“Not acceptable. Not even close.”
This hotel is named Tai Garden by the hotel itself. (This is not the first Chinese hotel Tripadvisor misspells or mislabels.) It is one of about a dozen properties at the three and four-star level in Jinghong. Complicating the booking situation are confusing names. There is the Tai Garden Hotel and the New Tai Garden Hotel, across a boulevard from each other. The former is rated four stars by China, and the new property is rated at five stars.
Most booking sites make no distinction, and the descriptions frequently are of the New Tai with pricing and reservations for the older Tai Garden. Since Jinghong and these properties are far from the well-worn western-tourist path in China, you should deal directly with the properties to attempt to get what you want. We dealt with ctrip.com which itself was confused.
Having seen great references to the Tai Garden, we booked seven nights. It turned into one night only, as we checked out as early as possible the next morning. The first room we were shown had a huge diagonal crack in the wall facing the beds, about five feet long and an inch wide at times, with buckled plaster and wallpaper. In the hotel information packet it talked about earthquakes. Hmm. Room Two was thoroughly saturated with cigarette smoke. The front desk manager told me we did not specify a nonsmoking room, so we should not expect anything specific. Further, she said a little room spray would solve the problem for a seven-night stay. Are you getting the picture?
Room Three had the dirtiest carpeting I have seen in over forty years of staying in hotels around the world. We took this room out of despair. We saw literally dozens of unoccupied rooms with the doors wide open, awaiting guests, but were made to wait for this third room. The hotel’s free slippers were a necessity.
The front desk manager would not make an effort to improve the situation, and refused to notify the general manager that we were totally dissatisfied. She simply could care less. However, I cared enough to spend the rest of the daylight looking for a new hotel for the next day. We checked in a few minutes after the hotel booking credit-card guarantee went into effect or else we would have walked.
We looked at the Crown and Sightseeing Hotels. You will find a separate review for the Sightseeing Hotel. The Crown Hotel is managed by the same company which operates the Tai Garden and New Tai Garden. We looked at several rooms and discovered that although the property is rated three stars, it has four-star rooms in one of its spread-out buildings. The large pool did not have any lounge chairs, only fixed fiberglass chairs under open-roofed structures. Basically, this was the same pool situation as the Tai Garden. However, based on the spacious grounds and nice four-star rooms, we would have stayed here if we had not found better at the Sightseeing.
There are several other new properties that look good in Jinghong. The newest hotel will be the Golden Zone Hotel, to open sometime in 2008 and certainly worth a look. Also the New Tai Garden looks like it could be satisfactory based on the grounds and new facility. (It was fully booked for the first several nights of our stay, so was not an option.)
The best thing about the Tai Garden was its morning buffet Chinese breakfast included in the rate. The custom-made Dai noodles were excellent with a choice of spices, herbs and flavorings. Otherwise, be warned to avoid this property. The sleeping rooms and management are totally unsatisfactory.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC