With a great location that’s walking distance to St. Sophia’s Russian Orthodox Church, Zhaop Park and Zhangyang Street with all its European style architecture, Ibis Hotel is a good choice in Harbin. For about $30 a night I got a spic and span room with wifi and a TV (not many Western channels though). I could easily get from the airport bus stop to the hotel following the well marked streets and my Lonely Planet map.
The room’s are basic, but that’s all I wanted. They offer breakfast, but no other meals. I opted for a nearby Starbucks as I wanted the music and a place to work in the morning on my homework before I did my afternoon sightseeing.
If you insist on kind, polite staff, this isn’t the hotel for you. In fact, the Harbin-ites I encountered just didn’t smile. At the hotel and elsewhere staff was gruff and unhappy about doing more than the minimum. Maybe they wanted people to feel they really were in Russia ;-). They do their job and they fixed my problem and put me in a non-smoking room when the first room was for smokers, but they’re not able to be cheerful.
Since the hostel just had a 57% satisfaction rate, I’m glad I opted for Ibis.