I spent more than 10 weeks in this palace/hotel while on business. A large part of the staff are tourist guide students from a Guangdong school. They stay one year to gain some experience with tourists, I guess. They love to practice English on foreigners :-)
Directions: It is quite far from the centre, about 40 minutes by bus. There is a bus every 30 minutes from the nearby transport station. A trip to Guangzhou is 8RMB.
I never really stayed at the hotel, but I did work for them for a period of time. I met a Canadian guy who was one of the assistant managers there and he got me a job doing editing for the hotel, of it's English documents.
So, I did spend quite a bit of time in the hotel and know quite a bit about it. When you first walk into the place you're taken aback. It quite honestly is gorgeous, both inside and out. But, beauty only runs skin deep as they say.....
Unique Quality: About the only "unique" quality that I can truly comment on, is the game rooms. Here, these plush rooms offer billards, snooker, ping pong, majhong, chinese chess and other games in total privacy where you can play your heart (and pocketbook ) away, sip your favorite beverage or have snacks delivered by pretty Chinese attendants.
I got to play free since I knew the assistant manager and had a couple of other friends at the hotel, so I can't imagine what it would cost to actually rent one of these rooms.
Basically, if you have a lot of money to spend and want plush surroundings, stay here. But I would definitely eat elsewhere, as I've sampled the fare at all the restaurants in the place and I'd stay about as far away from them as humanly possible. The Vienna is the best, but I hesitate using the word "best" except only in comparison to the Chinese restaurant and other offers in the hotel.
Directions: From airport: Take taxi to International Hotel. Around back, by the guard shack, you will find a bus stop for Phoenix City, which arrives every 30 min. Once at Phoenix City transportation center, take a small bus to the hotel from there.
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Address: Guangyuandong Rd, Xintang Section, Guangzhou, Guangdong, 511340, China