Before I left for China I told you I booked the trip through Living Social and I wasn’t sure how that would go. I have to say that we got more than our money’s worth on this trip. Actually I have no idea how they can afford to have a trip like this for the price we paid. The total cost was $1,300 a person including airfare, 5 star hotels, ground transportation and food. The flight alone usually costs that amount. Mike and I kept joking that the Chinese government probably subsidized our trip just so that we’d go back to America and tell people all about the luxury hotels and fine dining. Their plan worked. Actually, I must admit the sketchy Chinese restaurant on my block has better Chinese food than what we ate there, but the hotels were incredible:
The Oriental Bay International Hotel in Beijing
You’ll notice a reoccurring theme of giant windows in the bathroom. I’m sure the designers thought this was sexy, but there’s nothing like waking up in the morning and seeing your loved one on the toilet.
You can watch a movie from the bathtub!
And they gave us matching robes!
This is how we roll
Moving on to The Grand Metro Park Hotel in Suzhou…
Mike is actually spinning around singing, “the hills are alive with music.’
This hotel room was bigger than our apartment, but sadly there was no window overlooking the bathroom. Instead, the bathroom was encased in frosted glass.
The view from our room. You can’t see it from the smog but there are thousands of identical houses stretching for miles. These were provided by the government to farmers who agreed to sell their land and move to the city.
Next up, The Sanli New Century Grand Hotel in Hangzhou:
The incredible lobby
This lobby was colder than outside. Thank heavens for Eda, writer of Tokyo Tales, who warned me that it would be cold indoors. I wore my coat, hat, scarf and gloves inside every restaurant, bus ride and lobby. Heating is not common.
In Hangzhou we got a night off from the group and found a great little restaurant. They didn’t speak a word of Enlgish and we had to mime and point to other people’s food to order. At one point I rubbed my belly to ask if something was tasty. The woman gave me a stern look. Mike said, “I think you just ordered an abortion.” We did end up getting an amazing beef dish with a very light tempura and pistachio nut batter.
Now on to the final hotel. Courtyard by Marriot in Shanghai:
Had to use the panoramic feature on my camera to show you all the elegance of this room in one picture.
This one came complete with a binder for the remote:
The strange view from the room: Skyscrapers, a slum, and an abandoned field. I’m pretty sure there will be ten skyscrapers in that space by next year.