hotel in Beijing

Mar 27th, 2004, 10:41 AM
  #1  
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hotel in Beijing

I'm working with a travel agency in China (Muztagh Travel) for my trip this summer. They suggest staying at Tianlun Dynasty Hotel in Beijing. It is a five star hotel, but I don't know much about it.

Has anybody else had experience with this hotel?
harman is offline  
Mar 27th, 2004, 12:04 PM
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We'll be staying at Tianlun Dynasty in July and would be glad to post our comments on it upon return. We'll extend our stay in Beijing for a couple of days to visit friends and the price we got from the tour operator was $115 Canadian including breakfast and taxes. Are we paying too much? From what we found on the Internet, it is a genuine 5-star hotel with excellent location.
Steve_J is offline  
Mar 27th, 2004, 02:05 PM
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A Chinese owned-and-run five-star is never quite a genuine five-star as we know it. Unless the hotel has had a refit (I haven't looked in it for a while) you are paying too much, and for a similar figure you should have been able to get into a decent Western-managed hotel in the same district. There are no taxes to include in the room rate, by the way. There used to be a bed tax of all of Y8 (all of Can$1.60) but it was abolished some time ago.

The building is essentially a roofed hollow square, with many rooms looking in to a slightly glum interior courtyard with coffee shop.

I think you'll find the hotel unsatisfactory for the price, but I'd be delighted to be proved wrong, and hope you will indeed post a description after travelling.

The hotels these Chinese travel agencies choose they choose because they can get a bigger margin out of them than the standard agency commission offered by the Western-managed chains. Some go a very long time indeed between refurbishments, and your 'five-star' peace may be disturbed by the early rising of raucous local tour groups.

If you want to stay at five-star level, insist on a familiar name. If it's not familiar, insist on a far lower price, especially in mid-summer when few Chinese travel and these hotels have plenty of space. You can be sure the agent is getting a lot more than 10% of the price you pay.

Peter N-H
http://members.axion.net/~pnh/China.html
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Mar 27th, 2004, 03:05 PM
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Thank you, Peter. But how do I go about getting a cheaper rate? I have looked all over the internet trying to find a price cheaper than the one quoted by the tour company and the lowest I could find elsewhere was $135 without breakfast, which alone costs $14 per person already, so I was told. There a 5-star crown Plaza nearby but their price - room only, excluding service charge and breakfast - is 616 yuan or about $100 our money. I don't really care much about saving a few bucks but for the fun of it I wonder how I can beat my tour company's price. Peter or anybody else, can you help?
Steve_J is offline  
Mar 27th, 2004, 03:11 PM
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Peter, Vancouver company Access China tours charges $110 Canadian for a Chinese visa. I feel that's a bit steep. What's your opinion?
Steve_J is offline  
Mar 27th, 2004, 03:48 PM
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Have you looked at sites like www.asiahotels.com. There are tonnes of foreign-branded 4- to 5-stars hotels available for <C$120.

For example, rates of the supposedly 4.5 star Crowne Plaza on Wanfujung (same area as the Tianlun) is between US$78-122. The Macro Polo (chain based in Hong Kong) is 4-star and rates are US$88. Like Peter says, I probably will stick with a Western-run 4* hotels to a Chinese 5* one.

Of if you must have a 5-star one, I can find the Sheraton Great Wall for about US$140 on that site, or the Shangri-La for US$130. Or the New Otani for under US$100.
rkkwan is offline  
Mar 27th, 2004, 03:52 PM
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As for visa, you can apply it yourself:

http://www.chinaembassycanada.org/en...sa/default.htm

C$50 for a single entry. They have a PDF form there, and you'll need to send it to the embassy in Ottawa, i believe.
rkkwan is offline  
Mar 27th, 2004, 07:00 PM
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The problem is that you are trying to book over the Internet, and book a long way in advance. You'll always pay the highest prices doing that for foreign hotels, and for Chinese hotels prices will likely not drop at all for bookings made on English-language Web sites.

Whatever something like asiahotels.com offers you can certainly beat yourself. Of course, you may not want to wait to book later, and you may not want to just turn up. But that's the best course from solely the point of view of obtaining the best rate. July is not usually a busy period for these hotels.

And US$14 for breakfast is absurd. You'll find plenty of places around Wangfujing where you can get breakfast for dramatically less, including Western breakfasts.

The Marco Polo is a five-star hotel in terms of comfort and service, or as near as Chinese hotels get. It officially does not have a star label (it hasn't been open long enough), but if four stars is what it ends up with it's because it's missing a swimming pool, or bowling alley, or something that's on the Chinese checklist of requirements for that status, not because of a notably lower standard in any other area.

Obviously you've discovered that for some time now it has not been possible to apply for Chinese visas by mail in Canada. If you are in Vancouver, why aren't you just going to the Vancouver consulate in person? That's what the agency will do, and charging you more than 100% commission does indeed seem rather steep. Ottawa doesn't come into it.

Peter N-H
http://members.axion.net/~pnh/China.html
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Mar 28th, 2004, 09:10 PM
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I just checked with Marco Polo, just because I was curious. The rate is $75+15% tax per night.

harman is offline  
Mar 28th, 2004, 11:18 PM
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Hello there:

Last year I travelled to China and I encountered the same problem with you.I tried to book a nice and centrally-located hotel in Beijing,but it seemed that all the hotels were heavily booked,finally we were referred to a local guide for the booking.We were very happy with the booking service through him.We stayed with Crowne Plaza Hotel(I think it should be just at the opposite side of Tianlun Dynasty),it only cost us US$80/Night for a stand room with western breakfasts,and others.We just needed to check out with the expense on drinks,calling fee and video,etc.Anyway we also enjoy the guidance while having a easy chat with him.We just leave his e-mail address here for referrence:
[email protected] .Hope you will have good communication with him.
dillon77 is offline  
Mar 29th, 2004, 09:08 AM
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My impression is Tianlun Dynasty is better than Crowne Plaza across the street. The price differential found on varous hotel booking sites confirms this. If Marco Polo costs $75 plus 15% and Crown Plaza $80 - my research shows neither price includes buffet breakfast, then the quote I got from my tour operator, $85 US with buffet breakfast for two, is indeed very competitive.
Steve_J is offline  
Mar 29th, 2004, 11:29 AM
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So to follow the logic, apples at 4p a pound make oranges at 5p a bad deal? And does the fact that someone once paid $80 for a hotel (and through a middleman at that--who may well be the same person as is making the post) mean that the right price was paid, or that that price applies right now when booked direct? I can't follow this at all.

You're comparing a Chinese owned-and-operated hotel with two Chinese-owned and foreign-operated hotels, one of which (the Marco Polo) is very new, and one of which is tired unless its just had a promised refit, in which case it will be fresher than the Tianlun. If you can get a foreign-operated hotel for around the same price as a Chinese-operated one, than you should do so. The drawbacks to the Chinese-run ones, despite the deliberately pretty pictures shown on the Web, have been explained to you already.

As you get nearer your dates, the prices for the foreign-operated hotels will probably fall, but for the Chinese-operated ones will probably stay the same. In either case you're paying too much by booking this far ahead, which is completely unnecessary. I doubt the Chinese tour operator is paying more than half the quoted price for the Chinese hotel, and if you are already in Beijing anyway you'll be able to bargain for a much better rate on the spot. There's nothing 'competitive' about US$85 for that hotel, although perhaps you might decide it's perfectly fine for you in the end--everyone's standards are different. But compared to many other oranges, this apple isn't good value for money.

Peter N-H
http://members.axion.net/~pnh/China.html
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Mar 29th, 2004, 05:57 PM
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Peter
You have convinced me. I'm not staying at Tianlum Dynasty. I'm going to stay either at Marco Polo (it intrigues me since it's new---I really liked the Howard Plaza chain in Taiwan) or Peninsula Palace (I'm simply telling my Chinese travel agent to leave out the hotel in Beijing).

Thank you for your always useful information.
harman is offline  
Apr 12th, 2004, 08:14 AM
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Does anyone have experience with Muztagh Travel? We are considering a trip with them this summer and I would appreciate any reviews you can offer.
jchristy is offline  
Apr 12th, 2004, 08:12 PM
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jchristy
You may want to repost your question as a new topic.

The last time I asked the same question, I did not receive any reply.
harman is offline  
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