On May 24th, 2019, I had a short trip to Zheng Zhou city, Henan Province, China. It was my first solo trip ever, so to be honest, the first time travel alone was not easy at all. I don’t blame on someone else, but myself since I didn’t research enough and plan a realistic way.
I landed in Zheng Zhou city on Sunday May 26th, 2019. After talking with local tourism guide for purchasing local SIM card with internet purpose, I was confident enough to get out the airport. I kept following my plan. I head to my chosen hotel before the trip.
However, the reality was hard to believe (at least to me. The reasons….I shared it above :))
That hotel receptionist replied one sentence that made me silence…
My question for the hotel receptionist was: Do you accepting a foreigner as a guess in your hotel?
I needed to use translator in order to ask that question.
After making sure the receptionist read and understand, that person checked again with her supervisor.
And their final answer was NO. (a big NO!)
You know what it means in our USA territory, right? It’s too obviously. That reply silenced me.
Because in that morning, it was so hot in Zheng Zhou city. I had some stress before arriving at that hotel. I had a hard time communicating with a local tour guide for the SIM card. I had fooled myself by following a fake taxi. That fake charged me an extra 200 yuan for their service. (the car model was around 3 previous year. I didn’t remember the car make model. It was a minivan around 7,8 seats).
After getting out of that fake taxi, I caught a real registered-government based taxi. The real rate was much lower than the fake taxi… The official rate for official registered taxi was around 44 yuan from Zheng Zhou airport to that hotel.
My was-chosen-hotel, which turned off me, was IU hotel branch in Dongmind road. It was 4 stars hotel, but it was for local Chinese citizens only…
I had to get out that hotel and stayed in the street-> I had to reflect and re-examined. That hotel receptionist reply explained everything.
When I booked online through the Booking dot com website, it was an error. It was not because I mistyped my information. It was not because I booked online and pay with my Travel VISA card.
It’s a fact: that IU hotel can’t accept a foreigner.
And in the booking website, it doesn’t tell you that. And that is the reason why I have an error when I book online with that site.
That IU hotel needs a special permit from Government in order to let a foreigner to book a room. And other hotels are the same.
Those hotels are marked as International hotel.
With the Chinanet on my phone, Google map showed me near that IU hotel had one international hotel.
It was Civil Aviation International Hotel.
Civil Aviation Hotel Review
Below is the photo I took on the street. I took the overall of the hotel I stayed.
The English name of that hotel (very obviously): Civil Aviation Hotel
The (normal) hotel stars system (in China) for that hotel: 3.5 stars
The Chinese name:…. I really don’t know how to write, but take a look of the photo below. It’s a feedback paper in the hotel internal yellow contact book.
I think their Chinese name in Pinyin is Henan Shengshi Minhang Da Jiu Dian… If you can read Chinese Mandarin, please take a look at the photo and tell me what Chinese name of that hotel.
The location address: No.3 Jinshui Road, Zheng Zhou, Henan, China,450003.
- The hotel is near the intersection between Jinshui Road and Dongming Road.
- In front of the hotel (on the same side road), it has a bus stop.
- The opposite side of the hotel is a bar club.
- From the hotel to Downtown Zhengzhou city: 4.05 Kilometers, around 2.5 miles.
- From the hotel to ZhengZhou International Airport: 35.17 km, around 22 miles.
- From the hotel to Zhengzhou main Railway station: about 5 km (3.1 miles)
- From the hotel to Zhengzhou EAST Railway gate station: about 10.85 km (6.7 miles)
- Some places for you to visit near the hotel:
- Zhengzhou city God Temple
- Snow Castle
- Henan Art Center
- Zhengzhou Zoo (it’s a little far -> need to call a cab/taxi if you want to go to the zoo :))
- 27 square shopping center ( honestly… I was so close to this. I stopped at 27 bus/train station because the cab dropped me there… I thought I didn’t give a clear destination to the taxi driver)
The hotel owner:… I can’t search for much information on Google. It’s because China Great Firewall blocked completely Google. Even with HK servers, Google doesn’t have much information inside mainland China.
I know the hotel I stayed is just one branch of a group hotel.
- 190 rooms in total.
- some meeting rooms
- has a fitness center (but I don’t know where is it in the hotel…. It has nearly 20 floors, so … I didn’t visit each floor for taking a look and get around…)
- Has two restaurants. One small inside for breakfast. One bigger restaurant locates next door on the left side of the hotel. (for dinner, lunch, and breakfast if you want)
More detail about room types for staying:
- Family with children
- Business normal room
- Executive room
- And Business suite
Honestly… when I registered at the front desk, I really didn’t know what type room I received… Before I stepped into the Civil Aviation hotel, I had to walk from IU hotel to the hotel. It was so hot. I had some carry-on with me. It was afternoon time at the local too.
It was still vivid in my memory the moment I stepped to the receptionist inside the hotel. I had sweat everywhere because of the high temperature outside.
The first thing I said was asking someone can speak English. It was good enough there was one receptionist can speak English. However, I knew very sure her English level is just a beginner. Her speaking skill is limited. I knew because I passed that stage. Before I moved to Seattle in 2014, I did go to an English speaking class.
The next thing I ask in English: does this hotel accept foreigner to stay?
She said Yes!!!
It was better than IU hotel! XD
Nevertheless…my little happiness… TT.TT
Because the next thing was about the money.
I guess the receptionist gave me a Business Queen Room!
She said the price for a one-night stay is 439 yuan. I needed to stay two nights-> it would be 878 yuan in total. The price was included one FREE breakfast in the restaurant on the second floor.
At the registration time, I didn’t prepare enough cash, so I had to use my travel VISA credit card.
As a result of that, the receptionist asked me to make a deposit for trust. The deposit amount is 1500 yuan. Can you believe it? the deposit is more than the final price!!!
Well…at the moment, my body and my mind was tired, so I didn’t have much choice. I gave my travel VISA credit card. They wiped it electronic. And the deposit was from Bank of China. My original bank was Bank of America, so both bank needed to exchange currency. I thought the rate exchanging foreign currency between Bank of China and Bank of America was 6.3 yuan for one US dollar.
I checked with my bank online app. The deposit amount was 217 USD.
Here is the receipt of the deposit 1500 yuan.
And then, the receptionist did some paperwork and set up the room for me. I remembered it because it was a small incident about this one 🙂
It was the receptionist handwriting number 🙂
To me, it looked like the first character is letter S and then 12. -> I was wrong. I had to use the elevator to go down to her and asked again.
She said the room number is 912. I had to write down one more time in the black ink above her handwriting. She also gave me the password for wifi.
Now I took the elevator to the 9th floor -> make the right turn after getting out the elevator-> found room 912. I used the card to unlock the door and take a look of my video below 🙂
It was the overview of the room 912 at the time I stayed there.
Detail Amenities room internal
The room area is around 36 meters squares = 387.5 square feet
On the left side, it has a small counter with an outlet. The voltage is 110V (I think so). One small special about the outlet is a dual feature. The electrical socket has the unearthed 2-pin and the earthed 3-pin. In that room, I count around 5 dual sockets like that. One is at the counter on the left side of the door entrance. The second one locates between the table and the bed. One more inside the bathroom near the sink for the hairdryer. One more of the bed’s right side. One more for the TV and wifi.
One coffee/tea pot (or you can boil the water for instant noodle just in case you are hungry)
Two 500ml water bottle (they are free)-> For me, after I drink all the water bottle, It’s not enough, so I boil water with the pot -> and then pour the hot water into two tall glass, two smaller glass cup for tea-> and then let all cool down. If you want to have some tea, next to the glass drinks, you will have some tea bags.
Before you do anything else, you need to insert the room card into the spot for active the electric circuit of the entire room.
At the left side of the counter, it’s bathroom. It has the separate room for shower with the glass door. Inside the shower room, it has a slipper, bathrobe, a small body wash, a small hair shower. The water can turn on hot and cold within 24 hours.
After getting out the shower room, you will see a big magnifying makeup mirror. Below is a sink. On the left bottom of the mirror, you will find a towel for face and hand, a big towel for the shower. You need to pull the small box under the towel to find the brush teeth and the toothpaste. A hair comb is inside that box too.
On the right side of the sink, they put a small hair dryer on the surface.
Next, it is a normal standard toilet. Well, for other hotels, it has the squat toilet instead. For other hotels, the toilet tissue isn’t free. Civil Aviation room has a bathroom phone just in case emergency help.
It’s the first time I stay in this Civil Aviation hotel, so I don’t know the left-side glass door of the toilet can open it. In the video, I need to make a detour.
For the main room area, you will find a desk with a small lamp on the right side.
A King size bed locates right at the center. The King bed has duvet and blanket.
Opposite the bed, it’s an LCD TV with cable. It has some Western channels, but… I am not interested to use the TV. The TV cable is compact with Wifi internet. Its Chinanet, so slow internet traffic is expected…
Under the TV cabinet, you will find a electronic scale on the left box.
At the right side of the bed, it has a sofa. Right side is a window for city view…However, don’t expect too much for a great view -.-
Oh, I forget the Air conditioner in the room. The AC remote is combined with other features such as the bed light, the entire room light, the desk lamp light.
Well 🙂 everything has a price. For the first time soloing, this Civil Aviation hotel is good enough for a foreigner like me.
“We learn best lesson in the worst time” – Unknown source quote
6 Replies to “Civil Aviation Hotel Review – Zheng Zhou branch”
Solo travelers unite! I don’t fancy travelling alone too but I have had a few solo trips on my own and doing so actually gave me time to think about myself more. I was super worried that you had to stay on the street because of the annoying hotel’s policy of not accepting foreigners, sometimes I get really stressed out with all these strict regulations.
Glad you found the Civil Aviation Hotel, more people should know of it and I would definitely stop by there on my Henan visit.
Haha, actually I did sleep on the street like 10 minutes. It was the time I had a long transit time (with more than 10 hours long) from Xiamen Airport to Zheng Zhou Airport. I left Xiamen airport and tried to find a hotel or motel to stay but again… it’s still that law… I had to come back to the Airport. Before doing that action… I slept in the street like 10 minutes to calm myself and tried to think a solution to that situation…-> well…at the end, I came back the Xiamen airport and the nighttime police guardians allowed me to enter. -> It was a hard lesson XD but it had the value.
We learn the best in the worst situation 🙂
Seems like a decent location, and I’m glad you found a hotel that was able to book foreigners. I think perhaps the service will come with time, especially if they hire more staff that speaks English. Cleanliness is always my biggest concern when staying at any hotel, so I’m glad this one was given a perfect ten. I’ve usually stayed in similar hotels in the past, though a few weren’t as great. Taking a look at how clean a hotel is might just be number one on my list of criteria.
Hi Matthews 🙂
“it seems like a decent location” -> yeah, it’s a decent hotel for a local Chinese citizen because Civil Aviation hotel at Zhengzhou branch adapts the International standard. For international travelers… I don’t know XD because this hotel is the first hotel I stay in Zheng Zhou city 🙂
After converting the Civil Aviation hotel room price with local hotels near Sea-Tac airport (my current physical location is near Sea-Tac airport :)), I think the price is similar. Around $70~$80 (before tax) per night 🙂
Because I walk-in Civil Aviation hotel, I need to pay the full price plus tax. If you book through Ctrip website, it has a little discount 🙂
About your biggest concern: cleanness 🙂 don’t worry about this Civil Aviation hotel service. I have one year of experience as a Janitor in the USA. My job back then is cleaning medical rooms and commercial offices.
In the USA, medical room, kitchen, any room involve food, all need to be clean 100%. After I clean those rooms, a direct supervisor always checks my work before sending me home. I still remember there is a special time. That building I responded has an event… Oh my… so messy… I need to clean some dots in the wall. When my supervisor confirms those dots can’t be removed with normal cleaning medical, he uses some special one.
I am pretty sure about my cleanness sense haha I have done the similar routine with housekeeping lady of that hotel, so I can check the dirty. I know where I should look for cleaning purpose 🙂
Wow. Very interesting review. More like a short story than just a review. There is so much we in the West take for granted when traveling. We assume that if we book a hotel online that we will be welcome when we get there. Imagine the hew and cry if a hotel in the U.S. said, “sorry, we don’t take foreigners. “. It’s inconceivable. But in China, you say it’s common, even written into law.
And I had to laugh at your relief! The toilet in the room was an actual toilet! That is another thing that would never even occur to me to wonder about.
China is such a big trading partner with the US now, that we like to think that we are growing closer, growing more alike. Perhaps we are. But you do a great job of demonstrating that we have a way to go. It is still a foreign country, sometimes a very foreign country.
Thank you for some fascinating observations.
🙂 thank you for saying good thing
China is a foreigner country, but it’s more complex because China has a Great Firewall-> that plays a huge difference… What Google has been showing us the results, all are based on the HK server and Chinese Immigrations population. Of course, some young Chinese population has the chance to study abroad, but… the majority is still struggling in China Mainland.
Any external signal comes to China intend-> all are blocks by China Great Firewall. I try one kind of VPN-> that VPN has a server in Beijing, but it doesn’t help much because it’s a virtual server. People inside China Great Firewall doesn’t have much access to outside China as well.
Therefore, Chinese people usually are interesting with foreigners who travel in China. Special Western travelers. -.- and me… I am Vietnamese… Chinese citizens assume me as their people so…