Suzhou 2017 – Pan Pacific Hotel

Pan Pacific Hotel, Suzhou

I. Hotel Grounds:
On a recent business trip to China in May, I had a brief one night stopover in Suzhou.  Decided to stay in Suzhou for the day instead of travelling back to Shanghai that same day.

I stayed at the Pan Pacific Suzhou which is located in the Old Town district.  The Pan Pacific Hotel in Suzhou is build in typical Jiangnan style architecture.  It is located next to Panmen Scenic Area and so is build to blend in with the pagodas and general architecture of the Scenic Area.

In fact, the main tower of the hotel is designed like a pagoda.  The hotel has 2 wings, mainly the pagoda wing and the garden wing.  I had an executive room in the pagoda wing which is near the side entrance leading to Panmen Scenic Area.  It is also where the restaurants and spa are located.   The hotel grounds are beautiful and are designed in typical Suzhou garden style with courtyards and arch entrances.

Main Pagoda Tower, Pan Pacific Suzhou

II. Hotel Room:

I paid RMB690 including tax for a standard room and was upgraded to an executive room at check in.  Room rate did not include breakfast.  My room was on level 3 of the main block.  It is the same floor as the hotel lobby.  The room gave me a good view of the hotel grounds.

Pan Pacific Suzhou – View from my hotel room

I had requested for a King room, but it was not available, and I was given a twin room.  Not really a problem.  The room was of a standard size.  The table and chair had a modern Chinese theme.  Bathroom was also standard size with a bathtub and a shower cubicle.  The rack in the bathroom vanity holding the toiletries was in the shape of a typical Suzhou garden style Bridge.

The hotel is not new.  Bathroom sink had a little stain, but was generally well maintained and clean.  For the price I paid, it was good value.

Executive Room, Pan Pacific Suzhou

As I was on the same floor as the lobby and room was quite near the lobby, I could hear voices of people as they walk past. So sound proofing is not great. If you prefer a quieter room, I suggest requesting for one further from the lobby, or on a different floor.

III. Restaurants:

1. Hai Tien Lo – Chinese Restaurant

After check in at the Pan Pacific, we had lunch at Hai Tien Lo, its Chinese restaurant.  The restaurant was not busy when we arrived around 1pm.  I notice that the buffet restaurant was more crowded.

I was with 2 other colleagues, both were locals, so I left the ordering to them. 

In the photo below from left to right from the top row:

  1. Pan Fried Noodle with Superior Sauce (特色双面黄) (RMB68) – this is suppose to be a common and popular noodle dish in this region.  Noodles are crispy and sauce is poured over it like our Singaporean Sang Mee – ??? 
  2. Braised Eel with Onion and Bean Sprout (响油鳝糊) (RMB88) –  innoyice that Locals in China like this.  My local friends in China like to order this dish.  I have tried it several times and this particular one is prettty good. – ??
  3. Braised Beef Short Rib with Honey Black Pepper Sauce (蜜椒牛仔骨) (RMB135) – a pan fried beef dish.  I like it!- ???
  4. Poached seasonal vegetables (RMB53) – ??
  5. We started with a shepherd purse with white bait soup (荠菜银鱼羹) (RMB114).  It was ok.  I much prefer the one I had the night before at Xindalu, the Chinese restaurant at Hyatt on the Bund in Shanghai.- ?

Conclusion: food here is quite good and price is reasonable for a 5 star hotel.  We paid RMB488 for lunch for the 3 of us.

2.  Garden Brasserie – All- Day Dining

Overlooking the breathtaking the Garden, Garden Brasserie is an all-day-dining restaurant.  Breakfast is also served here.  The breakfast selection is varied.  But as there are many tourists, Breakfast can be quite busy and noisy unlike business hotels.

Breakfast buffet @ Garden Brasserie

The noodle station is especially popular and wait can be up to 15 mins during busy times.  You pick the ingredients you like and the type of noodles.  I decided on the fine noodles and just added wanton and meat ball.  I placed my order and came back for my noodles later.

Besides noodles, I decided to get a mini rice dumpling as we are only a few days away from the dumpling festival.  As it was small, mince meat was mixed with the glutinous rice rather than as a filling within the dumpling which we are normally used to. Besides the dumpling, I had a grilled sweet potato and a bean paste bun.

My breakfast plate

Breakfast was not included in my room rate.  At RMB128 per person, I thought it was very reasonable.

IV.  Conclusion:

Overall a pleasant stay at the Pan Pacific Suzhou.  If I come back to Suzhou for a vacation, I’ll not hesitate to stay here again.  It’s location next to Panmen Scenic Area is a plus.  Hotel guests get free entry to Panmen Scenic Area.  It is pretty and was worth a morning walk before I checked out.

Next up : Suzhou 2017 – Pan Men Scenic Area

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