I recently visited China for the first time. In particular, I visited two areas: Beijing and Fuzhou. Fuzhou is one of the largest cities in the Fujian province. Compared to well known cities in China such as Beijing and Shanghai, Fuzhou is not exactly a touristy destination. As a result, I find that detailed reviews of the Intercontinental Fuzhou are few and far between. I ended up booking 2 rooms at the hotel for our stay, based on the generally positive reviews, its rating as the #1 hotel in Fuzhou on Tripadvisor, and on the strength of the Intercontinental brand.
My check-in was a little complicated than most, with two rooms booked using a combination of IHG points, an e-cert, and a paid reservation. The check-in staff was competent and friendly, and he was able to sort it all out.
In fact, he recognized me when his colleague helped me to check out on my last day there. After he finished helping his customer, he scooted over to chat while his colleague processed the check out. That’s when I found out that many of the front desk staff were multi-lingual — he can speak Mandarin and English. He understands Fuzhou-ese (a Fuzhou dialect) but he can’t speak it well. This surprised me since we were in Fuzhou. The service at this hotel across various roles had been consistently solid, whether it’s the front desk staff, doorman, concierge, or room service.
The hotel is about 45 minutes from Changle International Airport, and it costs around $230-300 RMB for a regular taxi to get to and from the airport.
There is a taxi stand right outside of the hotel, which is convenient enough to get you to wherever you need to go. Taxis are relatively cheap and start off at either 10RMB ($1.50 USD) or 15RMB ($2.25 USD), depending on the taxi type.
There is a McDonald that is less than a 5 minutes’ walk from the hotel. There is also a grocery store across the street from the hotel so you can stock up on miscellaneous snacks.
The hotel lobby is grandly designed and elegant with ample waiting area for guests. The rooms are nicely appointed and provide for a very comfortable stay.
The only thing I wasn’t thrilled about is the “open concept” on the bathroom. The shower area is next to the beds. If you are not traveling as a couple, this make things kind of awkward. Fortunately, the shower has a shaded pane and there is a divider you can pull out to separate the beds and the bathroom area, so I will let this one pass. I am sure some designers out there think this sort of open concept hotel room design is the best thing since sliced bread, and I don’t doubt that there is a market for these types of rooms. However, I’m not a fan — functional use and privacy over design, in my book.
Hotel breakfast service was impeccable and the staff even remembered my choice of tea on my second visit. However, I wasn’t as impressed with the breakfast spread (admittedly, I am a picky eater). There was a variety, but I found the spread to be a bit bland. At around $25 USD per person, it also wasn’t the best value for its price. You can buy and get more food elsewhere, though you may have to wander further away. That said, the ambiance at the hotel was unmistakably relaxing, and the service was great.
The (regular) room service was nothing short of phenomenal. In one instance, we wrote a note to request some ice, and when we came back, the request was met along with a beautifully hand-written note letting us know that the ice is there. She also noted that she got it early so it may have melt by the time we get back, but to let her know if she can be of any additional service. Such thoughtfulness!
Pricing and Overall Value
At the time of my stay, the room rates were in the range of $100-120 USD (without breakfast). With many hotels in the area going for anywhere from $30-$80 USD per night, the Intercontinental Fuzhou is priced on the higher end relative to other hotels in the area. However, the hotel made it up in terms of its service and accommodation.
We also happened to visit during a heat wave. The temperature was in the 90s for a few days, and the hotel offered a comfortable respite against the sweltering heat.
I had a wonderful stay at this Intercontinental Fuzhou, and I can see why it’s rated as the top hotel in Fuzhou. I’d give it a 4.5 out of 5 — taking off a .5 off for the breakfast spread and the bathroom design. Ultimately, the hotel provides a great value for its price, and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this hotel to others. Intercontinental Fuzhou is certainly a place I would book again myself if I am in the area.