Of all the hotels I have stayed in, the one that gets my vote for the most enjoyable stay has to be Dorsett Grand Chengdu in Chengdu, China. Which got me thinking: What’s so special about this hotel? Well, I could go on and on, but for the sake of brevity, I would say it is the people who make a place special. Every member of the staff I met there was extremely pleasant, friendly and ever so helpful. If their main goal was to make guests as happy and comfortable as possible, they succeeded admirably.

I was one of the media participants on a five-day four-night summer trip organised by Dorsett Grand Chengdu, with support from AirAsia X, to introduce the exquisite delights of Chengdu, capital of Sichuan province.

After a full day of sightseeing, it was sheer bliss to come back to a clean, spacious and tastefully furnished room to rest and recharge for the next day’s excitement. The plush king-size bed and down feather pillows were so comfortable that I slept through the morning wake-up call on my first night at the hotel. You can also choose from a range of options, such as buckwheat pillow, cassia seed pillow and lavender pillow to settle in for the night.

The hotel is just three years old, so everything is new and clean. The marble-fitted bathroom is roomy and spotless. I love the Baronessa Cali Tarocco Sicilian red orange toiletries with their signature sweet orange fragrance. They make bathtime feel like a mini spa experience.

Owned and managed by Dorsett Hospitality International, the 42-storey Dorsett Grand Chengdu obviously takes pride in offering guests a five-star stay.

The lobby -- warm and welcoming.

The lobby — warm and welcoming.

There’s a warm, welcoming atmosphere about this hotel that helps you to settle in easily. Super-friendly staff greet you at every corner. I like the fact that I have to swipe my room card to access the lifts. It gives me an added sense of security.

From my room on the 18th floor, I had a good view of Chengdu’s bristling skyline. Hooking up to the complimentary WiFi was hassle-free. WiFi signals were strong from any corner of the room. In fact, there is WiFi access in public areas, such as the hotel’s lobby, lounge, cafe and restaurant. Even the hotel’s coach comes with WiFi to deliver seamless connectivity to guests.

Lotus and ginkgo leaf motifs add an Asian touch to the opulent furnishings in the 556 guestrooms and suites. The room I occupied was a standard room. It comes with an iPod dock, mini-bar, coffee and tea maker, electronic safe, and satellite and cable television.

Other room options are Deluxe Room, Dorsett Suite, Executive Suite and Chairman Suite. The Chairman Suite, located on the highest floor, comes with a dining room, a living room, ample working space complete with leather sofas, a massage room, jacuzzi and sauna room. The Backstreet Boys and Taiwanese boy band Fahrenheit were among the celebrity guests who have stayed at this upscale hotel.

The hotel’s convenient location at the heart of the central business district offers easy access to business and leisure destinations. The city’s Metro Line 1 and 4 are directly in front of the hotel.

Within walking distance are tourist attractions such as People’s Park, the largest park in downtown Chengdu, and Tianfu Square with its iconic Mao Zedong statue which overlooks the city. Chunxi Road, the glitziest shopping district in the city, is quite close by.

Chef Bill Wang demonstrates his expertise in making knife-shaved noodles.

Chef Bill Wang demonstrates his expertise in making knife-shaved noodles. below: A spicy and satisfying bowl of hand-pulled noodles from Yue Rong Cafe.

A spicy and satisfying bowl of hand-pulled noodles from Yue Rong Cafe.

Some of the finest fare I tucked into during my stay in Chengdu came from the hotel’s Yue Rong Cafe and Fu Yue Xuan Chinese Restaurant. At the cafe, I had my first taste of the super-spicy hand-pulled noodles for which Sichuan is famous. And I loved it!

The breakfast menu is impressive and extensive, with a daily change. Besides regular items such as English breakfast treats and local specialities, there was an endless array of pastries, breads, noodles, congee, desserts, juices, salads and pickles.

Fu Yue Xuan Chinese Restaurant offers an eclectic mix of delectable Cantonese, Sichuan and Tan Fu cuisine. For a sample of what the restaurant has to offer, our media group was treated to a sumptuous spread by the hotel’s award-winning Chef Michael Chen. We feasted on Braised Sea Cucumber in Millet, Mixed Wheatgrass with Fresh Pepper, Fried Wagyu Beef with Herbs, Pan-fried Goose Liver with Oats, and Cucumber with Jelly Fish, to name just some of the 20 dishes laid out before us. The fine dining experience was memorable, just like my stay at Dorsett Grand Chengdu.

I left Chengdu a little richer from the trip. Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport is 30 minutes from the hotel – by coach. We had a smooth flight on board AirAsia X’s Airbus A330 which allayed any fears one might have of flying. We were seated in the Quiet Zone (for passengers aged 10 and above) and the comfortable seats, soothing ambience lighting and privacy curtains helped ensure a very pleasant flight. The flight back to Kuala Lumpur was just a little over four hours.

Dorsett Grand Chengdu

168 Xi Yulong Street
Qingyang District Chengdu
Sichuan
China
Tel: 86 28 8332 8666
Email: reservation.chengdu@dorsetthotels.com
www.dorsetthotels.com/chengdu