Fairmont Chengdu, China

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Old Jun 13, 18, 12:30 am
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Fairmont Chengdu, China

Fairmont Chengdu

Map| 1 Review | 100% Recommended

Fairmont Chengdu

269 Tianfu Middle Avenue Hi-Tech Zone Chengdu, Sichuan CN 610041

Fairmont Chengdu, China (33 Photos)

Fairmont Chengdu

I recently completed a 5-night stay at Fairmont Chengdu.  One of the reasons FPC has been so great is the ability to stack up various certificates and perks to parlay our way to a great deal.  My stay in Chengdu was a good example of that.  I needed to have a flexible rate because I knew my travel plans would not be confirmed until the last minute so I originally got a rate of about 1,000 RMN flexible on Fairmont.com.  At that time the pre-paid rate was about 30% lower.  On a third party website I found that same rate but it was flexible rather than pre-paid so I called the Best Rate Guarantee team, not to ask for the 10% BRG discount, but rather to ask if they could simply match the cancellation policy, and they did.  So my rate got down to less than 700 RMN, flexible.  Then I asked whether the suite upgrade cert books only in the “Fairmont Suite” or if it can also book into the “Fairmont Gold Suite” because I saw both being listed under “Suite” on Fairmont.com.  The agent on the phone was not sure and asked a supervisor. After looking into it they said for this property it’s not very clear in the terms & conditions what the suite upgrade is for, so they let me in the Gold Suite, which obviously is significantly more expensive than the regular suite.  I see now that they might have fixed this glitch because the Gold Suite no longer appears in the suite room category, but only in the Fairmont Gold category on Fairmont.com. Finally, I also bought the necessary amount of gift cards during the 20% bonus 3-hour flash sale on May 9th to further reduce the cost below 600 RMN ($90 USD per night), which is so cheap that I did not use any of my free night certificates.  The Gold Suite flexible rate normally costs around 2,000 RMN per night flexible rate so I effectively paid less than 30% of the regular rate (>70% discount).  

To keep things in perspective, Chengdu has lots of nice new modern hotels from international hotel chains to choose from, for example the Hilton, Waldorf Astoria, Marriott Financial Centre, JW Marriott, St.Regis, Ritz Carlton, Grand Hyatt, etc.  If you look on Tripadvisor you will find very high ratings for many of these hotels, I guess because lots of travelers are used to lower standards elsewhere in the world.  Therefore any statement that the Fairmont Chengdu is a fantastic property needs to be considered within the context of the competition, and as a first time visitor I am not the best judge. I would only note that Fairmont is currently #7 out of 3000 hotels in Chengdu on Tripadvisor so I am not the only satisfied guest.

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Room

Fairmont Chengdu opened only one year ago so obviously the room is very modern.  The finishes are to a very high standard with high quality materials everywhere in the room. I liked the thick shiny doors and the sliding door to the main bathroom.  The gold suite is quite large (106 sq m) and is a corner room so you have great views of the city with floor to ceiling windows on two sides of the living room.  The main bathroom area includes a large walk-in closet, a make-up area, and a separate bathtub and rain shower.  If you want natural light in the bathroom you can leave the blind open next to the bathtub, otherwise it can be drawn down for privacy.  There is also a functional powder room closer to the living room, also with a floor to ceiling window.  The bedroom is equipped with electronics to control the curtains, blinds, temperature, and lights throughout.   The main bathroom has several electronic controls for the toilet, Japanese style, and there is a TV in the bathroom mirror.  There are international power plugs available in the room including on each side of the bed.  The bathroom had the Rose 31 products in the large bottles (90 ml).  The air conditioning worked very well and we had a cool room the entire time with a comfortable bed to ensure we had great sleep during our stay.  Bottom line, overall it is very hard to find a fault to the room.  

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Dining

I have not been to as many Fairmont Gold lounges as some folks on FT so my opinion might not be at an expert level.  However I have been to many lounges in Asia from other hotel chains so I have decent points of references, even if not a perfect comparison to Fairmont.  As we all know lounges in Asia are of a higher quality than in North America or Europe, but even for Asian standards, I found the Fairmont Chengdu lounge to be fantastic.  The only other Fairmont Gold lounge I visited before in Asia was in Singapore, and the Chengdu lounge leaves the Singapore lounge in the dust and there is no comparison possible.  

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First of all, the Chengdu lounge was very quiet for happy hour 5:30-7:30pm.  At times we were alone in there particularly before 6:30pm.  The most people we have seen in the lounge was about a dozen and normally on average we would be 3 couples in the lounge.  In the afternoon, there was hardly anybody for afternoon tea 2pm-4pm so a complete peace haven.  Same thing in the morning.  I guess most people go to the restaurant downstairs for breakfast which we did on some mornings, but having our private Gold lounge breakfast with the entire buffet all to ourselves was a great experience.  We were told that June is low season in Chengdu which might explain part of it.  This compares to the Singapore lounge which tends to be very crowded and noisy. However it is food in the lounge which sets Fairmont Chengdu apart.  There is clearly enough during happy hour to make it a dinner, not only a generous dinner in terms of quantity, but the quality was excellent as well.  There were 8 hot dishes which changed every night, in addition to cold dishes, cheeses, desserts, and other specialty items. There is also a chef station where they cook to order the dish of the day.  China is normally not the mecca of food, but if there is an exception to that, it would be in Chengdu (Sichuan).  

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While breakfast selection was one of the best I have seen in a lounge, one area where food options were not among the best I have experienced elsewhere in Asia is breakfast in the restaurant.  Don’t get me wrong, it was very good, but I have seen better in other Asian hotels and cities, for example Bangkok, Seoul, and Kuala Lumpur.  

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Back to the lounge, for afternoon tea they brought a variety of high quality desserts on a tray to our table.  Desserts available during the evening were different than the afternoon to avoid repetition.

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Service

We found service in the hotel to be very good.  English skills are generally lacking in Chengdu, but it did not turn out to be a problem for us in Fairmont as most staff could communicate well.  The hotel was responsive by e-mail to prepare a specific request before our arrival.  In addition, given the privacy of the Gold lounge they were obviously very attentive to client needs and very helpful with information about the city or day tours.  Even staff which was not in the lounge the day of our arrival greeted us by name on day #2 of our stay in the lounge.  Housekeeping was spotless and done at the time we asked.  On the first two evenings we asked for a bucket of ice in the room and on subsequent nights they brought one without us asking during turn down service while we were in the lounge.  So they did a good job at anticipating client requests.    

 

Gym

We stopped by the fitness gym once to take a look but we did not use it.  It seemed a bit small for the size of the hotel.  There were only 2 ellipticals, 2 stationary bikes, and 4 treadmills. Weight machines were more plentiful however.  

 

Amenities

As elsewhere in China, internet can be problematic.  However I found the wifi connection speed to be faster, and my VPN operated more smoothly than during my stays in Beijing and Shanghai in the past. 

 

Location

If there is one drawback of this hotel it would be location, depending on the purpose for being in Chengdu.  As a first time tourist, one would generally prefer to be centrally located.  The Fairmont is right across the street from a subway station (Century City) which is convenient and it’s on a direct line to the city center station Tianfu Square, but nonetheless it’s 11 stations away so not exactly next door.  If you want to be in the middle of the action, hotels such as the Grand Hyatt, JW Marriott, and St.Regis are all centrally located, unlike the Fairmont.  However all these hotels will cost more.  

 

Overall

Overall Fairmont Chengdu is a fantastic hotel for a low price : if you have certificates to use before FPC is dead, you will get considerable value here.  However, as is the case with lots of Fairmont properties in cities where there is competition with other international hotel chains, the problem will be to what extent the value proposition will change once FPC no longer exists.  Fairmont Chengdu is great, but reading some comments about other Chengdu hotels, competition is very good too.  I am skeptical that under Accor we will get suites regularly but that remains to be seen. But I would be surprised if whoever getting a suite upgrade at this hotel in the future (within Accor) would also get lounge access.  As much as I enjoyed my stay at Fairmont, if I return to Chengdu and have the choice of paying 2k RMN for a gold suite in Fairmont or half that price (1k RMN) for Hilton, JW Marriott, St.Regis or Grand Hyatt, which will all give me free happy hour in the evening and good odds of a suite upgrade if I still have status, then I would be hard pressed to pick Fairmont for double the price.  Yes the Gold Lounge is possibly better at Fairmont than the lounge at other hotel chains, and yes the room at Fairmont is possibly finished to a higher standard than some other hotel chains.  But for double the price?  Or book the basic room at Fairmont for marginally cheaper than other hotels and possibly not get a suite or lounge access as I would elsewhere? I am reaching this same conclusion in several cities so it’s sad but it’s a fact of life that I might not return to Fairmont Chengdu as long as I have status with several hotel chains, if Accor Plat turns out to be disappointing.  

Fairmont Chengdu, China

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Old Jun 14, 18, 2:38 am
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Thanks for posting the detailed review!

It indeed looks lie an excellent property!
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Old Jun 14, 18, 6:02 pm
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Nice hotel. It is indeed new but location didn't look desirable. I will consider staying there in the future. I usually stay at the Chengdu Sofitel which fine for an old hotel without renovation (10 years ago I think) and I usually book the prestige suite to get the opera suite which is their highest suite at the hotel usually for about 700-800RMB per night. Location by the river is nice too.Lounge is okay but smaller than fairmont and aged.

Chengdu like Chongqing hotels are very cheap compared to other places. Fairmont is probably well located to some industrial areas and therefore can get good business from that direction.

Even walking the local streets of Chengdu away from the big shopping centers is a nice experience.
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Old Jun 17, 18, 7:53 pm
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Originally Posted by tris06 View Post
Nice hotel. It is indeed new but location didn't look desirable. I will consider staying there in the future. I usually stay at the Chengdu Sofitel which fine for an old hotel without renovation (10 years ago I think) and I usually book the prestige suite to get the opera suite which is their highest suite at the hotel usually for about 700-800RMB per night. Location by the river is nice too.Lounge is okay but smaller than fairmont and aged.

Chengdu like Chongqing hotels are very cheap compared to other places. Fairmont is probably well located to some industrial areas and therefore can get good business from that direction.

Even walking the local streets of Chengdu away from the big shopping centers is a nice experience.
Thanks for the feedback regarding Sofitel. I took a look at rooms at rates at Sofitel compared to Fairmont.

If you are willing to stomach the less central location of the Fairmont, unlike the Sofitel, you will not be disappointed particularly if budget is not an issue. Scanning some dates in the future I see that Sofitel's rates are not that far below Fairmont for the basic room (500 RMB vs 700 RMB) and you'll get a much better, nicer, and larger room at Fairmont than at Sofitel.

Sofitel's suites are priced for only a modest price premium over the basic room, which means you can end up in the Opera Suite for only 200 RMB more than the basic room, by booking the Prestige Suite (and getting a one category upgrade). Even if you want to guarantee getting the Opera Suite it's only 400 RMB more than the basic room. At Fairmont a suite will cost you 600-700 RMB more than the basic room, but the unknown is whether they would upgrade you to a suite if you book a deluxe room (one category upgrade?). I think in theory if in the future they follow Accor Platinum guidelines, that would be the optimal way of getting a suite. If so, then I would say it's better value to book a deluxe room at Fairmont for 200 RMB more than the basic room and get a suite, then it is at Sofitel to book the Prestige Suite for 200 RMB more than the basic room and get the Opera Suite.

Fairmont basic room ~500 sq ft
Fairmont deluxe room 624 sq ft
Fairmont suite 1140 sq ft
compared to
Sofitel basic room 322 sq ft
Sofitel prestige suite 645 sq ft
Sofitel opera suite 753 sq ft

Based on the above, I would note that comparing the Fairmont suite to the Sofitel suites might not be the best comparison; the Fairmont deluxe room is closer in size to the Sofitel suites.

Regarding the lounge, At Fairmont you will get a top notch lounge, but you will have to pay 300-400 RMB for it. At Sofitel you get an aging lounge, but you get it for free as a Plat.
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