Beijing Lodging Planner
Beijing's busiest seasons are spring and fall, with summer following closely behind. Special rates can be had during the low season, so make sure to ask about deals involving weekends or longer stays. If you are staying more than one night, you can often get some free perks—ask about free laundry service or free airport transfers. Children 16 and under can normally share a room with their parents at no extra charge—although there may be a modest fee for adding an extra bed. Ask about this when making your reservation.
The local rating system doesn’t correspond to those of any other country. What is called a five-star hotel here might only warrant three or four elsewhere. This is especially true of the state-run hotels, which often seem to be rated higher than they deserve.
Tipping isn’t the norm in China—a remnant from the country’s Communist past. This may perhaps partly explain why service, in general, isn’t as smooth or smiling as you would normally expect, even in the more established hotels.
English isn’t widely spoken in Beijing, so it’s best to print out the address (in Chinese) and telephone number of your hotel before departure. This will save you a lot of trouble upon arrival—taxi drivers, in particular, will be thankful for your forethought. If you’re absolutely set on staying somewhere with English-speaking staff, look to the international chains, but call ahead, if you can, to check up on their language proficiency.