Hotel Name: Xiang Mei Hotel – Laojie Branch
Address: Yindu Building, 3016 Shennan East Road, Luohu District, Shenzhen, China
I stayed at the Xiang Mei Hotel – Laojie Branch in Shenzhen, China. I had no idea where I should stay in Shenzhen as there doesn’t appear to be a central area that is most advantageous for the casual visitor. Indeed, most visitors are here for business, so your business activity would dictate where you would stay.
Having said that I think I picked a good spot to stay in Shenzhen. Laojie branch of the Xiang Mei Hotel is located near the Dongmen Street pedestrian zone, and not far from the Hong Kong S.A.R frontier. I got the metro from Hong to the border, and from there is was a short metro ride to the hotel.
The hotel itself is in a nondescript office building with no signage to indicate that there is a hotel there. It is on a main road though and the number is clearly marked so there is no chance of getting lost.
The hotel is in the back of the building and it shares the elevators with other offices. When I arrived I was reminded about how little English is spoken throughout China as no one at reception spoke English. One of the staff spoke into a translator app and we eventually worked out who I was and which room I go to.
If you are arriving from Hong Kong (as I was) you might be shocked to see how far your money goes here. In the hotel I stayed at the night before I paid $38.27USD for a tiny room with a single bed. Here I paid 32.13USD and got a large room with two double beds and a big window facing the main street. Just the empty space where you enter the room was as big as the room I stayed in the night before.
A good work desk and chair.
A standard feature in Chinese hotels are these smoke masks, which are for escaping a fire and not to put on during polluted days.
Complimentary bottles of water.
A big bathroom with a good hot water system.
Being back in China I had forgotten about “The Great Firewall of China”, where many important sites like Google and Facebook are blocked. Make sure you set up a VPN that works in China before you go. The internet here had a weird logging in system, and it didn’t help that their was a language barrier with the staff. In the end I figured out how to log in on my laptop in my room, but I couldn’t use my phone in my room. For some reason my phone worked in the lobby so I ended up having to go downstairs whenever I needed to use Wechat (the mobile messaging service of choice in China).
As I mentioned it was a good area for a casual visitor as well. Dongmen Street is a lively shopping area with local eateries and international chains. There is an indoor food market street in the area which is good for little local snacks. It is well connected with the metro system as well, making it easy to get around the rest of this enormous city.