Going abroad, you'd kind of expect to spend a lot of money. And that's why I did a lot of research before actually making our trip. After going through countless nights searching online for the cheapest possible accommodation in Shenzhen, China, I fancied Shanshui Trends Hotel. Although it received average reviews, the Shanshui Trends Hotel seems to be a decent one.
I was so happy I decided to book a room in Shanshui Trends Hotel. Once we got there, the street it's on is really bustling. You see tons of shops selling electronic goods and some restaurants and grocery stores nearby. We found out that this is the infamous electronic market of Shenzhen. So, obviously, despite the less than modern outer facade of the hotel, the fact that it is in the middle of electronic market, is a huge plus to tourists who love shopping for gadgets.
The hotel is right by the road and it's pretty easy to spot. It is, however, a bit older compared to other hotels we've passed by when going there. The outside of the hotel is filled with tons of shops, so you can already notice the noise.
The lobby is spacious but quite hot. They don’t have an airconditioning there or maybe they didn’t turn it on. I don’t know. Anyway, I'm not much of a fan of the decoration because it is a bit out-dated, in my opinion, but the staff greeted us with smiles and they were polite. When they found out that our Chinese is limited to bows and a mispronounced 'Nihao', they asked us to step aside for them to call the manager. Apparently, he is the only one who can speak English in the building. The rest of the staff don’t understand English and would just give you polite smiles and greeting bows.
As always, you check in at 2pm and check-out at 12nn. However, if you have a prior boing with the hotel, they can already let you check in especially if the hotel has plenty of available rooms. Since our booking was done months ago, our room has already been ready for our arrival. We arrived in the late afternoon though. Since it's summer season, there are tons of visitors who are coming to Shenzhen. They also give priority to foreign tourists who book early, so that's pretty awesome.
Our room is decent, but since it is a cheaper option, it is satisfactory. It isn't so spacious but you can freely move around the huge bed in the middle. We booked a Deluxe Family Room. The beds take up most part of the room because they are pretty big so they can fit two people at one time. We were pretty happy with our room. It has small bedside tables and two chairs at the side. We also got to have a room with a window so we can see what's going on down below.
It is very clean and well maintained. The beds are also ultra soft and comfy and it took me a while to get off it. The bathroom is a bit tight though. It only has a shower, but that's fine. We're not so picky with our room. The table has a few bottles of water and a perculator for you to use. It also has a wardrobe area which we find very convenient for us to keep our stuff out of the way. It does have a TV but it's pointless because all channels are in Chinese.
I had issues with the bathroom and the thin walls. The bathroom in our room is fully closed in by just a tinted glass. So, technically, it is semi see-through. Then again, I'm with my family but that's just pretty bothersome to me though. Although I like our room, I hated the thin walls. We got blessed with really noisy neighbors.
We did have to wait a while (about thirty minutes), so we just decided to sit in the lobby. I let my son look around while I sat waiting for our room key. It’s not a great welcome but the language barrier just can't be resolved without the manager.
The manager came and greeted us with plenty of apology. I already a booked a room in advance and he said it was nice and ready for us. He did transfer us to the third floor, where he said it was quieter because the evening bustle of the street below can be bothersome.
Despite the lack of basic English communication, the staff are very polite. They are very decent and also very accommodating. Whenever we go to our hotel room, they stand aside to let us pass first. They also smile every time we meet them. It's nice; they make us feel like real guests of the hotel. But whenever we have to ask about nearby places and the how to's to get from point A to point B, we were always redirected to the main desk. Some of the personnel are able to communicate but with the aid of multiple hand gestures, and a handy English dictionary on the phone.
Our booking has a free buffet breakfast. The food was very average, and quite bland. For the dinner, since we are a bit overwhelmed with the difficulty to communicate, we decided to just walk around and find some fast food, maybe a McDonalds. However, we’re getting far from the hotel and we find nothing. We just walked back and found food stalls nearby. No English for them so we just point out whatever is in there. The menu features Chinese Cuisine, mostly pecking ducks. We have no choice. Not so special really and as expected, a bit over-priced.
As a hotel located in the commercial district, the hotel has little amenities. It is more of a place for temporary and convenient lodging and not really meant for a long term vacation hotel spot to stay in. It does have an indoor garden where almost every floor can view the garden down below.
There is a free wifi but it’s a bit slow. Also, take note that Facebook and Google are banned in China. So even with a free wifi, you couldn’t do so much. WeChat is their main social media platform there.
The hotel room offers free shuttle rides to the one of the malls. I think it’s Luohu Mall. We weren’t able to go there. The Huaqiangbei is just a corner away from our hotel but we didn’t bother visiting it as well. It is also very near the Shenzhen Station, no need to ride a cab. You can easily go to different places just through that. And there is a cheap foot and body massage parlor right beside the hotel that is a must visit!
Overall, our stay was satisfactory. The food in the hotel is just average but the location is definitely the one that makes up for all the lacking features. Everything is accessible everywhere, cheap good food outside, cheap shopping area, cheap electronics shops, and real accessibility to the railway station. Our stay was comfortable and cheap, so it's definitely a place I will recommend for travelers under tight budget.