You call that 4 stars??!

I recently took a business trip to the city of Rui’an – a less-than-enthralling 5 hour train trip from Shanghai.  For a smallish city (1 million people), Rui’an is a booming economic centre, having been a centre for business for hundreds of years and one of the first Chinese cities to open up to international trade.

We stayed in what is supposedly Rui’an’s only 4-star hotel.  The room, while comfortable enough, hardly screamed “first class” (as the hotel ranking system defines it…)

And while the hotel itself can’t be blamed for the shortcomings of the surrounding cityscape, the view hardly inspired feelings of luxurious appointment.  In addition to making the view even less appealing, the satellite dishes were tuned only to Chinese language stations, leaving me plenty of time to explore the 4-star features of my room.

Firstly, the “mini-bar”. Two glasses.  No alcohol, no food.


The bathroom, in lieu of those cute little bottles of perfumed toiletries, had a two-button shower dispenser (one for body foam, one for shampoo – suspiciously similar in colour and fragrance) and a rubber ducky family.  Weird.  Check out the expert tiling work, by the way.

And this lovely artwork, likely mass-produced and on the verge of mouldy meltdown.


The guest manual outlined some of the other features of the hotel, from their peculiar food to their thorouge safety system (wow! straight outta the 1970s! with multiple monitors and a guy in a uniform!)

And an advanced communication system, also known as a telephone.  You can call locally and internationally, which is quite handy.

Especially if you are visiting town on business.  Rui’an’s speciality is the manufacture of car parts, which would explain why, instead of a phonebook, my room had a 2-part directory of local car and motorcycle parts manufacturers.

My favourite touch, however, were the very special hand-made padded clothes hangers (perhaps this is Rui’an’s other manufacturing speciality).  In black, no less.  I’d normally expect a lovely floral pattern.

It’s 4-star arts-n-crafts-chic at its very best.


One Response to You call that 4 stars??!

  1. Pingback: Figuring out the last year … « That Look Crayzy!

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