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accomodation last minute

by lgsglens Online Now Mar 4, 2013 at 1:22 PM

Hi travelling with husband and 8 year old child initially to beijing and then on to either chengdu or guilin in may. have booked first 2 nights accomm - how easy is it or realistic is it to book accomdation when there or should we really think about pre booking before we leave uk?

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7 Answers
  • Poling's Profile Photo

    Re: accomodation last minute

    by Poling Online Now Mar 4, 2013 at 4:37 PM

    It all depends on when you travel. It is always good to pre-book during high season. There are lots of choices, hotels, guest houses, hostels etc.

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  • cal6060's Profile Photo

    Re: accomodation last minute

    by cal6060 Online Now Mar 4, 2013 at 8:24 PM

    It is quite important for you to book hotel in advance before you visit China especially you travel with a 8 year old child. Why?
    1) It is more expensive to walk-in to a hotel.
    2) Sometimes you get a cheaper rate to book online few months ahead of time, cause in some good hotel the rate will go more expensive last minute due to good crowd.
    3) There are many lousy hotels in China, could avoid getting into one of those hotels, book hotel with good reviews.

    4) In China, not all hotels can cater foreigner. Only hotels with special permit can cater foreign visitors.

    5) I usually book my hotel in advance thru local booking website. www.elong.net, you don't need to pay anything in advance. Some hotels require you to use your credit card to secure your room, but they won't charge you anything. You only pay them during check-in. If you wish to cancel your room, just call them or cancel online 24 hours in advance.
    5) Most hotel staffs don't speak Englsih except those foreign-chain 5 stars hotels. You can always call elong with English speaking staffs if encounter problem regard your hotel and booking. They will slove the issue for you without any cost.

    Alternatley, www.ctrip.com is another reliable hotel booking website in China.

    Good Luck and Have a Great Trip!

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  • muratkorman's Profile Photo

    Re: accomodation last minute

    by muratkorman Online Now Mar 4, 2013 at 11:34 PM

    Booking in advance saves you from unwanted trouble. Moving with luggage and a child to find an acceptable place may become a big trouble if your first trials are not successful. reading the comments of the guests of the hotel gives you a good idea. For example, we stayed in a comfortable room and we had a great location close to Forbidden City, but I can't imagine myself looking for a hotel with our luggage after a long flight. You can check my Beijing page for some useful tips and you can try agoda.com for a brief search for hotels. We stayed in Days Inn Forbidden City Hotel in Beijing.

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  • Mikebb's Profile Photo

    Re: accomodation last minute

    by Mikebb Online Now Mar 5, 2013 at 1:04 AM

    With a child always book in advance. When we visited in May 2011 we stayed in the Doubletree by Hilton $100 per night room with breakfast for 2.

    Most taxi drivers do not speak English. When we went out for the day the hotel consierge would give us a hotel card and write in Chinese where we wantd to go, and the card had the hotel address in Chinese.

    otherwise you may get lost.

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  • Re: accomodation last minute

    by peternh Online Now Mar 6, 2013 at 5:57 PM

    The answer to your question depends entirely on the kind of accommodation you plan to occupy. If it's familiar foreign-brand-name properties from Ibis at the lower end to Peninsula at the top, then in almost every case the lowest available rate will be on the hotel's own website, and a guarantee given that this is the case.

    For every other hotel in China you'll do far better to walk in and bargain at the counter. This is how the Chinese do it, and its how hotels expect to operate. There are published prices for each room type, but nobody (except the occasionally book-in-advance foreigner) ever pays these. An initial discount is typically offered before you can even ask for it, and bargaining further will in most hotels at most times of the year produce discounts of between 30% and 70% off published rates. Looking at sites such as Ctrip and eLong will give you some idea of what can be obtained, the sites giving you rates they imply they have negotiated but which anyone obtain, and often beat. You can choose an area with a concentration of hotels after looking at these sites, but note that photography is typically long out of date, there's many a false claim made by the hotels, the hotels the sites push you most strongly towards are those giving them the biggest commissions not those that might best suit you, there are vastly more hotels than shown on these sites, and the best choice is usually the newest hotel which no one's heard of and which you happen to pass in a taxi. These are delighted to have some customers, work harder to keep you happy, and offer still deeper discounts.

    Simply showing up and bargaining also gives you a chance to inspect the room, and make sure it's what you want and that everything is working before you actually commit. If your first choice doesn't work out, simply leave family in the lobby with luggage, and quickly scoot round a neighbouring property or two until you find what you want.

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  • iclee's Profile Photo

    Re: accomodation last minute

    by iclee Online Now Mar 11, 2013 at 9:17 AM

    I would suggest pre-booking. Booked via Agoda the first time then booked directly with hotel (with discounts) eversince. Been going back and forth since then. Let me know if you need help, I can recommend you to a hotel that is a block away from Forbidden Palace-East gate and Wangfujing.

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  • mikelisaanna's Profile Photo

    Re: accomodation last minute

    by mikelisaanna Online Now Mar 11, 2013 at 7:53 PM

    Orbitz covers all of the major cities in China. It may not give you the best rate, but it is simple and convenient. We have used it to book rooms a couple of days in advance.

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