As a Canadian, living in a remote area of Shenzhen, I need to travel to more progressive areas from time to time to enjoy a few western treats. Today I decided to take a trip to the Longgang area, where it meets the border of Dongguan. I heard there is a new hotel in that area that offers excellent access to a new shopping mall. The hotel is called Aloft Dongguan Dynamic Town and is a member of Starwood Hotels, so you just know they will treat you right.
First, I checked it out online. I was very pleased with how well their website worked. (http://www.starwoodhotels.com/alofthotels/property/overview/index.html?propertyID=3793 ) I am a seasoned traveler and I often find hotel websites difficult to navigate. Aloft hotel website was well organized and I found everything I was looking for very quickly.
Although it is officially located in Dongguan, it is just over the Shenzhen/Dongguan border and only 5 minutes-drive from Universiade Sports Center, Yanke Mall and CoCo Park Longgang shopping mall.
Upon arrival at the hotel, I noticed it was a majestic hotel from the outside and much larger than I had expected. It is a 17 story, brand new building, with a vast parking garage in the basement. The lobby was comfortable, spacious and modern. Check in was a breeze and within 5 minutes of arriving, I found myself in my room.
The bed looked very inviting and I decided I would try it out. That was a mistake because the bed was so comfortable that it was difficult to push myself out for my planned afternoon visit to the hotel gym.
So, I get myself out of the bed, get changed and head down to the gym. In the gym, I found a great selection of very robust exercise equipment. I spent the next hour there.
While I was in the gym, there were some workers just outside the window finishing off what will be an additional area for the gym that is also connected to the 25 meter long splash pool. The splash pool is great for doing laps and is kept at a nice 26 to 28 degrees Celsius all year round.
The hotel is connected to Holiday Plaza shopping mall which houses such western brands as Burger King, Mc Donald’s, Starbucks, H&M, Levi’s, Lee, Tata, and others. Plenty of shops are available immediately adjacent to the hotel, while the main shopping mall is just across the street.
Going out for a walk at night, I felt totally safe in this all new community.
In the basement of the hotel is a vast parking area that has a bank of elevators leading to the hotel and another bank of elevators that lead directly to the shopping area.
As I might expect with any decent hotel, there is a large state of the art meeting room/ballroom and an additional 6 large sized meeting rooms. The main meeting room which is 480 square meters holds 240 people for banquet type seating and over 400 people for theater type seating, but can also be split into three separate sections. The six other meeting rooms are designed for groups of 20 to 50 people.
I enjoyed a dinner and a breakfast at the hotel restaurant, called the “Nook.” Both meals were buffet style and the selection of delicious dishes was more than ample. Jazz music played in the background and the seating area had a jazzy feel to it.
Aloft has a “Refuel” station in the lobby. Although it was not yet fully stocked for my visit, the concept is for those times you are at a hotel and need to go out and find a 24 hour store to get a snack fix. They will have you covered and eliminate the need to go out.
The W XYZ bar, located in the lobby was very cozy. It had more of a feeling of a space for meeting people than a bar. A place to unwind and maybe play a game of foosball or pool.
One thing I was very surprised to see was a self-serve laundry. I can’t count the number of times that I did not pack enough clothes but also didn’t have time to send clothes out for cleaning. There are two coin operated washers and two driers. After washing, there is an iron and ironing board in each room so you can be all crisp and ready for anything.
The hotel facilities are disability accessible and there is even a separate washroom in the lobby with wheelchair access. Maybe common in the west, but I don’t often see that in China.
If there was one word I could use to express my stay at the Aloft hotel, I would say easy. Check-out was easiest of all. As with many hotels these days, you can just press check-out on the phone in your room, leave your name and room number, then leave. Although I would not have minded staying longer.
A few reasons you might like to stay at Aloft:
Aloft style room that is clean and comfortable and affordable.
Alocation that is safe, near shopping and major attractions.
Alaundry that is self-serve.
Alounge that is modern and comfortable.
Alive band for evening entertainment.
Alobby that is welcoming and friendly.
Alarge selection of delicious foods in the buffet.
Alock on the door that can be opened with your smartphone (SPG members)
I took a few pictures while I was staying at Aloft. You will notice lots of bright colors and modern designs.