Beijing airport to hotel

Mar 12th, 2003, 12:46 PM
  #1  
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Beijing airport to hotel

I am going to China in two weeks to visit a friend who lives there. My flight arrives the night before she is able to meet me in Beijing.

What hotel should I stay in? How do I get from the airport to the hotel? Should I make reservations online?

My flight arrives late at night, about nine or ten p.m. and I am a young gal, a little nervous about hopping into a taxi in Beijing, but I don't have unlimited funds.

Thanks.
jocainster is offline  
Mar 12th, 2003, 02:11 PM
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Before advising you on hotels, one would need to know your preferences. There are beds from as little as Y25 (US$3) in hostels, up to several hundred yuan per night in five star hotels. Doubtless you're somewhere in the middle, but where?

There is a taxi rank right outside. As long as you are getting in the cab before 11pm and you choose one with Y1.6 written on the side, you will be able to reach the centre of Beijing for Y80 plus Y10 in expressway toll, using the meter. That's around US$11. Do not go with anyone who approaches you in the arrivals lounge, but only with a proper cab, and start the meter.

However, the A line airport bus runs throughout the night, and can be boarded and the right hand end of the terminal as you leave. The fare is Y16. You can alight at the first stop, San Yuan Qiao, and continue by taxi much more cheaply than starting from the airport that way, or continue to the last stop, Xi Dan, which is next to the Xi Dan metro.

There are hotels near the airport of various grades, several with rooms for around Y200. There's also a clean and new guesthouse in the basement of the airport building itself, mainly intended for those with a few hours between connecting flights, but with overnight rates, too. No windows, but you probably won't care.

One thought if you take that option, is not to head into town until after about 9am to 9.30am or so, as Beijing's worst traffic jams are all around San Yuan Qiao, where the airport expressway meets the third ring road, and rush hour is a particular nightmare at that point.

Peter N-H
http://members.axion.net/~pnh/China.html
PeterN_H is offline  
Mar 12th, 2003, 03:36 PM
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You will feel much more secure if you make a reservation at a hotel and have a flight attendant on the plane (if possible) write it out for you in Chinese so you can give it to the cab driver. Or there may be a Chinese person on the flight who will do this for you. I would also recommend that you stay in a chain hotel that you book online. The difference in money will not be as important as your sense of security. The other choice is to ask your friend what she recommends. Staying overnight at the airport might be a good idea if you can be certain that a room will be available. Perhaps PeterN H could explain how to reserve one. Then you can go into Beijing after you are rested and during daylight. Most of us are a bit frazzled by the time we fly from the US to China. It is a long flight.
Elainee is offline  
Mar 12th, 2003, 06:57 PM
  #4  
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Thanks for the advice.

I would like to pay around $30 (Y250?) I don't need much in the way of luxury.

I would be interested in staying at the airport. Is it possible to make a reservation?

Thanks again.
jocainster is offline  
Mar 12th, 2003, 07:18 PM
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Here's a repeat of an earlier posting about airport hotels in Beijing. Yes, it's possible to make a reservation, but I wouldn't recommend it. There are thousands of hotel rooms in your price range in Beijing, but most will charge you more (40% or more more) if you book in advance. Also realize that with Chinese (as opposed to joint-venture) hotels your booking may be instantly forgotten, or will just be ignored if someone with cash shows up at the counter. You should have no problem getting something near the airport, and the basement hotel at the end--the most convenient--is in your price range as far as I remember:

The Sino-Swiss Hotel 4km from the airport, all the usual features of a four-star, with a few resort-style extras. I haven't stayed there, but the prices are silly. You'll get the best price by showing up and asking at the desk. But you can't get there without their shuttle (any taxi at the airport will have a fit if you ask them just to go four km). Call 6456-5588, and they'll send the shuttle. Have a look at www.sino-swisshotel.com/.

The three-star (although the Chinese star system is meaningless) Airport Garden Hotel is a Chinese attempt to do the same thing, probably with all the drawbacks that implies, starting with a brochure which claims only three minutes to the airport, and ten minutes to downtown Beijing, a physical impossibility without being airborne. Rack rate for a standard room is Y480, but it should be necessary to pay more than two thirds of that at the absolute most, and perhaps half. Again, they'll send a shuttle. 6456-6351.

A less flashy three-star used by Chinese airline aircrew is the snappily named Zhongguo Guoji Hangkong Gongsi Binguan (which would translate as the Air China Hotel). This is a standard Chinese three-star, not particularly inviting but quite acceptable, especially considering that Y160-260 will get you room and breakfast. Call 6456-3440 and they'll send a shuttle.

The most convenient (I'm afraid I don't have the exact details to hand, but I'm sure I've seen them recently, and if I stumble upon them I'll post them) is a little place in the basement of the main airport terminal itself, which no one else seems to know about. Carry on going down by escalator until you reach the basement level with some caf¨¦s and food outlets. Opposite those is a small hotel which rents rooms by the hour, right up to overnight. The one I looked at was brand new and spotless, with a bathroom which wouldn't have been out of place in a four-star. The overnight rate was fine, clearly posted, and not negotiable (at least not with the receptionist who was on duty when I went there) and for convenience it couldn't be beaten, save the absence of natural light (and the lack of good food, although the basement food court is the only place in the airport with edible food at reasonable prices).

Peter N-H
http://members.axion.net/~pnh/China.html
PeterN_H is offline  
Mar 12th, 2003, 11:41 PM
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I think you may get more applicable advice with regard to your question by looking at the Lonely Planet website for China, and/or posting your same question on their chat board, called Thorn Tree Posts. (the website is at lonleyplanet.com) Your budget is lower than most people on this site would consider (nothing wrong with that, I am guessing you are also a lot younger than many people posting on this site….) Lonely Planet specializes in budget travel, especially budget accommodations. They give very precise directions and bus numbers for local transport and sometimes give the Chinese characters. The Torn Tree Post chat room would most likely have recent experiences posted by travellers with regard to budget accommodations in Beijing, and as I said you could also post your same question. You might also consider buying the Lonely Planet guide for China. (My apologies to Fodors).
Cicerone is offline  
Mar 13th, 2003, 09:35 AM
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I must admit that I'm a little puzzled when I wonder how the advice and detailed information already given might be any more 'applicable'.

Coincidentally there was a query on the Lonely Planet board yesterday about late-night travel from Beijing airport to town, and nobody knew the answer, although there were plenty of replies. There were recommendations to bargain with taxis and pay Y130, there were posts that there would be no buses, that buses were difficult, etc. It would seem the information here was more 'applicable'.

One of the things which makes Fodor's site more worth reading is that people (in general) only write in when they have an answer, and (with one or two exceptions) don't waste time and space attacking other people, as is common on the LP board, but stick to the point. At LP there's a tendency there to sneer at people not travelling in a rock-bottom way, whereas here there's been no discrimination by those travelling at one level towards those travelling at another, and three cheers for that.

US$30 per night is anyway certainly not LP's idea of budget travel (think one fifth of that), and in China will provide a large choice of double rooms with private baths, both in Beijing and across the country, which I doubt jocainster is alone on this site in wanting to hear about.

There have been plenty of other posts in the past here from people who travel at that level, asking for information and obtaining useful replies, which have undoubtedly been read with interest by many others. I don't see how it does anyone here a service to drive discussion elsewhere either.

Peter N-H
http://members.axion.net/~pnh/China.html
PeterN_H is offline  
Mar 13th, 2003, 11:35 PM
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Peter, sounds like you would enjoy the LP board more than this as you can make as many snide comments as you want....
Cicerone is offline  

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