Foreign hotel chains
The most known foreign chains have at least one hotel in Chinese major cities but take into account that the rate for one standard room in the same chain hotel, in the same city, may be different due to the location or to decorative style of the hotel itself.
Foreign hotels chains always have a Chinese name which is more familiar, or possibly even the only one known! - to the Chinese (especially taxi drivers) than the original English names. For example, the Great Wall Sheraton Hotel is known as “长城饭店” (Changcheng Fandian) which means “The Great Wall Hotel”. Obviously, considering that most of Chinese taxi driver do not understand English, you have to say the name in Chinese. Thus, remember to always have the hotel’s business card, which bears the address along the name of the hotel in Chinese, sometimes it might have a small map of the hotel’s location on its back for your reference.
You will also find Asian hotel chains such as Shangri-La and Peninsula, which generally have a high standard of service. Of course, the check-in process is similar to the one in Europe: you need a valid passport and visa. According to the reservation you have made, you may be requested to give a credit card as deposit.
Chinese hotel chains
While travelling in China, it is likely that you will be proposed to stay in a hotel that belongs to Chinese chains, especially in smaller cities. Generally speaking, these hotels are less expensive than the international chains, and the service is more “Chinese oriented” than “western oriented”.
This means that, for example, the food will be mostly Chinese (and the quality of international food will hardly satisfy you) but considering that China is growing very quickly, it is very likely that in the next few years we will find the level of Chinese chains equivalent with international standards.
B&B - Apartments - Hostels
In China, the experience of sharing an apartment or simply a room in a private flat is becoming more and more popular among foreigners.
There are many web sites enabling the search for an ideal accommodation and even Apps to book rooms.
When booking rooms in a shared flat, recommendations are just the same as for any other country, such as: check the reliability of the host (through the evaluations and review systems proposed by related websites), look for information about the area where you will stay, and also check possible facilities.
Besides the above-mentioned solutions, western style hostels are becoming popular in China, especially in the main tourist destination. You will find cheap room rates and western style services (both for rooms and food).
Generally speaking, most of guests will probably be foreigners who intend to share experiences and an alternative way of staying in China.
All over China, as well as all around the world, you may find residences that can offer you the same services and facilities as a hotel (i.e. daily cleaning, restaurants on site, breakfast included, etc).
Prices may vary according to the level, the location and the quality of services.
- Asian Hotels for foreigners: http://www.scmp.com/magazines/style/article/1670430/asian-hotels-bring-their-brand-hospitality-west
- Popular website to check good rates for Hotels: http://www.chinahotels.org/
- China’s Jin Jiang outbids Accor for French budget Hotel Chain: http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/a7df4d0a-6a7b-11e4-bfb4-00144feabdc0.html#axzz3a0vwAH1D
- Air Bnb: https://www.airbnb.it
- Search engine for Bnb: https://www.bedandbreakfast.eu/