We didn’t manage to do much on our first day upon arrival at the capital city of Hunan Province – Changsha, as it was already evening when we touched down at Changsha Huanghua International Airport (长沙黄花国际机场). The airport looks quite modern to me, like a typical airport in Taiwan or Hong Kong, or maybe my expectations weren’t high for a China airport to begin with haha (Oops!).
After dinner, we checked in to the Huawen Forest Hotel [华文森林酒店: 雨花区湘府东路二段168号（植物园北门）] for our first night in Changsha. The hotel looks pretty decent and spacious for a local 5-star rating (for China hotels, usually we should drop 1-star for international rating), but its decor is pretty “Chinese” and old-school. 😛
The location of this hotel is not in the heart of town, although a supermarket and a pharmacy are conveniently located at the ground floor of the hotel. A few temporary fruit stalls were also set up in front of the hotel on the first night. I saw hotels across the road from us so it seems like the area is a cluster for hotels?
There is free wifi in the rooms as well as at the hotel lobby. However, as we stayed at a corner twin room on the first night, the wifi connection was very unstable and my friend’s iPhone seemed to connect better than my Samsung. -_-” Fortunately when we returned to this same hotel on the last night of the tour, we got a twin room near the lift lobby and the wifi reception became much better, more stable.
There is nothing too outstanding about this hotel, but I wouldn’t say that it is lousy too. One thing in common amongst all the hotels we stayed in during the trip was the air-conditioner temperature could not be lower than 25 or 26 degree celsius, a temperature set by the government for energy conservation. I remember waking up in the middle of the night perspiring as I was all wrapped up with the blanket. It was only on the second day that the local tour guide highlighted this to us so I made sure I didn’t cover myself fully with the blanket anymore for subsequent nights. 😛
Like the other hotels we stayed during this trip, Huawen Forest Hotel provides free breakfast, but nothing to rave about, really. No toast or tea provided, only coffee, milk, juice syrup, and mainly local fare which were oily and spicy.
To be honest, I wouldn’t highly recommend this hotel as a “must-book”. Nonetheless it is reasonably priced (according to online search), relatively new (built in 2012) and provides free breakfast and wifi connection, so it may still be a worthwhile option to consider. I shall end this review with a photo of the hotel building at night. 🙂