The Baixiang Holiday Hotel: If you’re looking for a place to stay in Harbin, location might be the single most important factor to consider. There are plenty of hotels that you could choose, but when it’s -30°C outside, the last thing you want to do is walk around looking for your hotel! While other things are important, location is probably the deal maker or breaker in Harbin.
When I went, it was New Year’s Day (not Chinese New Year). I knew it was going to be a pricey trip (train and plane tickets, entrance to the Ice and Snow Festival, etc.) so I originally wanted to stay somewhere cheaper. I booked a hostel but arrived to find out the address on Booking.com was incorrect! The guy who answered the listed phone number was rude and hung up on me after telling me they couldn’t take foreigners. UGH. The Baixiang Holiday Hotel (百祥假日宾馆) happened to be right where I expected the hostel to be, and they could accept foreigners. (As an aside, unless it’s a big international chain hotel, definitely email of call and confirm a hotel can accept foreigners before you book! They have to have special permits, so not all can.) I walked in and that was that!
Baixiang Holiday Hotel Location
#8 6th West Street, Daoli District
This is definitely the best thing that the Baixiang Holiday Hotel has going for it. It’s right off Center Street, which is the heart of downtown Harbin. It’s on 6th West Street (the 6th one if you go south on Center Street from the Songhua River). On the 7th Street intersection are street food stalls where you can get Harbin sausages and Heilongjiang Ice Cream! You will also see Zhaolin Park on the other side of the road, and the St. Sophia Square and Cathedral are walkable even in the dead of winter. The bus stops and cable car for Sun Island, Ice and Snow World, and the Siberian Tiger Park on 1st and Center Street (also walkable) and Center Street itself is littered with restaurants. If you need guidance, on the other side of 6th and Center Street is the Harbin Visitor’s Center, where you can go for a map! (Ask for one in English.)
[Recommended Read: Itinerary: Hits and Misses of 2 Winter Days in Harbin, China]
Baixiang Holiday Hotel Lobby and Service
The Baixiang Holiday Hotel overall was a nice place to stay. It was clean (the most important thing!) and relatively comfortable. The people I met at the front desk were all very nice, and helped me solve problems in a timely enough manner. I walked in looking for a room and was quoted a price of over ¥800 each night for two nights. I told them it sounded like a lot, and one of the ladies immediately said that since I was staying for two nights, she could give me the loyalty program price, which ended up being just about ¥750/night. Considering a room like that normally might cost $300, I was skeptical, but I also knew I would rather just stay somewhere than keep looking.
The nice thing is that the Baixiang Holiday Hotel took Visa and the staff even gave me a small box of Russian candy! It tasted like toffee, which was very welcome. Granted, it was New Year’s Day, but it was a nice gesture. They also took my luggage before I headed out for the day. When I came back the first day to formally check in, the man at night couldn’t figure out where my reservation went (even when I showed my receipt). The problem was solved in about 15 minutes, and then they asked for a ¥300 deposit.
[Recommended Read: Harbin Ice and Snow Festival: A Complete Guide]
Baixiang Holiday Hotel Room: Single Bed
The room at the Baixiang Holiday Hotel itself was simple. It came with two free bottles of water, a TV, heating, toiletries, and a kettle. There were snacks and other items available for purchase as well. The bed was pretty comfortable! The shower had hot water, but I was a little disappointed they didn’t have a tub. For the price I was paying, I felt there definitely should have been one!
[Recommended Read: Harbin Ice and Snow World: A Guide]
The lighting system was also a bit weird. There was an electronic touchpad at the door and on either side of the bed. This was useful because I wouldn’t have to get up to turn off the lights, but the touchpad itself emitted blue light constantly. There was no lights off button for it, so at night I could see blue light that interrupted the darkness. There was also a sensor light for your feet; when you got down from the bed, the lights on the floor would turn on. These would be pretty useful if you need to get up in the middle of the night, but I wish there was a button you could press to turn them off rather than having to wait for them to turn off automatically.
I was disappointed that the Wi-Fi didn’t seem to reach the room. None of the networks available in the room had the hotel name, even though I saw Wi-Fi networks in the lobby. For an upscale hotel, they definitely should offer free Wi-Fi!
The Baixiang Holiday Hotel offered breakfast and room service. However, I wasn’t sure if it was included in the price of the room. The front desk never mentioned it to me, and I didn’t see any signs for where to go. Oh well.
[Recommended Read: Street Food Guide: Harbin, China]
Baixiang Holiday Hotel: The Final Verdict
For what I paid, I felt the stay wasn’t worth it. A comparable room would typically be half the price, especially with no Wi-Fi, no bathtub, and no breakfast! I had been shocked at the price they quoted, but it was a holiday. I definitely wished I had done more research about places to stay and called ahead about whether foreigners are accepted.
That said, I did enjoy my stay. Everyone was very polite (even though the room was that expensive and I know I look about 18). The fantastic location was A++, and I’m pretty sure there couldn’t be a better location for a hotel. My only gripe was that the price seemed like a complete rip off. It looks like you need to book far in advance to get a good price online, but if you do you could pay less than 1/3 of what I paid!
[Recommended Read: Harbin Sun Island Snow Sculpture Art Expo: A Guide]
Reasons I Would Stay at the Baixiang Holiday Hotel Again
Location. Location. And did I mention location? Enough said.
Polite service. They even had a little business card with their address in Chinese. On the back was a list of place that you might need to go in Harbin, in both Chinese and English. It looked like something that you could use to get a taxi to places like train stations, the airport, Sun Island, St. Sophia Cathedral, etc. They even have a taxi stand outside, so you won’t have to wait!
Comfortable rooms. The room was nice and during the day faced a brick wall, so I didn’t have to worry about privacy if I opened the window. It wasn’t too hot or cold either!
[Recommended Read: Harbin’s Zhaolin Park Ice Lantern Fair: A Guide]
Reasons I Would Choose Another Place
Price. While I definitely expect some rooms to be quite pricey ($100+/night), this was not a hotel that could really boast 5 stars. It was comfortable, but probably between 3 and 4 stars. If you can get a room for a maximum of about ¥400/night, it would be a pretty good price point. I paid a lot for convenience and not being better prepared!
Thin walls and no tub. Walls weren’t terribly thin, but I could hear children raising their voices in the hallway from time to time. I always carry ear plugs because Chinese hotels often have very thin walls, but they need to be more mindful of sound proofing! In addition, the cold of Harbin makes spending some time in a tub at night very appealing.
Want to Pin this post for later?