Hotel recommendations in China?

Feb 15th, 2005, 12:48 PM
  #1  
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Hotel recommendations in China?

Does anyone have any hotel recommendations for Beijing, Xian, Shanghai, and Hangzhou? We are looking for 5 star accommodations in good locations (close to touristy spots). We were looking for modern hotels with good service. Any suggestions?

Thanks
LostinChina is offline  
Feb 15th, 2005, 09:38 PM
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For Hangzhou, I have stayed in Shangri-la which is exactly in the lake. Superb location and good service and facilities. Best atmosphere for the trip too.
watakeet is offline  
Feb 16th, 2005, 12:31 AM
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AS far as Shanghai Hotels, if you are coming as a tourist it is probably best to stick to the Puxi side. The hotels, The Four Seasons and Hilton are really great and near the center of things. Also the Westin is down near the Bund and has a great reputation too. The one hotel, many of us feel is highly over rated, is The Ritz Carleton.
Have a good trip, Myszka in Shanghai
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Feb 16th, 2005, 02:15 AM
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The list of 5 star hotels in Beijing and Shanghai, esp the latter, is pretty endless. Go to websites for Peninsula, Shangri-La, Hyatt, Westin, Ritz-Carlton, Starwood/St Regis and take your pick. In Beijing I like the Peninsula Palace and the St Regis, I think the location of the Palace is a bit better for sightseeing. In Shanghai, I am a big fan of the Grand Hyatt because of its great views, very nice rooms and food. I have the seen the Four Seasons there but would have no trouble in saying it is probably excellent. In Xian, there is a Shangri-La and a Hyatt, but I would actually recommend the ANA Grand Castle Hotel, as it is much better located, IMO. Check out their website at anahotels.com.

Others sites to search for independent luxury hotels would be Small Luxury Hotels at slh.com and Leading Hotels of the World at lhw.com

I would stick with international chain hotels like those above or hotels which are members of shl or lhw, as in China the words “5 star” and “luxury” tend to be used a lot and don’t always connote a 5 star or luxury hotel.
Cicerone is offline  
Feb 16th, 2005, 01:56 PM
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I think we might try the Peninsula in Beijing, Shangri-La in Hangzhou, Sheraton in Xian and then the JW Marriott in Shanghai. What do you think of those?

Thanks for your comments!
LostinChina is offline  
Feb 16th, 2005, 04:29 PM
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We stayed at the Sheraton in Xian---beautiful courtyard in the back....however, the pianist played "Red River Valley" during most mealtimes to please Westerners. (this is back in 2001) It was a "clean, well lighted, Americanized place"....that being said, we were there on our own, and I must say I was a bit comforted as a first time visitor to mainland China... Also, we're going to the Penn in Beijing this spring, so I guess I'm still needing to feel Westernized.
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Feb 16th, 2005, 04:43 PM
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Good to hear about the Sheraton Xian. That one was unusually reasonably priced. I wasn't sure how good it would be. Great to hear it's good!
LostinChina is offline  
Feb 16th, 2005, 09:36 PM
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The Marriots in Shanghai are both excellent choices. Which one are you thinking of staying? There is one near the People's Square Area and the other one is out in Hong Qiao, sort of far away from the tourist area.
Myszka is offline  
Feb 17th, 2005, 12:40 AM
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The Marriott at Hang Qiao is a just a Marriott, LostinChina referred to the JW Marriott, which is the newer one downtown. A very striking building and the hotel is extremely nice. A little bit out of the way for the Bund area, but overall I think it would be fine. Ask for a room on a high a floor as possible.
Cicerone is offline  
Feb 17th, 2005, 02:16 PM
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Cicerone is indeed correct. We are staying at the JW Marriott. I read about the Bund. One travel agent described it as the Jersey boardwalk. I don't get that feeling in the guidebooks. It seems more of an architectural interest. I thought it would be good to visit once, but don't know if our hotel needs to be closeby. Did I get a wrong impression of what the Bund was about? My impression of Shanghai is like New York. We thought we would hit the Shanghai Museum, but other than that, would like to shop!!
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Feb 17th, 2005, 02:18 PM
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One thing that seems to come up repeatedly in these forums is how hard the beds are, worse than at hardwood floor at home. I haven't read about this in the guidebooks, but I noticed the Hyatt in particular was listed as having very hard beds. Is this a common occurence in China?
LostinChina is offline  
Feb 17th, 2005, 03:00 PM
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All the mattresses we encountered in China were very firm by Western standards, but to say that they're "worse than a hardwood floor" is just plain ridiculous. You'll get used to them, they're probably better for your back, and there's nothing you can do about it anyway.

Really, some of the posts I read about travel in China are enough to make nervous travellers think that they'll be embarking on something comparable to Livingstone's trek into Darkest Africa, and very possibly taking their life into their hands. Yes, the beds are firm; yes, you may have to use a squat toilet if you're caught short, some of them are an aesthetic turnoff, and you have to deposit used toilet paper in a basket, not flush it. And no, you shouldn't drink the tap water, and there are certain elementary health precautions that you'd take in most parts of the world. I will say, though, that my wife and I survived a total of 7 weeks in Vietnam and China brushing our teeth in tap water without once catching a bug.

But China is worth all these minor inconveniences, its history is fascinating, its people are great, and so is its food. You won't experience the country, really, if you spend your time insulated within 5-star western-style fortresses and surrounded by other Westerners on guided tours. That's my 2c worth, anyway.
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