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.


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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