Holiday Inn Express
Shenzhen Luohu

Shenzhen, China
A disgruntled taxi driver reacts to my paltry request to be transported to a hotel not two kilometres from where the taxi stand is located. He should be a little upset. The driver must have had to wait an hour for his turn at the taxi queue for a customer who potentially could have asked to be driven to Shenzhen Bao'an Airport, which is ten times the distance. But instead, I ruin his day.
I wasn't supposed to be in China as my main destination at time of stay was Hong Kong, across the border. But I was a little curious and accommodations in Hong Kong are a little expensive, so I decided to try a unique blend of Western expertise and Chinese hospitality at the Holiday Inn Express Shenzhen Luohu, minutes from customs. One thing that I can trust whenever I'm in a faraway place such as China is international branding - that way, there'd be a local office back home in Canada to hear any concerns I could have, while staying within their hotel chain.
For around half the price of what you would expect to pay in Hong Kong for a comparable room, I was given a neatly designed and maintained room with a view of a supermarket of some sort. The hotel is located on a back street, but getting to where you're going is a simple matter of hailing a taxi or walking a block away to the adjacent main arterial. The location is especially convenient if you know Mandarin or can read a map written in Simplified Chinese characters.
Internet access is free, but can be a little slow at times considering the state of the connection at peak times of the day. The television provides a few channels that are the norm for Mainland Chinese, apart from an international news channel. The bathroom with shower is a welcome sight as I felt quite groggy from the long train journey from Hong Kong - and then there was the incident with the taxi driver.
Heed the sign that's beside the tap, inside the bathroom: If you need to drink local water, either boil it sufficiently or purchase a drink either at the hotel restaurant downstairs or at the store nearby.
My stay at the Holiday Inn Express Luohu Shenzhen was about four nights, so there was plenty of time to keep in touch, get in touch, and explore the area. Some people on the street seemed a little unhappy, or even disturbed by my portly figure, but that is what you can expect in some places.
I believe the strongest point of this property was the free hot breakfast that was served during my stay. It's really interesting how a western breakfast along with Chinese offerings could be served under such an eclectic decor. There was a modern look to this part of the hotel, with plenty of seating to relax or mingle with others.
Check-in and check-out service was pleasant, inviting and simple. You do need to listen clearly due to an understandably heavy accent or two, but it was a very interesting experience.
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