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Reviewed 14 May 2012

What can I say about this hotel. Admittedly we arrived at 1am so my perspective is warped.
Firstly the important things are in place: it's clean, staff and service are fine, and breakfast was okay.
When we arrived with a large group my travelling partner and I were allocated a double room, when we saw this, we went back to the front desk and asked for a twin room - this was sorted out fairly quickly and we were re-allocated.
The rooms, as other posters have noted, are massive. Apart from the twin beds, there was a dining setting, a massive TV (no English channels), desk and just about everything we wanted - and there was still a huge amount of space that the two of us seemed to get lost in. There was a slight mildew smell but nothing drastic. Our room overlooked railway yards, so certainly not a view. As we were there only one night it didn't matter all that much but for longer stays, I would think about another hotel. It did get a bit noisy. The room was not well lit but this seems quite common in China, that's just the way it is and you deal with it.
The bathroom was perfectly clean, the design a little unusual but everything worked and with a 1.30am arrival and then a 5.30am rising, I really didn't care. We were there to see the rime in January so had to be up early.
The hotel is remarkable.
Soaring doesn't begin to describe it.This hotel is unique, certainly technically a 5 Star but very tired. there seemed to be 2 foyers, one soared upwards about 12 floors in a slight concave, the other was a 'tropical' garden (beautiful plastic).
Still it was pleasant to wander around it even though one seemed to get lost in the massive expanses of space.
Overall okay for an overnight stay on your way to somewhere else.

Room Tip: Away from the railway yards.
  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled with friends
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Thank Ozjane
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 December 2011

Me and my family was on a group tour (with some other tour members) to visit Jilin, Harbin and some other near town. All of us have been arranged to stay in this '5 stars' hotel for a night.

The hotel is a huge building with huge and nicely decorated lobby area. It is also a combination of shopping complex with some shop lots in the same building but most of it unoccupied.

At first, me and my family have been assigned into 2 separate rooms, both with windows facing inside the building i.e. the lobby area. The rooms are spacious (really spacious). The only problem with these rooms are very warm. Although we were there in Dec'11 where the temperature outdoor easily reached -10 celcius, we still feel it was too warm and stuffy inside the room and there was no fresh air. So, we requested to change to rooms that are facing outdoor (which we should not do that).

The front desk staffs told us there were no other rooms available with unfriendly and bad attitude. We informed our tour leader and with his help we finally able to change our rooms.

We finally got our rooms facing outdoor, with fresh cooling air flowing into the room. However, that is where the nightmare start. There were train railway outside. The trains passed by almost every half an hour. Noises in the mid night like train horning non-stop, unloaded goods, and etc last for whole night. It ended up all of us even other tour members also can't sleep for whole night. The noise is unbearable. P/S: We were staying at 9th floor but the noise is still so loud and audible.

Morning breakfast is at average standard. Normal chinese and western style mixture. Nothing fancy.

In conclusion, to stay in this hotel, most likely you will either ended up in a warm and stuffy quiet room or cool and breezy noisy room. 5 stars? Definitely over-rated.

  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled with family
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1  Thank Eve83
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 November 2011

During my recent trip to Jilin, I stay for 3 day in EMPIRE GARDEN. The lobby area is nice, and the hotel entrance is also nice. However, the beds are a bit hard and a train passes near the hotel during the night.

  • Stayed: November 2011, travelled on business
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Thank S K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 October 2009

I recently stayed in the Empire Garden hotel during a business trip to Jilin. I won’t be staying there again. Be warned that it is right next to a train shunting yard and they work all night long – banging, clunking, and blowing horns through the night. There is no soundproofing so the noise reverberates through the room. My colleagues and I got no sleep during the night. We requested to move to rooms on the other side of the hotel, which they happily granted. The train horns were still audible but not at nuisance level.

Other than the train issue, the place wasn’t too bad. The location is near the center of the city, about a 10-15min walk to the river. The riverside parks make for a great place to run or walk any time of day. There are plenty of restaurants and shops nearby.

Upon entering the hotel, it looks fairly impressive, with a huge atrium filled with extravagant fountains, fake Stonehenge-like structures, trees and gardens, but all very dimly lit. In fact the entire hotel was very dimly lit and had a lonely, deserted feel to it. However, the rooms don’t quite match the standards of the lobby.

The room was very big but sparsely furnished and dimly lit – not very inviting. Windows run along the entire wall but only 2 very small ones actually open, and not very much. The room was hot and stuffy and cracking open the small windows didn’t really help at all – and it just let in more train noise. The carpet was looking fairly tatty – stained and unravelling in places. The TV had no English channels and was far across the room from the bed. There was a computer desk with free high-speed internet connection which was very nice. The bathroom was huge as well. The shower tray was pretty disgusting with lots of black mold growing around the caulking. In addition, it didn’t drain very well, and overflowed out onto the bathroom floor after about 5 minutes.

The free buffet breakfast was actually really good. They had a good range of both western and Asian fare. No complaints there. There was a swimming pool however they disappointingly didn’t have any real fitness center. There were only 2 lifts servicing all the rooms, which was inadequate, making for long waits at certain times. The reception staff and cleaning staff were all friendly and helpful and they happily granted our request to change rooms after the first night.

I felt this was a fairly average hotel, but with the train debacle, I doubt I would risk staying here again. At RMB 370 (US$53) it actually represents decent value, however I would not recommend it to other travellers. If you do stay here, just make sure that you get a room on the opposite side of the hotel from the train yard. Without the train noise, it’s not too bad.

Likes – Good breakfast, fast internet connection, nice lobby

Dislikes – Train noise!, inadequate maintenance, lonely deserted feel, no fitness center.

  • Stayed: October 2009, travelled on business
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Thank DanO68
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 October 2009

As part of our first ever trip to Jilin (city), we first stayed at the Century Swissbel hotel. However, the hotel messed up our booking (gave us two beds instead of one) among other problems, so we moved to Empire Garden Hotel the second night. That turned out to be a mistake.

The first thing we noticed is that the cream-coloured carpet inside the room was somewhat stained and the washroom floor looked old. The tiles were chipped and dirt was trapped inside. Then we noticed that there were a couple of small flies on the shower towels. Yuck!

All in all, this hotel was not as good as the Century Swissbel Hotel but then again, good hotels are very difficult to come by in Jilin.

  • Stayed: September 2009, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank mudd_stuffin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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