We arrived very late at Zhangye as we had a 3 hours delay on our train ride from Xian, by the time we arrived, it was close to 10 pm. For easy access to the National Park on the next day, we booked our accommodation at Holiday Inn Express which is located in the new town of Zhangye.
As the new town area is mostly filled with new apartments and hotels, there is not much shopping and food options around the area. Just 2 mins walk from the hotel, there is one famous beef noodles restaurant that also sells other Chinese food. There are also another restaurant and cafe 2 mins away. The main lobby itself is quite small with 4 check-in counters. The check-in process itself is pretty smooth but they only accept Chinese credit card or Alipay for payment so do prepare cash in advance. There is also no ATM around the area and the only way to get cash is through the bank in town. We had to get our tour agency to help us pay for the rooms as we did not have enough cash on hand.
At the main lobby, there is a small corner with a computer for guests who need to access the Internet, there is also a vending machine with cup noodles, drinks and snacks
The corridor to the rooms is well lit as well as properly maintained.
The room size is quite huge and spacious with a working desk as well as a 2 seater sofa and coffee table. The bed is a queen-size bed with decent support but on the stiffer side. The pillows are a little too soft for me and stacking of 2 pillows are still too soft for me. Coffee making amenities like an electric kettle and packet coffee is provided.
The toilet is of decent size and some bathroom amenities are provided. The shower is separated from the rest of the bathroom by a glass cubicle. When we checked in, the room only had 1 set of bath towels and we had to get the staff to deliver one more set
There were a few things in the room which would make me rate the hotel quite badly. Firstly, the moment we checked in, we found this tissue under the sofa, as it was very late, we left it thinking they would clean it the next day. However, this remained till the day we checked out. There was also another spot of carpet which was wet when we stepped on it and I really wished it was water and not some other liquid.
This was one of the bedside tables which has this sticky or burnt stain so I lie it with a tissue before putting my items on the table. We did not report both matters as we were out very early both days and really tired so we just bathed and slept when we were in the hotel.
The breakfast area is on the same level of the lobby but has extremely limited seating space especially during breakfast time. There is hardly enough tables so the hotel actually converted one side of the lobby into more seating with meeting tables and chairs.
The breakfast selection is actually considered ok but the food is seriously lacking and it is a case of demand higher than supply. Each time we go to the breakfast counters, the food is always almost run out and loads of guests are standing around waiting for refills. In terms of food quality, expect the usual oily Chinese stir fry vegetables and rice, some steamed buns, salad, fruits and toasts. For those who prefer a Western breakfast, there is also cereal and milk as well as sausages and boiled eggs.
Overall, the stay at Holiday Inn Express was pretty disappointing because of the cleanliness of my room and the location as we could not find much food options and they do not serve dinner as well. The nearest convenience stall is also 5mins drive away which is probably 15 – 20 mins walk away. The breakfast situation is also quite depressing as we had to squeeze and fight for food with other guests and taste-wise it is really mediocre. There are many other hotels in Zhangye, so I would recommend staying elsewhere unless you on a budget but still like to stay at an international chain hotel.
Room rates start from SGD 38 ( Off Peak)
Address: No 184 West Huancheng Road, Zhangye, China, 734000