We stayed here for two nights in July of 2009. Chengde Hotel is rated as a 4 star hotel by CTRIP (a chinese travel booking site) and others. However, the star system seems related to the list of ammenities of a hotel rather than the quality of the hotel itself. I don't mind staying at a 3 star or even a 2 star place depending on the situation, but when you are advertised a 4 star, you have some quality level in mind. The hotel was supposedly renovated in 2005 (originally built in the 70's), but I couldn't tell. The carpet in our room was badly stained, the furniture well worn, The beds thin and hard, and when we ran the air-conditioning (which worked great), a smoky smell seemed to enter our room even though we were in a non-smoking room. There was no facial tissue in the room, only the toilet paper. The walls were not sound-proof at all, as I could clearly hear the people in the next room having a conversation (they weren't shouting, either). The windows to the outside didn't block the sound either, and Chengde is filled with honking taxis, so that's what we heard all the time until quite late at night. Smoking hotel guests, including in the elevator, hallways, lobby and breakfast room was the norm and was irritating. But this isn't uncommon in China (ubiquitous smoking.) On the plus side, the bed linens were fresh and clean as was the bathroom. The shower was nice and hot with plenty of pressure. They did provide little slippers in the room (nice considering the stains on the carpet.) The breakfast was fine (Chinese style, included in the room price.) There's a fantastic chinese restaurant a short walk down the street from where we stayed which the front desk told us about. I'd stay here again, but only if I couldn't find a room at one of the other 4 star places in town.
Unique Quality: We used only Chinese at the hotel. I'm not sure if they speak any english. It is my impression that they don't, since they didn't try and since we didn't see a single non-chinese hotel guest.