How to Book a Hotel Room in China
Where to book a China hotel?
Nowadays, there are many channels to book a China hotel. Among them, the prior choice is definitely through China tour operators. You can purchase an all-inclusive tour from them so that you don’t even need to bother with China hotel booking. As China tour operators cooperate with hotels a lot, they can usually get a better price than individual guests, which in turn will lower the price of the tour package you book.
Well, if you would like to travel independently, you have to make the hotel booking by yourself. You can either book through hotel booking platforms like China hotel booking websites or China hotel booking apps, the official websites or apps of the hotels, or in the front desk of the hotel. There are a variety of online hotel booking platforms, among which Agoda, Booking, and Trip are the most popular. You can search for hotels on all of the three platforms and compare the rates to seek for the best deal. As they act as a middleman between hotels and guests, the price might be higher than booking directly from hotels. However, not all hotels have English websites. And if you book a hotel on the spot after arriving in China, there is a risk that all the rooms have already been booked. Therefore, you are still advised to book via online hotel booking platforms in advance.
How to select a hotel?
When selecting the hotel, you should first determine your budget and personal preference. This can give you a rough scope of hotels to be chosen. After that, the most important influential factor should be the location of the hotel. For most people, hotels in the downtown area are of the top choice as they are easily accessible by public transportation and have convenient facilities around. If you travel for business purposes, it’s better to stay in a hotel that is close to your workplace. If you are travelling for sightseeing purposes, you may look for hotels close to hot travel destinations and having convenient transportation for you to get around. Take Beijing as an example, 29% of travelers choose to stay at the city center around Tian’anmen Square because the best-known attractions like Forbidden City, Jingshan Park, and Wangfujing Street are all nearby. Guomao CBD with a lot of new high-end hotels and business hotels are the first choice of business travelers.
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How far in advance to book a China hotel?
Generally speaking, it’s advised to make the China hotel booking 7 to 15 days in advance to guarantee the occupancy. However, this is not that fixed. You may actually reserve the best deal as early as you can, provided that it is cancelable. In this case, you can cancel the booking if you find a better price or cannot make the trip.
Pay attention to the changes of China hotel rates
As China hotel rates fluctuate over time, you need to pay special attention to the fee and get the best deal. During the peak season of tourism in China, usually from April to October, the hotel price is relatively higher. On the contrary, it is lower from November to next March. Of course, there are also other factors affecting the hotels rates of China, like the public holidays when more Chinese are going traveling. In most cases, the earlier you make a China hotel booking, the lower the hotel price is. Besides, you can see if the hotel has any recent promotions that allow you to enjoy a certain discount. You can discover them on the booking platform, the website of the hotel, or directly call the hotel before making the reservation.
How do I make the payment for a China hotel reservation?
If you book online, a majority of China hotels in big cities accept the payment methods such as Paypal, Alipay, WeChat Pay, MasterCard, VISA Card, and debit cards. Well, if you book on the spot, you should usually pay cash, or through Alipay, WeChat Pay, credit cards, and debit cards.
Note that if you make an online China hotel reservation, but choose to pay until you show up at the hotel, you will be required to pay earnest money while making the reservation. This money will be used to offset a portion of the total hotel cost when you make the payment.
In addition, you need to pay a certain amount of deposit while checking in, generally between CNY 100 to CNY 300. It is used as a guarantee deposit. In case that any cost other than the room is incurred, the hotel will deduct the actual fee from the deposit. If no other costs are incurred, the hotel will return your deposit when you check out.
China hotel booking cancellation & refund
One usually makes out a travel plan before booking a China hotel. However, it’s normal to see people change their plan due to various reasons. If you are not sure if your travel plan can come true or not, you’d better book cancellable hotel rooms. When making the reservation, keep an eye on the booking cancellation and refund policies. If there is a term for free cancellation, you won’t lose money as long as you cancel before the deadline. If it states that the room cannot be cancelled or you cancel after the deadline, you will pay for the cancellation. Most hotels in China allow free cancellation if you apply for it at least 10 days ahead of the expected check-in day according to local time. If you cancel it during the 10 days but before 18:00 of the expected check-in day, 10% of the hotel cost will be deducted. If you cancel it after 18:00 of the expected check-in day, you can’t get the refund.
If you need to change your reservation information rather than cancel the booking, you can contact the booking platform or the hotel and see if you can make it. As the change needs to be confirmed by the hotel, it’s not guaranteed that your demands will be met. If you modify the check-in date, you may get a different quotation, which is caused by the seasonal and daily fluctuation of hotel rates. If the quotation is higher, you need to pay additionally. If it’s lower, the platform or hotel will refund you the price difference.
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