I had an excellent time staying at Soochow 1779. The staff members do not speak English, but they will readily use translation apps to communicate with you--and if you speak Mandarin, they will be incredibly helpful. The breakfasts are fantastic; every day, different Suzhou specialities (mostly different kinds of dumplings and buns) are served with congee, pickles, and fruit. The rooms are well maintained, though the building is, indeed, 240 years old, and sound is transferred fairly easily between rooms and between the courtyard and the rooms. The staff will happily provide a list of recommended local restaurants, performance venues, etc. Of the many places I have stayed in China, this was perhaps the best experience--uniquely Suzhou, a bit premodern, but very pleasant. N.B.: The hotel cannot be directly reached by car; it is about 100m away from a main street through a small alley. The staff will try to call you with the hotel's precise location and door code the day before you arrive.