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China Accommodation

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Accommodation in China is generally convenient. Except for star-rated hotels, you can also choose local guesthouses and roadside inns. There are both domestically-run hotels and international chain hotels, such as Sheraton, Shangri-la, Hilton, Hyatt, Holiday Inn and Four Seasons, especially in highly developed or tourist cities. Hotels offer not only typical Chinese or local features, but also completely modern facilities. However, hotels with three, four and five stars can accommodate foreign visitors comfortably.

Price
Price depends on its location and level; however, it is not a good guide to quality. Even within a major city, a more expensive hotel is not necessarily the most suitable. With same quality, hotels in large cities are more expensive than those in small cities; eastern China is far more expensive than western China; tourist cities are more expensive than non-tourist cities. During major holiday periods, particularly around Chinese New Year, the first week in May and the first week in October, most hotels charge much higher rates.

Quality
Quality also varies considerably so feedback from other travelers is good advice. More stars it has, more reasonable the staff speaks English, particularly those from international chains. For hotels under three stars, they usually cannot speak English, which is not convenient for foreign visitors.

Reservation
You can reserve a hotel by phone, fax or on the Internet by yourself. However, travel agencies, tourism or transportation companies usually offer a reservation service. Besides, there are also many on-line reservation centers who offer very fast and nice service, which is good choice if you are planning a free tour.

Tips
1. Common check-in and check-out times are respectively after 2:00 pm and before noon. Extra cost will be charged if you check in before 6 am.
2. Better take money or valuables with you or leave them in the security in the room or at the receptionist if it is available.

Appendix
The standard to rate hotels in China
The standard to rate hotels in China from one to five stars was issued by State Tourism Administration of China. Here are the main requirements of each rate. The upper one includes the lower ones. For example, the five-star hotel provides not only the essentials of its own, but also all the essentials of other stars-rated hotels.


Five-star hotels:
1. Self-operated fleets that make regular runs to the airport or city center.
2. Many have magnificent ball rooms and lobbies and cater to foreign business people on expense accounts.
3. Executive floors with concierges & free continental breakfasts; best western food and probably the best Chinese food in town, and the most luxurious breakfast buffets.

 Four-star hotels:
1. A clinic should be on-site.
2. Bar service should be available to 1:00 am and 24-hour coffee shop
3. Luxurious and spacious sound-proof rooms, low-noise toilets, and hair dryers.
4. Elevators, background music, health club, swimming pool, sauna, business center, greenhouse, 24-hour doorman
5. A guest reception and assistant manager should be available in the lobby 24 hours a day.
6. Laundry should be returned by next day.
7. Two kinds of Chinese food with the last order no earlier than 9:00 pm.
8. A business center with photocopying, typing and translation services
9. Ticketing agency with city tours
10. Babysitting services.

Three-star hotels:
1. Single rooms and suites, western and Chinese dining rooms (with English-speaking attendants, and the last order no earlier than 8:30pm), 16-hour coffee shop, 18-hour room service, banquet hall or function room, buffet breakfast and bar service until midnight.
2. well-decorated guest rooms with dressing table, desk, drawers and closet; mini-bar and refrigerator; carpet or wood floor; sun-proof curtains; and bed turn-down service telephones in every room with international direct dial(IDD); color television sets, in-house movies, music; writing materials;
3. elevator service, washroom, equipment and service for disabled people, camera film developing, fax and telex service, luggage storage, disco or karaoke, foreign exchange, 16-hour a day doorman, 24-hour laundry and dry-cleaning, safe deposit boxes, store, wake-up calls, shoe polishing, and taxis.
4. Mend articles of everyday use for guests and accept major credit cards.
5. Emergency electricity supply for public areas, medical services, and message service, guest reception, and managers on call.
6. An assistant manager should be in the lobby 18 hours and railroad timetables available.
7. China Daily and China Tourism News should be provided freely.

 Two-star hotels:
1. At least 20 guest rooms, 95% with private baths, and 50% with telephones
2. 16 hours of cold and hot running water every day
3. Breakfast in Western and Chinese style

One-Star hotels:
1. At least 20 guest rooms, 75% with private baths, cleaned daily
2. Air-conditioning, coffee shop, dining room
3. A lobby with information and reception desk, postal service
4. 12 hours of hot running water every day

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