The bus (20 yuan out of Hohhot) might drop you off in town, or it might drop you off before town, into the politely demanding hands of one of a few people trying to get you to stay at their yurt (ger).
These comfortably appointed, concrete, wood, steel and cloth gers are a far cry from the gers of Mongolia's past. Their foundations permanently formed in concrete, a metal frame holds up the cloth and insulation on the roof and walls, windows and a skylight, while the floor is padded with wood. A low table greets you as you walk in, behind which are a few rugs with sleeping pads, pillows and covers awaiting you. The floor is comfortable enough for the average Chinese, seemingly more used to sleeping on hard beds than the softies of the west, but it is comfortable enough. Sleeping bags are handy in the cooler months, though a coal stove is sufficiently well stocked to keep the place warm, if you want it. Don't let it die out.
For about 60 yuan a night, these yurt camps aren't bad, especially in the off season, when we went. They have horses to ride and a short menu, though there are places in town as well, if you get tired of mutton and lanolin.
It's not quite an authentic experience, especially as it's designed for tourists. But, if you want to see the grasslands, it's not a bad place to start, especially if you don't want to pay a tour service to get you out to the grasslands.
This is a pleasant hotel about ten minutes' walk from the train and bus stations. There seems to be an English-speaking agent at reception in the evenings, but not in the mornings. For about 120 yuan a night for a double room (two twin beds) the place is clean and comfortable, though cigarette burns seem to be the standard decor of the ship-like bathrooms. The showers occasionally need a bit of time (read 20 minutes) to heat up, and the toilets had difficulties, but there is a free breakfast (and lunch?) included in the room.
Breakfast includes filled, steamed buns, some vegetable matter, a hard-boiled egg or two, cookies and/or mini muffins, some tasteless yet comforting rice/bean mush soup and other soups. Breakfast is 8-8:30am and lunch seems to be 12-12:30pm. There are two restaurants, a billiards room and a small shop downstairs to buy various (probably food-related) things. The rooms have toothbrushes, combs, soap and shampoo, shower caps and they offer two types of slippers, one disposable and the other rubber.
There often isn't much in the way of toilet paper in the rooms- we noticed this both times we visited, but there are also other public bathrooms if you don't want a bathroom in your room.
It's conveniently located near the stations, but not so close.
There are no great views, really. No pool that I know of, no weight room. But it's a comfortable and easy place to stay. If you really want a work out, get a room on the fifth floor. We had 507 and 504 respectively. There are no elevators.
This budget option next to the train and bus station is clean and convienent. For only Y80 a night, the bathrooms are surprisingly clean and well kept. The rooms themselves are are decently sized and clean and the attendents are helpful and friendly. There is no A/C but a good fan is provided in the room. Nice big windows.
After a rather short-tempered discussion on VT's Miscellaneous Forum about what appeared to be advertising content in the Tips & Reviews section of some cities (actually it started with a complaint about Hohhot), I decided to provide information on hotels available in Hohhot.
I have done a full review of the hotel I stayed at, but while in Hohhot collected information about other hotels, and list them below for reference for others.
In general there are a wide range of hotels in Hohhot, especially at 4 and 3 star level.
Several are listed below:
Zhaojun Hotel, Xinhua Lu (T:04716962211, F:0471 6968825, e:email@example.com, w:www.zhaojunhotel.com.cn) 4-star, ~500RMB. Has swimming pool and bowling alley. Centrally located.
Huhhot Railway Hotel, 73 Huochezhan Xilu (T:0471 2269665, F: 0471 6963138). 2 star, ~120 RMB. Not where the Lonely Planet Guide shows it to be. It is 100m west of the station.
The building marked as a hotel diagonally opposite (Hueyua Hotel or something) is now closed down.
I have a full listing of hotels in Hohhot and will provide information on specific hotels on request by e-mail.
Additional hotel mentioned in the review of Baita.
Accomodation: clean neat tidy
Staff: Mostly Friendly, and reasonably helpful despite language difficulties
Services: business services are adequate however internet usalge from the centre is stunningly expensive at O.50 RMB per minute.
Lobby Bar: is a Teahouse. Beer is available. however, the fridge is used to keep beer at constant room temperature rather than keeping bottled beer at around optimal drinking temperature (approx. 4 deg. C) - This criticism applies to most bars, discos and clubs in Hohhot
KTV Hall: Small private rooms - be sure to negotiate the hostess price before she starts to drink or sing her costs just for sitting there may be more than double what you spend on drinks and songs. Limited availability of English songs
1st Floor Club: Fantastic! The Cold Bottled beer is drinkable. The place IS a hostess centre so expect to pay for the girls time at the standard rate. This will be discussed in advance by one of the male service attendants who are prompt curteous and well behaved. The club has a nightly fashion and dance show typical of most places in this region, which starts at around 9:30 pm and features minority song and dance, fashion parades and one or two exotic dancers. The one I saw danced with a carpet snake - great stuff!
Pool: The hotel also has a swimming pool and bathhouse which incorporates various types of legitimate massage and health treatments.
Restaurants: The Chinese restaurant is a typical lage dining hall doubling as a buffet breackfast centre in the mornings. All the usual fare can be fond here. Quality is reasonable. The Hotel aslo features a "western fusion" (I use the term loosely) restaurant speciallising in alternative asian cuisines and some western style foods. Unfortunately this would be the largest negative about the hotel. Cold sweet blanc mange resplendent with multiple bay leaves is a far cry from "Cream Soup." the italian dishes lak the essential seasonings and herbs that characterise the flavour of such dishes. The pizza is poorly built indicating a lcak of fundamental knowledge regarding the creation of such food items. To describe this food as Western style with chinese characteristics would not only be overly polite but an outright deceit. The one highlight, and possibly saving grace in the "western food" arena, would be the vegetable soup which turned out to be an adequate, if overly thickened ministrone. I beg the question, was it turned out from a tin?
the only international standard 4-start hotel in Hohhot. 20 minutes to the Airport.
newly built, nice decorated, competitive price.
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