Daniel Allen is impressed by the first global-brand hotel in the Qinghai province
Opened in 2015, The Sofitel Xining is the first international-brand hotel in the capital of Qinghai province, most of which is situated on the high-altitude Qinghai-Tibet Plateau.
Located in the heart of the city’s downtown Haihu district, the Sofitel Xining is a 30-minute drive from the airport. An elegant, attractively lit, neo-gothic exterior distinguishes the hotel from the surrounding, cookie-cutter architecture, while the towering porte cochere lends arrivals and departures a refined air. With its lashings of marble, huge ceilings and magnificent chandeliers, the hotel’s impressive lobby reinforces the impression of opulence.
Jet-lagged Westerners will certainly appreciate the language skills of Sofitel Xining employees. Not everyone at the hotel can speak English, but there are plenty of staff who do, and all are attentive and eager to please. Room service requests are hassle-free and typically dealt with in double-quick time.
There are three restaurants at the Sofitel Xining: the Chinese/European Kwee Zeen, the Chinese Le Chinois, and the Japanese Nabe. Kwee Zeen, which serves up an excellent daytime buffet (carnivores will love the yak steaks), is where breakfast is served. Think freshly squeezed juice, eggs to order, great coffee (something of a rarity in China) and freshly baked bread. Fans of Chinese food will appreciate the excellent dim sum and melt-in-your-mouth baozi (steamed buns).
For those looking to work out and wind down, the Sofitel Xining has all the fitness and relaxation bases covered. The stunning indoor pool was deserted on most days.
Last but not least, the Sofitel Xining’s wi-fi is fast, reliable and free.
63 Wu Si Xi Road, Chengxi District, Xining
Rooms from £80