Finding Cheap Hotels
Okay, so maybe you’re not feeling up to staying in a hostel. Maybe you just want to stay somewhere with your own private bathroom, endless hot water, and a comfy bed without breaking the bank. Luckily in China, you can. While most hotels are going to be a bit more expensive than a backpackers hostel, they are still ridiculously affordable compared to any place you would stay in the US.
I’ve stayed in a few different hotels in China over the course of the year. Sometimes I’ve opted for a hotel during my travels, but most of my hotel stays took place over the winter time when all I really wanted was a hot bath. So, I checked into a hotel in my city (I blame my friend Cristy for getting me started on that.)
The Ramada, Weifang, Shandong Province, China
On the occasions I felt like pampering myself, I usually checked into The Ramada. It is a four star hotel, really nice and only about 300 CNY/night ($50) for a room with a queen sized bed. The main draw for me was the bathtub. I’ve only stayed at this hotel twice (December and March), but I would recommend it to anyone. Each time I stayed, the staff was incredibly accommodating and helpful. Although I stayed at the one in Weifang, there are Ramada Hotels all over China.
The Crowne Plaza, Qingdao, Shandong Province, China
For my birthday in January, my friend Cristy and I decided to splurge and stay in the Crowne Plaza, which is a 5-Star(*****) International Hotel. This was the first time I’ve ever stayed in a hotel this nice, and I could easily see myself getting spoiled. For the Queen Suite we only paid roughly 600 CNY/person ($100) for two nights, including the breakfast buffet every morning. In the US you can barely find a Best Western for that price, let alone a 5 Star International hotel. The staff here was amazing. I remember idly expressing minimal disappointment to my friend that they didn’t have pineapple at breakfast. Suddenly, one of the servers walking past told me she would get some and bring it right to my table. Again, I could definitely get used to being spoiled and living the high life (as long as it is at Chinese prices.)
Ibis, Weifang, Shandong Province, China
The Ibis is a Chinese style hotel with pretty basic furnishings. It doesn’t have the amenities that the other hotels have, but it was extremely comfortable, nonetheless. If you are looking for something simpler, this is the place to go. Ibis is also all over China, and you can find a single room for about 120 CNY/ night ($20).
The cost of the hotels will vary greatly on the city in which you are staying. I’m sure finding a 4-5 star hotel for only 600 CNY in Shanghai or Beijing would be more difficult than in Qingdao, or another smaller city. To find the best deals on hotels and to book my stays, I always use C-trip.com. They have databases and hotel listings in pretty much every city in China. It is really simple and quick to use, and it provides you the address, map, and name of the hotel in Chinese to show to the taxi drivers. They also have train and flight booking services with an up to date schedule, as well as tour packages and activities.