As soon as your car pulls up, someone helps you out, carries your luggage, and helps you to your room. I love the friendly service! The housekeeping staff was friendly and professional, too, and since she spoke the standard dialect, communication was easy.
The location is also really great for restaurants, shopping, 5-4 Square, and walking along the water. The view from the higher floors is great!
Also, the pool is beautiful and grotto-style, like you're nighttime swimming, even in the middle of the day. It's clean and heated, and seems to be seldom crowded. The locker rooms have jacuzzis and saunas (though the sauna didn't seem to get very hot). The workout room seems to have a good variety of modern equipment, too!
My husband enjoyed this breakfast buffet much more than the Holiday Inn's, with lots of international selection. But I will say that a LOT of food was mislabeled in both English AND Chinese. I think it was just careless placement.
Sadly, though, the hotel is just OLD and run-down. The carpet in our suite had crusty stains; some furniture was altogether broken (my friend nearly fell to the floor when she sat on an ornate but structurally unsound chair!); we showered in about 4 centimeters of standing water because the drain was slow; the bathroom wall tiles were held on with scotch tape; lighting fixtures were askew; paint was chipped; the bathroom window featured old, dented min-blinds; some light bulbs were broken or flickered when on. It's clear that this property needs some maintenance.
Some other inconvenient aspects are more a matter of design. Our suite didn't have a dresser, but it did have lots of cabinets and shelves, which I don't find convenient for storing clothes. There were two closets, though, which I appreciated.
Also, the bathroom lacked counter space. There was shelf space for holding our toiletries, but it was above the bathtub, so I'd have to stand in or lean over the bath tub to access it. It just seems like inconvenient design to me.
The bed was incredibly comfortable; I see it's a point of pride for the hotel, as the bedding was advertised in the elevators and on trifolds in the room. But I got a rollaway twin bed for my son and a crib for my baby, and those were VERY hard. I could actually feel the crib's metal coils through the padding! My poor baby... Also, even though I called ahead to make sure the bed and crib were there when we checked in, they were not. So I requested them then went out to lunch, thinking I could put my kids down for a nap when we got back, but the beds still weren't there. They finally brought it up at my third request, but the crib wouldn't fit through the doorway! We had to help them move furniture around.
A suggestion: newer hotels offer Graco Pack-n-Play's as cribs. They're cheaper, lighter, smaller to store, softer, and safer than those old, wooden cribs!
Another aspect of the hotel being outdated is that the room didn't have outlets by the bed. In fact, we had to reach around the back of the TV to plug in our chargers. Newer hotels often have USB charging ports on the nightstand, so that people with any size plug can charge their phones at night. The only outlets that stay on when you're out of the room were a few on the desk.
I did not like the ashtrays everywhere; I saw no smokers, but I did see lots of garbage in those otherwise attractive bowls of white pebbles. Why not have normal trash cans? Is it because you're ENCOURAGING smoking in your hotel? I also disliked the cigarettes for sale on my nightstand. There were also condoms on the nightstand. It led me to question what kind of hotel this was! It's possible to sell these things discreetly, making them available for anyone who wants them, but you don't have to display them on the nightstand!
The thermostat was useless-- just a wall decoration, really. It sounded like air was coming out of the vents, but we couldn't feel anything coming out! We put the thermostat on 10 degrees celsius and the fan on high, and the room was STILL sweltering hot! When we complained to the front desk, they brought us up a portable fan, which helped a lot, but other people had the same experience of the thermostat being useless.
Finally, there is free wifi throughout the hotel, which is nice, but it often cut out, so we couldn't consistently enjoy it.
We are IHG members and have stayed at both this Crowne Plaza and the Holiday Inn a few blocks away. Crowne Plaza is much more expensive, but the room is much more inconvenient and run-down. Because we do like the pool, breakfast buffet, and location of Crowne Plaza better, the jury is still out on which hotel we'll choose in the future. I don't think the extra cost is altogether worth it until they fix and update the hotel.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC