Need Quick Help with Shanghai Hotels

Old Dec 14th, 2005, 07:05 AM
  #41  
 
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I don't believe $50 premium for Marriott over Okura is worth it for 2 reasons:

1) Okura is in a high rise building. If you can get an upper floor room, you should also have a good view of Shanghai. I can't say the view will be better than that the view from corner room at Marriott.

2) By staying second night at Okura, you will have a better flavor of the old French Concession.


You will have really covered Shanghai by staying one night near People's Sq (considered to be the city center) and second night at heart of old French Concession.

Have a great and safe trip!
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Old Dec 14th, 2005, 07:10 AM
  #42  
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Thanks lxc. I'm looking forward to it. I usually finish trip preparation work way ahead of time, but this time, I just found myself dragging my feet.

By the way, if you've comments on where to get the best views in Shanghai I'd appreciate them (I started another thread this morning). Feel free to add your comments there:

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...7&tid=34721294

Thanks.

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Old Dec 14th, 2005, 07:13 AM
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111op : By the way, Park Hotel is a 24 storey building (the tallest building in Shanghai until around the sixties or seventies). Get them to give you an upper floor room with a view. They should have plenty of empty rooms at this time of the year.
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Old Dec 14th, 2005, 07:31 AM
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Thanks. I indicated that I want a higher floor with asiarooms.com, but I don't know if the hotel will give it to me. I called the hotel directly last night, and they said that for 100 yuan more they could offer a better room (798 yuan rather than 698 yuan).

However I'm not sure what the categories on asiarooms.com are, so I opted for the lowest one ($70).

I guess it boils down to a matter of $10-$30, but I suspect that the hotel will give me something on the low floor because of the way the booking was done (still needs to be confirmed).
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Old Dec 14th, 2005, 07:48 AM
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Not bad, if you get a truly better view room for Y100 extra.

Turn on your charm and negotiate with them at check in. Inspect the room before accepting it.
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Old Dec 14th, 2005, 08:11 AM
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A friend was telling me that if I go shopping in a market, I should start by bargaining at 25% the price offered.

Maybe I should have used this approach with Park Hotel and not booked my room with asiarooms.com.

I guess the ability to speak Chinese is an asset in this case. I'll see what they say when I check into the hotel.

I'm not used to this new way of thinking.

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Old Dec 14th, 2005, 08:33 AM
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Yes, initial offering of 25% (preferably less, may be only 10%) of the initial price is NOT offending to the vendor.

If there is no penalty with the asiaroom reservation, consider as a walk-in at Park and negotiate. Yes, you are at a disadvantage not being ab;e to speak the language in negotiation. But then, they do have a lot of rooms sitting idle !!!
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Old Dec 14th, 2005, 08:37 AM
  #48  
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I speak Mandarin fluently (sorry, that wasn't clear).

The asiarooms.com reservation is not cancelable. On the other hand, since they've not confirmed it, I guess I can cancel it.

But I don't want to take a chance like that as I'll be with my mom. Probably better to have a reservation. If I had booked directly with Park, then I'd have had to leave them a cc number, presumably.

What would I do? Show up and then say I'll leave if I'm not given a lower rate?

Sigh. Do people actually negotiate hotel rates down in China like that? That's definitely new to me.
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Old Dec 14th, 2005, 09:07 AM
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111op: I just checked at a well known Chinese website <ctrip.com>. The least expensive single rate at Park is about US$75 for those 2 nights. So you have a very good rate from Asiaroom.

I am a senoir and very conservative, always have an advance reservation for trips to Hong Kong and Shanghai. Unless you are adventurous, I recommend you have an advance reservation especially you have a good rate. Perhaps you want to bargain at check in for a better view room.

Locals do bargain for room rates at check in at local owned hotels.

You are one up on me speaking fluent mandarin. I can speak only 80% Shanghai dialet. Shanghai was my home for first 18 years of my life. Have been back 4 times the last 5 years.

By the way, the single room rate for Chinese at Okura at <ctrip.com> is Y850 for those 2 nights. Now you can't bargain at Okura.

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Old Dec 14th, 2005, 09:11 AM
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111op: All the rates I just gave you are inclusive of tax and service charge.
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Old Dec 14th, 2005, 09:18 AM
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You can't speak Mandarin even though you lived in Shanghai for 18 years? That seems unusual -- I'd have thought most people are taught Mandarin (I didn't grow up in China).

"the single room rate for Chinese at Okura"

I've not looked -- but I'm assuming that the rates only apply to people who hold a Chinese passport. That doesn't apply to me or my mom.

But I'll look at the website anyway. The Okura reservation is cancelable without penalty up to 24 hours before arrival as I booked it directly with them.

Thanks again.
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Old Dec 14th, 2005, 09:19 AM
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111op: Perhaps bargaining or nogotiating is not an accurate term. Locals, almost always, ask for a lower price or a discount after given an initial price. One does that with buying plane tickets too.

Bargaining is more accurate word when dealing with street vendors.
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Old Dec 14th, 2005, 09:29 AM
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111op: In those days when I was growing up in Shanghai, the westernized schools that I went to did not teach Mandarin. I understand Mandarin and can speak a little to get by.

Chinese with foreign passports do not qualify for lower room rates for Chinese only.
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Old Dec 14th, 2005, 09:32 AM
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That's an interesting website. I wish that I had found out earlier. But can anyone use this, or must you be a Chinese citizen?

I'd have considered booking two nights at Okura at 850 yuan per night. It's silly to move hotels (but I didn't know about this website).

I guess I can save another 38 yuan over my 888 yuan for one night, but maybe it's better for me to book directly with the hotel as an insurance (that's only 5 USD).

I'll remember this for future trips.

Out of curiosity I checked Beijing to Shanghai on ctrip.com and the price is 1130 yuan (about 141.25 using 8 as the exchange rate).

Interestingly, it'd not let me book Hong Kong to Beijing.

(I'm just checking to see if the prices are competitive with what I paid for my airfares. Actually my mom did this part.)

You can see that I love a good bargain.

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Old Dec 14th, 2005, 09:34 AM
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Thanks. Our messages crossed -- so ok, the 850 yuan rate doesn't apply to me then.

What about plane tickets on this website? Can anyone use this? I didn't find the Beijing -> Shanghai fare a huge bargain, but it could be useful for other things.
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Old Dec 14th, 2005, 09:47 AM
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111op: Anyone can use ctrip.

Another popular Chinese website is <www.elong.com>

2 years ago, my cousin in SHA told me he used ctrip to book China domestic air ticket.

Travel between China and HK is considered international.

Use one of the popular US website to get the base price from PEK to SHA. It is not uncommon to get discount of 30% or more when same ticket is purchased in China or through websites like ctrip or elong.
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Old Dec 14th, 2005, 09:52 AM
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"Anyone can use ctrip"

But not for hotels, you mean, right? Because you said the rate for Okura only applies to Chinese citizens? I tried to look on the website but I didn't see anything to that effect.

I'll remember ctrip and elong for my next trip to China. This is my very first trip ever. But I suspect it'll be a few years before I get a chance to be there again.

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Old Dec 14th, 2005, 10:01 AM
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111.op: Anyone can use ctrip or elong to buy air tickets or make hotel reservation. You may have to register.

But lowest rates in some hotels are for Chinese citizens only --- at least this is true on ctrip.
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Old Dec 14th, 2005, 10:11 AM
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How did you see that the Okura rate only applies to Chinese citizens? Maybe I didn't look closely enough.

Was there something you clicked?

Thanks.
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Old Dec 14th, 2005, 01:42 PM
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111op: I logged on to the Chinese version of <ctrip.com>, and keyed in your arrival and departure dates and the city - Shanghai under the hotel section. All the hotels, offered by ctrip, were shown in Chinese language. It took quite a few screens to get to Okura. THe rate was Y850 for Chinese citizens only. I remember the rate for non-Chinese was about double.

Hope I have answered your question fully.

Ctrip also has an English version; I did not check there today.
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