Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Dalian Notes IV – The Yamato Hotel Centenary

The old Yamato Hotel in Dalian still dominates the Zhongshan roundabout just as it did when it was the Yamato Hotel and Dalian was Dairen. It’s now called the Dalian Hotel. On the south side of Zhongshan Guangchang, it was originally built in 1909 and described in a 1920s guidebook as "one of the finest hotels in the Far East."

The picture left was taken fairly early and shows women in Japanese dress walking across the square in front reflecting the Japenese influence, occupation and population of Dairen at the time - though whether the ladies are "staged" or just happened to be walking around I don't know. It was originally a part of the Japanese-owned Yamato Hotel chain which had other branches in north east China including one in Port Arthur, Lushun now, just up the road from Dalian.

In general the guest rooms are large with small beds but clean, sizable bathrooms. Nowadays the place looks a little tatty and the furnishings fail to match the grandeur of the building itself, but no it’s still got a touch of the old glamour. The old staircase is intact (left) and the lobby's not in bad shape (far left).

The hotel is obviously 100 years old this year and deserves commemorating as one of the great old hotels left in China not to fall to the rapacious bulldozers of the “modernisers”.

Dalian Notes I - China's Best Letter Boxes

Dalian Notes II – Coming Down Alert
Dalian Notes III- A Centenary of Trams


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