A cool new hostel opened in Guangzhou 1 September 2010, and it is sure to prove a big hit with backpackers, students, and budget minded travelers of all ages.
I got a chance to preview the Hanting hi inn before its doors were opened for business, and I was very impressed with the facilities and the attention to detail.
Just off the lobby were two rows of computers with complimentary Internet access. There was also a reading alcove.
Upstairs was a large recreation room with tabletop soccer and snooker and a media centre. When I asked if this was for karaoke, the affable general manager, Gary Ho, seemed horrified.
“No!” he said. “This is a place to relax!” A man after my own heart! As much as I enjoy singing karaoke, I don’t particularly like having to listen to others sing karaoke! Apparently, the space is for watching movies.
There were lots of places to sit and chat – the ambiance seemed designed to promote interaction among guests. A rooftop garden had tables – an ideal spot to chat over beer or soft drinks on balmy nights.
Rooms ranged from singles with four bedrooms sharing a shower and a toilet. A thoughtful touch: a light within each room indicates when the shower is empty. These go for 79 yuan per night.
Most of the rooms have private baths, and the largest have bunk beds and go for 149 yuan per night.
The décor is bright and cheerful. Best of all, all rooms have windows, air conditioning, and wireless Internet access.
You will have to bring your own towels, toothpaste, and toothbrush. But all three – together with simple, but nutritious breakfasts – can be purchased in the lobby.