The Garden Hotel is 30 years old and is currently undergoing a major renovation. Last year saw the complete revamp of all 828 guestrooms, while the next phase will focus on restaurant outlets.
WHERE IS IT?
Located in the city centre, the hotel is close to commercial buildings such as the Guangzhou World Trade Centre. It’s 30 minutes by car from Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport, and 25 minutes from Guangzhou East Railway Station.
WHAT’S IT LIKE?
It’s a very busy hotel. On arrival, I found the lobby crammed with people, but despite the crowds check-in was smooth and service to a high standard. Stepping in to the lobby was like entering an ancient Chinese palace; the cavernous space has a three-storey wooden ceiling, with an elegant gold centrepiece. The wall on one side is decorated with a golden tableau depicting scenes from the classic Chinese novel Dream of the Red Chamber. The property consists of two buildings: one for hotel guests and the other comprising serviced apartments and offices.
There are six room categories ranging from Premier room to Presidential suite. I stayed in a spacious, 96 sqm Garden suite comprising a living room, bedroom, study and cloakroom.
The renovated room certainly feels modern, with stylish décor and a warm colour scheme comprising light wood fittings. However, what really caught my eye was the elegant Chinese design influence, including a traditional teahouse table and chairs, and an oriental cabinet housing a minibar and fridge.
Thunderstorms plagued my stay in Guangzhou, but thanks to excellent soundproofed windows and a comfortable king-size bed, I slept well. There are no sockets next to the bed, which is a shame, but the bedroom is connected to a workroom where there
are ample universal sockets next to an oval glass desk (a stationery set and mouse pad are also supplied).
A highlight of this room category is the focus on fitness. I was pleasantly surprised to find a recumbent bike situated in the study, while a yoga mat with simple instructions for poses was placed in the closet. The bathroom is also large, with a bathtub next to the window as well as shower facilities, and premium L’Occitane amenities. A complimentary shoeshine service is included for all room types.
This is located on level 30 – the hotel’s highest floor – and offers panoramic views of the city. All suite-category guests have access, though seating is slightly limited, and a private room can be booked for meetings. A wide selection of food, from seafood to sandwiches, is available for happy hour, and breakfast can be taken here as well.
BUSINESS AND MEETING FACILITIES
The business centre is located on the fourth floor, with meeting rooms, equipment for hire and business card printing. On the third floor are eight multifunction rooms, while on the ground floor is a large ballroom containing an HD LED screen, crystal chandeliers and space for up to 1,000 guests.
RESTAURANTS AND BARS
There are seven restaurants, with options ranging from Cantonese fare to Japanese and Western cuisine. There’s also a Lotus Pond lobby bar and a Tavern Bar serving wines and cigars.
Beyond the lobby is a spacious garden with two four-storey waterfalls, a massive fishpond, a jogging path and tennis courts – a very relaxing environment. On the fourth floor are an outdoor swimming pool and Jacuzzi, an impressive two-storey gym and a studio offering exercise classes such as Pilates and yoga. Other facilities include the Angsana Spa, a golf simulator and squash courts.
With an attractive new East-meets-West design, business-friendly facilities and plenty of recreation space, the LN Garden has been given a new lease of life and remains one of Guangzhou’s best landmark hotels.
Internet rates for a Garden suite in mid-February start from RMB2,260 (US$328) including taxes and surcharges.
368 Huanshi Dong Lu, Guangzhou, 510064; tel +86 20 8333 8989;