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Motel 168 Pudong International Airport

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Address: 6001, YingBin Ave, Pudong Airport, Shanghai, 201202

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      13.09.2012 16:55
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      A cheap airport hotel with very tired décor

      All the years I have been travelling I have never made a mistake regarding booking flights until June of this year. Having arrived at Pudong International Airport to check in for our return flight to Amsterdam I noticed that the young lady attending the desk looked a little agitated and the transaction seemed to be taking longer than usual. After ten minutes or so she looked at us and said that our flight times were for the 17th June not the 16th. I couldn't believe it and my heart sank. We asked if we could change the flight. It wasn't possible, the flight was overbooked. What about an earlier flight the next day? We asked. That was already booked up. We had no choice than to go to Gate 8 on the second floor and book into an airport hotel for the night.

      There was a choice of two. Seeing that we didn't have a lot of surplus cash on us and didn't want to use a credit card, we opted for the cheaper of the two; Motel 168 or to give it its full title Pudong International Airport Motel 168.

      Arriving in the hotel foyer where the check-in desk was situated I immediately had a feeling that this establishment was going to be cheap and nasty but being so tired and Shanghaied out I wasn't too bothered. I just wanted somewhere to lay my head.

      Check in was simple enough. We were told the price which was 438 CNY, passports were checked, and we were given a key card and told to go over to the opposite desk to pay a deposit. The staff were helpful but nowhere near as pleasant as the staff in the luxury Yu Yuan Garden Hotel where we had spent the rest of our time while in Shanghai.

      The lift took us to the 8th floor, our number was 45. From the walkways to the rooms on our floor I would have probably got lost if I had been on my own as it was a stretch of corridors and corners. The hectic orange and brown stripey carpet which had seen better days didn't help. The décor of the public areas was dated and very drab.

      Once the key card opened the door we entered a room lost in the 70s with its coffee and cream striped carpet, glass and chrome coffee table and reading desk, a kitsch design shaped like the trunk of a tree which had 3 metal prongs to hang coats on; a make-shift wardrobe with wooden hangers supplied.
      Window space was large, covered in fingerprints and greasy smears. Net curtains covered these dirty images as well as a pair of heavy lined chocolate brown curtains which when closed blocked out the dazzling headlights from cars lining up at Terminal 1 Departure area. In the morning the view from behind the curtains was a wave of grey clouds and the China Sea in the background. Boats moved slowly, planes landed, took off, taxis and cars moved along to their destinations.

      Two single beds highlighted the room, adorned in bright white duvets and pillow, with an orange furry cushion thrown in for contrast. The cushion also blended in with the tangerine wall behind the beds. They were very uncomfortable with hard mattresses and lumpy pillows. The walls were thin and we could hear our neighbours speaking to each other very loudly. Above each bed was a reading lamp made from stainless steel, they looked like small flying saucers. The artwork placed high on the wall above the second bed is very difficult to describe. It was certainly abstract; a painting in red and cream oils depicting what only I can describe as a series of squiggles, squares and blobs. My husband said he thought it was a picture of a bowl, table, serviette and chair. I am afraid I was unable to decipher these images. Signs of China's growing economy and knowledge of technology were obvious; we could tell by the enormous flat screen TV situated centrally facing both beds and a Wifi connection. Next to the Wifi connection was a tray with 2 cups with lids on, 2 tea bags and an electric kettle. No milk or sugar.

      Facilities in the room were pretty basic although I welcomed the free pair of slip on slippers; white with the words Airport Hotel emblazoned on the front in English and Chinese. I am wearing them now as I type - they are very comfortable.

      The bathroom area was small and split into two halves; one tiled area consisting of a toilet, square, elevated wash basin, mirror, hair-dryer and towel rail. Both the toilet and wash basin were clean but I wasn't sure about the surrounds of the sink, they looked very soiled. Free toiletries consisted of shampoo, shower cap, toothbrush and toothpaste, shower gel and a bottle of shampoo that looked radioactive. The shower cubicle was of small proportions and had a door leading from the toilet and a window looking into the sleeping area. There was a blind to pull down if you wanted to take a shower in private. Although the shower unit wasn't the most attractive I have stood in, the temperature and pressure of the water was fine.

      For the equivalent of £43 for a room for two adults, the Motel 168 is very reasonable. I was expecting to pay a lot more. The room and bathroom were a bit dingy but for an overnight sleep it was okay. Drinks and meals could be ordered but we passed on this as it was late when we arrived. We bought a couple of cans of beer on the way in from the hotel shop which also sold snacks and sandwiches as well as souvenirs. I would like to give this hotel 2.5 stars but can't so will give it 3. It's stuck in a time warp, a bit shabby but good enough for an overnight stop.

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