Hotel help- Beijing and Xi-an

Nov 2nd, 2000, 10:30 AM
  #1  
Robyn
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Hotel help- Beijing and Xi-an

My husband and I are going to spend a few days in Beijing and Xi'an in January, and are confused about the best places to stay. It seems like the Hyatt is the best in Xi'an, since there aren't too many choices. However, Beijing is more confusing! I had thought The Palace would be best, but posts on this site said it was tired. Has anyone stayed at the Grand Hotel Beijing? The Shangri-la sound too big- is this right? Any opinions would be most helpful! Thanks
 
Nov 3rd, 2000, 01:51 AM
  #2  
Amy
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Hi Robyn. My husband and I just got back from 7 days in Beijing. Absolutely loved it. I don't know what you're looking for in terms of price or amenities, so I have a bit of difficulty telling you where I think you might like to stay. What I can tell you was that we stayed downtown at the Wanfujing Grand Hotel. It was fine (nice, clean rooms, helpful staff), but not exactly the walking proximity to sites that they promise. The forbidden City and Tiananmen Square are a healthy 20 minutes away easy. Also, downtown traffic, at times, was a royal pain. One place that we stopped at for a meal that we really liked was the China World Hotel. Seemed very nice, had a great Chinese meal there, and there is a new subway stop nearby (if you like that kind of convenience). I believe it's near the second ring road so you're still close enough to downtown, but not right in the thick of the traffic. However, where ever you decide to stay, know that taxis are plentiful and inexpensive. We got around that way most of the time without any problem.

Enjoy and stay warm -- I've heard January can be nasty!

Amy
 
Nov 3rd, 2000, 02:03 AM
  #3  
gayle
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Hi Amy, did you book any tours before you arrived or while you were in Beijing or did you get a private driver to take you around. Any info would be great - Gayle
 
Nov 3rd, 2000, 04:58 AM
  #4  
Sarah
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Robyn,
I stayed at the Hyatt in Xi'an and I recommend it. I did not stay in a hotel in Beijing, I had a family member that lived there. Enjoy your trip. I loved China.
 
Nov 3rd, 2000, 09:24 AM
  #5  
Robyn
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Thanks for the replies. To clarify, we would like to stay in a top-rated hotel, but not one that is enormous (like the Shangri-la seems to be). Since we have a short time there, close proximity to the sites is a must. Thanks!
 
Nov 3rd, 2000, 12:41 PM
  #6  
Phil Cushman
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I plan to stay at the Palace because of its proximity to the sites. A local Chinese businessman who takes small groups to China from time to time told me it was a great hotel with excellent service, beautiful rooms and close to Tian An Men Square etc.
 
Nov 4th, 2000, 04:18 PM
  #7  
Jo Ann
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I'll be staying at the Palace because it is run by Leading Hotels and the Peninsula Group out of Hong Kong. That's enough for me. I was going to stay at the Grand because it overlooked the Forbidden City but was counciled out of it as not being as Grand as they claim.
 
Nov 5th, 2000, 11:53 AM
  #8  
Cara
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Hi Robyn,

I stayed with a friend while in Beijing, but I would definitely recommend the Hyatt while in Xian. The business center was very helpful when I needed to change my flight. And in lieu of one of the expensive, crowded tour buses, we had the valet parkers at the Hyatt arrange a personal driver for an afternoon. It was less expensive than the tour bus and the driver took us out to the Terra Cotta Warriors, as well as to see a few other popular sights in town. Have fun - China is a great place to visit!
 
Nov 5th, 2000, 03:01 PM
  #9  
laurie
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Just back from a 3 week trip to China, stayed at the Palace in Beijing, room was ok, maybe you can get a room overlooking the garden. Room was clean, nice towels. Beautiful lobby and shops, helpful staff. Did hear at the end of our trip that The Palace is no longer run by the Peninsula Group. It is a good location, you can go out walking to many places and the main shopping street with lots of stores and markets is only a couple of blocks away. Great breakfast there by the way! Enjoy, I don't think you will be disappointed if you choose the Palace. We loved China and would go back tomorrow! Take lots of one dollar bills with you, they are very handy--ie: tips, bottled water, postcards, etc.
 
Nov 11th, 2000, 09:39 AM
  #10  
TinaB
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Hello,

I travel to Beijing quite a bit, and I usually stay at the Holiday Inn Crowne Plaza. It's clean and modern, and centrally located.

I invite you to avoid the Hilton: I experienced terrible service there just two weeks ago, and the taxis that are summoned by the hotel staff are unreliable.

The food is terrific (at least the western style food is, but it's VERY expensive).

A taxi from the Crowne Plaza to the airport should cost no more than 100-130 RMB, including the toll.

Please always write down the # of your taxi before you get into the car.

You'll have a great time, I have no doubt. At the end of the day, you won't regret retreating to a nice hotel room.

I hope this helps you choose a nice place to stay.

T
 
Nov 11th, 2000, 04:37 PM
  #11  
Dave
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Just returned form China and, while in Beijing, stayed at The Palace. And I would do the same again. Wonderful place to be. Close to where you want to be and the staff is wonderful. Plus the resturants there are terrific.
 
Nov 11th, 2000, 11:42 PM
  #12  
gayle
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The Palace seems to be a good choice, but could you please tell me if it's within walking distance to Tiannamen Square? Thanks
 
Nov 12th, 2000, 09:58 AM
  #13  
Phil Cushman
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Yes, it is within walking distance. See URL for info and map http://www.asiatravel.com/china/prep...ing/thepalace/
 
Nov 16th, 2000, 09:04 AM
  #14  
john
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My wife and I just returned after 10 days in Beijing. All I can say is WOW!!! It was so inexpensive and so easy to get around via taxi. We stayed at the Kunlun Hotel (old class & character) and visited, for Seminar purposes, the Hilton, the Radisson and the Sheraton Hotels - All Boring chrome and glass! We ate a very nice Dinner at the Palace Hotel but it looked like the Marriott in NYC. Don't worry about being in a Hotel close to any sights because the taxis are cheap and most don't expect tips (we averaged 10-15 yuen per trip which = $1.25-1.88 USD). Please make sure that you take a real cab from the Airport (one that's new and has a big taxi sign on their roof). The price for the ride from the Airport to anywhere in Beijing should not be more than 150-180 Yuens.

We took advantage of the tours provided through the Hotel. Typically it was an 8-9 hr tour with 3-5 couples max. The cost, which included a nice big lunch, was $39 USD each. We later went back by taxi to the Forbidden City to see it again by ourselves.

I had $1 bills in one pocket and Yuens in the other. Tipping is not expected but it puts a big smile on their face when you hand them one. We received a Fruit basket every night and extra towels for giving the maid a dollar! That’s when you realize you’re not in the U.S. anymore.

Go to the Silk Market (near the US Embassy) and be sure to take a small calculator. Remember, when you begin to haggle over anything to cut their price in half and then go lower.

After being there for 10 days we sought out other places to eat, such as the Beijing Hard Rock Café which was fun. You would think you were back in the U.S.A. We went to a great place called the Salsa Cabana that served the best Faitais and had a great Latin band playing. The food and atmosphere were exciting and the service was all smiles. We ended up going back a few more times for their Margaritas. After a while we craved having a coffee so we sought out the several Starbucks that dotted the city.

So much more can be said about the Beijing, just make sure to take plenty of film and several extra bags to bring back the multitude of gifts or purchases you’ll inevitably be making. This was our first trip to China, but definitely not the last. Sorry, if I got carried away, but you'll see why once you go to China. Have fun!
 
Dec 2nd, 2000, 08:49 AM
  #15  
rich
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Hi Robyn

When I was in Beijing I stayed at the kapinski Hotel 5 star and close to shopping. It is about 20 minutes by taxi from the forbidden city. I enjoyed it. I will say that when you go to Xi'an i would recommend the Bell tower hotel. It is a 3 star, but in the middle of the city and the people are fantastic. it is easy access to all of the sites in Xi'an. it was more like an upscale Holiday Inn. I also recommend negotiating with a taxi driver for all day. usually $400.00 RMB's, or $48.00 US. cheap. They will show you all of the sites and in most cases will show you around as well. Be careful of the Taxi drivers at the airport. They may try to cheat you.

rich
 
Dec 3rd, 2000, 01:49 AM
  #16  
kevin
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Check http://www.taxitour.com.if you want to hire a cab in xi'an.

Good luck!
 
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