Renting a Hotel or Hostel in China
Hotels in China
If you are going to go to China, then you probably have a question about where to live the first time? If you have friends in the city you are traveling to, this is great, so you can stay with them. But if not, then the best and most reliable option is to stay at a hotel or hostel. In this article, I will tell you about the features of Chinese hotels, on which sites it is better to look for accommodation, and what is better to look at when choosing a place.
To begin with, I want to say that not all Chinese hotels have a license to accept foreigners. This means that, most likely, you will not be able to enter the first hotel you come across and take a room. So, it’s better to reserve a room in a hotel or hostel in advance, using the sites that are designed for this. Because if the hotel is on a foreign site, then it has a license to accept foreigners.
Which sites are the best for hotels searching for travel to China?
You are probably familiar with this site. This is an international platform for finding hotels around the world. An important detail of this service is a lot of reviews from foreigners. I think this is important since a good hotel for a Chinese and, say, a Canadian is a bit different things. Of the shortcomings – not all Chinese hotels are registered on this site. This seems to be due to the high commission of this hotel site. Another caveat to consider: usually the price of Booking.com does not include a 15% service charge. You will be asked to pay 15% already at the hotel.
This site is more popular in China than the previous one. For example, Booking.com in Chongqing has only about 350 accommodation options, while Agoda.com has about 680 (March 2020). Accordingly, the range of prices is wider here. Here, indeed, you can find very cheap options, but you need to be careful: the range of quality here is also wide. In general, you can find good options on the basis of price-quality, but you need to spend time.
This is a Chinese site for finding hotels, as well as airline tickets, train tickets and more. There is an interface in several languages, including English. Many more hotels are presented here than on the sites mentioned above. As a result, you get a large selection. Of the shortcomings – reviews in Chinese and from the Chinese. Despite that I mentioned troubles with a license for foreigners above, this site also provides you appropriate options.
Here are some significant features of Chinese hotels.
The usual way of evaluating hotel quality by the number of stars is not appropriate for Chinese hotels. For example, the service you receive in China in a 4 stars hotel, you would most likely rate about 3 stars. You should keep it in mind when you choose a place for staying, and be more careful about studying specific points of service than focusing on the number of stars.
In China, smoking is allowed almost everywhere, and hotels are no exception. They smoke in rooms, in the corridors, in the lobby and even in the hotel restaurant.
In China, you will not be able to pay with a card with the Visa or Mastercard payment system. So, it’s better to withdraw money at an ATM in advance.
Most Chinese hotels are oriented towards the Chinese. Therefore, do not be surprised if the person at the reception does not speak English at all. This, of course, does not apply to large international hotels.
Almost all Chinese hotels take a deposit of 200-500 yuan. This amount, most likely, will not be included in the bill when you book a room on the site.
Breakfasts in ordinary Chinese hotels are made for the Chinese and may seem strange to you. There may be sweet sausages, stewed cabbage, tofu, fish balls and more. Believe me, these breakfasts seem very tasty to the Chinese. However, you can choose something for yourself at this feast. For example, there are always boiled or fried eggs and bread.
If all of the above scares you, do not despair. Besides Chinese hotels, you will also find many popular international hotels such as Holiday Inn, Hilton, Ibis etc. They will have a good service that meets Western standards.
And most importantly, always read reviews, not only good but also bad. And do not hesitate to ask questions to the hotel staff before booking.
Staying at a Chinese hotel or hostel for more than a few days, you risk making many interesting friends. Chinese people are very sociable, friendly. In broken English or with a translator, but they are always ready to help find the way or advise a restaurant.
Come to China, it will be an unforgettable adventure.
Be safe Everyone!