The advertising for this Hostel is ubiquitous throughout backpacker dens in China. Located on the south side of West Lake we stayed there in late January for 20 kuai a night (YHA card). Our stay started well with a member of staff walking a few hundred metres down the road to guide us to this concealed hostel. Unfortunately that is where the praise ends.
After checking in and paying for two key deposits (100 kuai each) we were taken to our room and then told that we had to ask the reception desk each time we wanted to open our room. We complained, asking what exactly we had paid our key deposits for. Eventually they provided us with one key between two of us. However we were then told they could not find the keys to both our lockers so we could only use one. No individual keys meant that Chinese occupants often left the door a jar for their own convenience which was a big security risk, not to mention very cold in the January weather.
When we arrived on our first night the hot water was not working in the shower and we were told it would be fixed the next day. In the mean time we had to use the staff shower which was in a dreadful condition with bloody tissues and hair around the sink. Also with all the staff using the shower there was never any hot water left. By the next day we were told the hot water was not fixed and that we would have to keep using the staff shower, again we complained and an extremely annoyed male member of staff stormed off up stairs to show us to our new twin room which we got for the same price. After this the staff added to the cold shoulder they were already giving us.
The majority of 4eyes staff seemed unhelpful and unfriendly in any circumstance when there was a problem or an issue that required them to do anymore than show you to your room. The typical employee was more concerned with their dress sense and image rather than providing anything more than a stroppy attitude when speaking with you.
Four eyes gives the impress of a hostel that is more interested in the affluent traveller looking for double rooms and TVs, with the ratio of dorms to full rooms being disproportionate for a hostel. The dorms themselves are excessive ten sleepers with no individual bed lights, poor main lighting and only one shower in the same room as the toilet. Add to this the unacceptably thin mattresses, making it impossible to lie one your side with out resting painfully on your hip bone. Furthermore all the dorms come with a complementary rooster in the house next door that crows periodically between 6am and 11am.
Despite the flyer making much of the hostels location near the West Lake and National Scenic Area it actually proves to be isolated and inconvenient. The main city area is located around the north and eastern sides of the lake. Any trip requires a bus and many of which finished by 10:30 which meant even a short night in the bars required a taxi home at a cost of around 25 kuai. When we got the hotel they had no English maps available and all the tours advertised were in Chinese with no-one willing to explain them to us. These things are essential in a remote hostel such as 4eyes.We later found plenty of English maps in town and worked out our own day trips.
The café area was dominated by a group of Chinese acquaintances of the hostel staff, all hanging out in what seemed a friends club while the hostel was out of season. The whole time we were there they chose to turn the area into a private party drinking at one of the tables and rolling their eyes at anyone requiring service at the bar. The menu itself is expensive with 10 kuai for a weak and rather small cup of coffee. All spirits started at 30 kuai and food was pricey too. No time limit on the internet meant that half the computers were often occupied by friends of the staff playing Warcraft for hours on end. When you did find a computer free the keyboards were often broken or contained the remains of someone’s lunch.
Some positives at 4 eyes were the array of hot water flasks provided to take back to your room, well maintained outside space, a glass housed reading area and water features in the courtyard. It is a shame this hostel was so badly run as it has the potential to be a true backpacker haven but with so little consideration is given to the needs of travellers, sub standard dorms, poor service and bar prices hiked up to take advantage of the hostels isolation you feel less than welcome staying here.
The International Youth Hostel and Garden Youth hostel offer much more convenient locations and views of the lake. If you wish to visit the Scenic area it is well served by buses from town and you are unlikely to require a fare home after 10pm, once you are back at the hostel the main Yan’an Lu is just a walk away.
If you are up to 5 Star accomodations and want views of Westlake try the following:
Sofitel at West Lake, The Hyatt, Ramada and Lake View hotels will all have lake views of some description. They are all very close to Westlake and the main shopping and eating areas.
The Shangri La will probably have the most uninterupted views - it's a bit further away from the main drags though and you will probably have to taxi to the in-town restaurants and for shopping.
The Continental and Radisson will only have views from high floors and will be interrupted due to distance.
The hotel is quite impressive. Ideal for honeymooners.
It's only 2 storey high.
The surrounding gardens are also very beautiful, you can take plenty of pictures here.
The breakfast was pretty good too (compared with the other hotels in China that I've stayed in) and the food served in the restaurant there was superb. (One of the better restaurants in Hangzhou)
We spent a long time here, drying out from the snow, watching three seasons of Everybody Loves Raymond, sleeping. The comfortable beds take up most of the small, private rooms with bath, but the heater works well enough in the winter. The water is only on from maybe 5am-11am and 7pm-1am or something like that, so plan your showers. They also have dorms with public bath facilities.
They provide internet access via two computers and a wireless router, though at the time of writing one computer was down... I fixed it for them then they couldn't figure out how to put in the password so called it broken. Oh well... it needed serious medical help anyway.
They speak enough English to get by and they have a restaurant as well, which was utterly filled with wood and coal smoke when we went in to look at it. There's a big TV and it looked like a decent place. Buffet breakfast for 15RMB... they don't seem to do roomservice. Next door is a nice restaurant called the Photoyard Cafe, which is listed under restaurants.
I highly recommend the place.
Peaceful, aside from the garbage truck loading the numerous orange trashcans that stunk up the back entrance to the hostel. They have free "TV", movies and some seasons of various TV shows, Ray Romano was the only American TV series, I believe. The movies weren't too inspiring. Check out Ice Planet...
In 1211, the comfortable bed was open only on one side, the other three surrounded by walls and a dark-stained wood that gave it an antique feel. Again, the room was small, but nice. They have tea, towels and toilet paper, but no soap.
Hotel is quite nice. How to get to there? If you're arriving on train, a lot of agents will approach you and tell them to go near the Westlake river or the Expo site.
The area is also near restaurants and clubs to unwind at night.
All right, this is not a hotel review. But its possible to go to hangzhou without booking any room.. walkin rate will not be more expensive. When you reach Hangzhou train station... there will be many touts from the various travel agencies approaching you to "recommend" you a tour or a hotel. Don't be afraid, these touts are genuine employees and often will display credentials and have a office. From experience, these touts do have pretty good deals, especially for budget travellers as their main deals are usually two, three stars hotel. Their group tour are real cheap too, but usually they dont cater to western tourist as the tours are done in mandarin. The touts wont be pushy and you can walk away if you are not satisfied with the offers, its ok.
As I lived in Hangzhou, I really didn't stay much at hotels, but I did stay at this hostel for about a week between moves. It says hostel, so you get rooms to accommodate 4 or 8 people, in typical hostel style, but you also get what I would describe as standard hotel rooms (twin beds) and something called suites that are bigger.
I stayed in January (cold cold winter), and the rooms were adequatly heated with thick curtains to isolate the windows and the window sill served as an overnight fridge.
The staff is friendly and you can manage OK in English. Many foreigners stay here because they go to the TCM hospital (for study, I gather) just around the corner.
The location is a bit off the tourist path, with West Lake 2.5 kms to the West along Qing Chun Rd. But by no means far out. Location also costs, so accommodation this end the Qing Chun Road is cheaper.
Book directly with them, as there is no online booking system in place currently. You can pay with international credit cards (at least MasterCard was fine).
Twin rooms are equipped with air con, TV, water kettle + water (don't drink tap water in china) and baths. No fridge and no mini bar, however. Because this is a hostel, there are washing rooms where you can wash your clothes, a gym and a breakfast restaurant (vegetarian). No business centre, but the friendly people in the reception can probably help out.
The only thing I might miss in a long term stay or in the summer is a fridge.
The Chin Chin vegetarian restaurant, by the way, is fabulous. Even die-hard meat eaters would love it, I am sure.
Booking online, the price is 210 RMB for a single and 240 RMB for a twin. The rooms are sparkling clean (the hotel was opened in Feb 2005), with TV, aircon and ensuite. Local calls from the telephone in the room are also free.
One weird thing though, the bathroom and toilet "walls" were totally of glass (oh well, it's at least frosted glass where it matters -wink) so it felt a bit kinky! Teehee... ;)
If you would like to stay in a no frills cheap accommodation, Merchants Hotel will be your choice.
It is locatedaway from the city. Just 20 mins away from the airport and railway station.
It has a conference hall that can hold 400 pax. Function room and meeting room are aavailable for bookings.
The Chinese Restaurant serves many delicious dishes.
The hotel has other facilities such as Mahjong Room, Recreation Center, KTV Room, Dance Hall, Snooker Room and even a health and hairdressing center.
Though it's marked as only a 3 star hotel, and it's only about 200rmb per day, but the hotel is very comfortable. The environment looks very nice. The staffs there are professional. It's absolute the best 3 star hotel I have ever lived and it will worth the price. The hotel is not next to Xi Hu, but it's only 3 short blocks.
It may not have pool, maybe that's why it is only 3 stars. But I don't think it's a big deal, for a tourist, I don't think you really have time to swim in hotel either.
I like the food in their restaurant.
If you prefer a queit night of sleep, this is not the accommodation of your choice. As it is situated near to a railway station, you can hear the sounds of passing trains. However, just about 20 minutes you can reach West Lake.
A three-star hotel with 15-storey high main building. Dong Mao Hotel boasts 246 standard rooms & luxurious suites, equipped with mini-bar, IDD phone services, satellite TV programmes, etc. The rooms were newly refurbished with contemporary design. It looks clean & brand new.
If you plan to live in Hangzhou for a long term, you can find house in the website of
(regretfully, the site is in chinese, if you cannot recognize chinese character, you have to find someone to help you)
It locates in the western part of HangZhou, the place named Jiu Xi, also a resort of HZ. Live in mountain area will do better to your health, you can also climb it every morning. The other reason is though it locates outside downtown, it is not very far to come back to city center, about 20mins by bus, 15mins by taxi. I love it!
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