Choosing the Perfect Hotel in China: A Comprehensive Guide

Dec 4, 2023


  • Understanding the Hotel Landscape in China
  • International Chain Hotels
  • Chinese-Owned Chains
  • Budget Choices and Business Chain Hotels
  • Hotel Rates
  • Factors to Consider When Choosing a Hotel
    • Location and Accessibility
    • Hotel Facilities and Amenities
    • Hotel Ratings and Customer Reviews
    • Booking Options and Restrictions for Foreign Guests
    • Price and Value for Money
    • Safety and Security
    • Additional Services and Features
    • Cancellation and Refund Policies
    • Booking Process
    • Checking-In at the Hotel
    • Checking-Out of the Hotel
  • Conclusion
  • Show More


When planning a trip to China, one of the most important decisions you'll make is choosing the right hotel. With thousands of options available, it can be overwhelming to find a hotel that suits your preferences, budget, and comfort level. To help you navigate this process, we have compiled a comprehensive guide to choosing the perfect hotel in China. Whether you're a first-time traveller or a frequent visitor, this guide will equip you with the knowledge and tips to make an informed decision.

China's hotel industry has experienced tremendous growth and diversification over the years. From basic hostels to luxurious five-star properties, there is a wide range of options to cater to every traveller’s needs. It's crucial to understand the different types of hotels available in China to make an informed decision.

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International chains have a strong presence in China and offer a reliable and consistent experience for travellers. Well-known brands like Four Seasons, Shangri-La, Hilton, Marriott, and Sheraton have established themselves in major cities and tourist destinations. These hotels often provide excellent service, modern amenities, and international standards of quality. If you prefer a familiar experience and have a higher budget, opting for an international chain hotel is a great choice.

Chinese-owned hotel chains have also been expanding and improving their offerings. While the exterior appearance of these hotels may resemble international chains, it's generally recommended to choose international brands if given the option. The service and quality in Chinese-owned hotels may not always meet international standards. However, if you're on a tighter budget, these hotels can still provide a comfortable stay at a more affordable price point.

For budget-conscious travellers, there are various options available in China. Business chain hotels such as Home Inn, Jinjiang Inn, and 7-Days Inn have gained popularity for their functional and modern rooms at affordable rates. These hotels are often conveniently located in city centres, making them a practical choice for exploring the area without breaking the bank. Keep in mind that some cheaper hotels may not have licenses to host foreign guests, so it's essential to check before booking.

China's hotel prices vary based on factors like lodging quality, location, and booking time. Budget-friendly options are under three stars, ranging from USD 30 to USD 50 per standard room per night. Three-star stays cost USD 50 to USD 80, while luxury four or five-star hotels range from USD 80 to USD 200 or more per night.

During the peak travel season, spanning from April to October, rates tend to rise as the influx of visitors surges. Conversely, the slack season, stretching from November to March, often sees a dip in hotel prices, making it an appealing time for budget-conscious travellers to explore. An exception is that the Chinese New Year holiday, though falling in January or February, is regarded as peak season.

As you journey through China, you'll discover that lodging costs are closely tied to the city's size and vibrancy. Thriving metropolises like Shanghai, Beijing, Hong Kong, Guangzhou, Chongqing, Xi'an, and Shenzhen offer a wealth of luxurious accommodations. A standard room averages around USD 200 in Beijing, USD 180 in Shanghai, and USD 120 in Xi'an. Guangzhou and Shenzhen offer similar lavishness as Shanghai.

Now that we have a broad understanding of the hotel landscape in China, let's explore the factors you should consider when choosing a hotel. By evaluating these aspects, you can find a hotel that aligns with your preferences and enhances your overall travel experience.

The location of your hotel plays a significant role in your convenience and accessibility during your stay. Consider the proximity to attractions, public transportation, and amenities such as restaurants and shops. Opting for a hotel near public transportation, such as subway stations or bus stops, can make commuting easier and save you time and effort. Additionally, being close to popular tourist spots or city centres allows for more flexibility in exploring the destination.

The facilities and amenities offered by a hotel greatly impact your comfort and convenience. When researching hotels, pay attention to the amenities provided in the rooms, such as air conditioning, free Wi-Fi, minibar, and a kettle. Ensure that the hotel offers the necessary amenities for a pleasant stay, such as a private bathroom with toiletries, a hairdryer, and a hot shower. If you have specific requirements, such as non-smoking rooms or accessibility features, check if the hotel can accommodate them.

Higher-rated hotels often provide additional facilities such as swimming pools, fitness centres, spa and wellness centres, and on-site restaurants. Consider your preferences and prioritize the amenities that are important to you when selecting a hotel.

Hotel ratings offer a glimpse into a hotel's quality and standards, but the Chinese star-rating system differs from international standards. While many Chinese-rated hotels meet local standards, some fall short of global expectations. For accurate insights, check reviews on platforms like Focus on recent reviews and consistent feedback about cleanliness, staff, and overall satisfaction.

Not all hotels in China are licensed to host foreign guests. Before making a reservation, ensure that the hotel is approved to accommodate international travellers. One way to verify this is by using reputable booking websites like, which indicate if a hotel is suitable for foreigners. These platforms also offer live support chat, making it easier to communicate any specific requirements or concerns.

Price is a crucial factor when choosing a hotel, and it's essential to find a balance between your budget and the value you're receiving. Keep in mind that hotel prices can vary significantly between cities and even within the same city. Consider the facilities, location, and overall reputation of the hotel to determine if it provides value for money. It's worth noting that prices in China are often negotiable, especially if you're booking in person and have the ability to bargain.

Safety should be a top priority when selecting a hotel. Ensure that the hotel has appropriate security measures in place, such as secure entrances, surveillance systems, and well-trained staff. Reading reviews and researching the neighborhood's safety can provide insights into the hotel's security. Additionally, consider the availability of safety features in the rooms, such as electronic safes and secure locks.

Some hotels offer extra services and features that can enhance your stay. These may include airport or train station transportation, concierge services, laundry facilities, and on-site dining options. If you require any specific services, such as business centre facilities or childcare, check if the hotel can accommodate your needs.

Before finalizing your booking, review the hotel's cancellation and refund policies. Unforeseen circumstances may require you to modify or cancel your reservation, and it's important to understand the hotel's policies regarding these situations. Some hotels offer flexible cancellation options, while others may have stricter policies. Consider your travel plans and choose a hotel with cancellation policies that align with your needs.

Booking a hotel in China can be done through various channels, including online platforms, telephone, or email. While online booking is convenient and widely used, keep in mind that not all hotel staff members may speak English fluently. If you encounter any difficulties, consider working with a travel consultant who specializes in China to assist you with the booking process. It's advisable to book your hotel in advance, especially during peak travel seasons and holidays, to secure your reservation.

When you arrive at the hotel, be prepared to present your passport and complete a registration form. As per the regulations outlined in the Chinese Exit-Entry Administration Law, every foreign individual must complete registration with the Public Security Bureau (PSB) within 24 hours after entering the country. The hotel staff will normally complete this registration for you during the check-in procedure.

Additionally, the hotel will require payment in advance, so ensure you have the necessary funds or a valid credit card. Some hotels may also request a deposit, which is refundable upon check-out. It's important to keep all receipts and documents provided by the hotel, as you may need them during your stay. If you encounter any issues or have specific requests, communicate them politely to the hotel staff for assistance.

During check-out, a hotel staff member may inspect the room to ensure there are no damages or missing items. This process may take some time, so it's advisable to allocate extra time before your departure. Remember to return the room key and retrieve the deposit receipt if applicable. If you have any concerns or require assistance with transportation or luggage storage, communicate them with the hotel staff before leaving.

Choosing the perfect hotel in China is a vital aspect of planning a successful trip. By considering factors such as location, facilities, ratings, and reviews, you can find a hotel that meets your needs and enhances your travel experience. Whether you opt for an international chain hotel or a budget-friendly option, prioritize safety, comfort, and value for money. With the right research and careful consideration, you'll find the ideal hotel that complements your journey through China and creates lasting memories.

Remember, each traveller’s preferences and requirements differ, so it's essential to personalize your hotel selection based on your unique needs. By using this comprehensive guide as a starting point, you'll be well-equipped to make an informed decision and enjoy a memorable stay in China.