room key in a taxi, there was an embarrassing pause because he didn’t know how to take me to “free breakfast before 10am” and I couldn’t say “Mercure” in Chinese.

Overall, this hotel was a disappointment. In this neighborhood near “New Town” in Central Eastern Beijing, you’ll be better off at the Sofitel or J.W. Marriott.

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About mfinocchiaro

IT Architecture Guru for large PLM software company but dabbling in Web 2.0 and other stuff.
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3 Responses to Hotel Review: Mercure Downtown Beijing – avoid it if you can

  1. rivk says:

    I think your problem started in the 1st 12 words. Why not Business?

  2. Paul says:

    Sad story. I know the Mercure is not Novotel or Sofitel, but as far as I know, even a Holiday Inn in an asian country carries an assurance of quality. Even in America, hotels make a decent effort of displaying customer information in foreign language – including mandarin chinese in the mid-west (kudos to them).
    About the bad asian coffee: I hear you. Although things should have improved since then, when I travelled to Seoul in ’96, I had the worst Blue Mountain coffee in my life. I could see the bottom of the cup (porcelain, granted) – and I hadn’t even started sipping. My coworkers quickly introduced me to the vending machine, which to my delight actually produced a strong, flavorful brew. But, yes, indeed, coffee is usually not their forte.

    • mfinocchiaro says:

      Yeah, there is the vending machine, but honestly, nothing while traveling over there beats old Starbucks! I was at the une under my company’s offices twice a day! Thanks for following and commenting 🙂

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