What are the differences among hotels as to the star levels?
3 Star hotels, must have guest rooms with dressing table, desk, drawers, and closet; carpet or wood floor; telephones in every room with international direct dial(IDD); mini-bar and refrigerator; color television sets, in-house movies, music; writing materials; sun proof curtains; and bed turn-down service. They must have single rooms and suites, western and Chinese dining rooms (with English-speaking attendants, and the last order no earlier than 8:30pm), 16-hour coffee shop, banquet hall or function room, buffet breakfast and bar service (until midnight), and 18-hour room service. They must also have elevator service, public telephone and washroom, equipment and service for disabled people, disco or karaoke, foreign exchange, safe deposit boxes, store, camera film developing, fax and telex service, luggage storage, 24-hour laundry and dry cleaning, wake-up calls, shoe polishing, and taxis. They should be able to mend articles of everyday use for guests. They should accept major credit cards. They must have an emergency electricity supply for public areas, medical services, 16-hour a day doorman, and message service, guest reception, and managers on call. An assistant manager should be in the lobby 18 hours and railroad timetables available. China Daily and China Tourism News should be on sale (or free).
4 Star hotels: should have luxurious and spacious soundproof rooms, low-noise toilets, and hair dryers. They should have guests and service elevators, background music, health club, swimming pool, sauna, business center, greenhouse, 24-hour doorman, reservations accepted through fax/telex, 24-hour room service, and onward reservations in China for guests. A guest reception and assistant manager should be available in the lobby 24 hours a day. Laundry should be returned by next day. The restaurants in four-star hotels should provide two kinds of Chinese food with the last order no earlier than 9pm. Bar service should be available to one am. There should be a 24-hour coffee shop and a breakfast and dinner buffet. A clinic should be on-site. A business center with photocopying, typing and translation services should be available, as should a ticketing agency with city tours and babysitting services.
5-Star hotels: are usually palatial with huge lobbies. Service should be better than the four-star hotels described above. There are many hotels of five-star international standard in China, just as good as hotels in Washington or Ottawa except for the standard of English. Some hotels have their own fleets of Mercedes limousines of Toyota vans that make regular runs to the airport or city center. Many have executive floors with concierges, free continental breakfasts, and fast check-in. Many have magnificent ballrooms and lobbies and cater to foreign business people on expense accounts. They have the best western food and probably the best Chinese food in town, and the most luxurious breakfast buffets. Some leave chocolates on your pillow, or a rubber ducky on your bathtub.
What are the hotels in China like?
As China's economy and tourism develops, new hotels are founded almost every day. Many of these hotels are rated as 3-star or above (according to international standards). Most of the hotels have comfortable and convenient facilities.
Services offered by hotels (3-star or above) usually include:
All rooms are air-conditioned, equipped with a color TV, telephone, refrigerator and a double curtain.
All rooms are equipped with a private bathroom, disinfected towels, glasses, soap, bath cream, shampoo, toilet paper, tooth brushes and sometimes razors.
All employees wear uniforms to indicate their respective jobs and positions.
Bedrooms consist of one or two beds, a wardrobe, a dressing table, ceiling lamps, bedside lamps and a button for room service
All rooms offer around-the-clock room service
Additional facilities include Chinese and Western restaurants, coffee shops, bars, banqueting halls, conference rooms, multi-function halls, ballrooms, beauty parlors, massage rooms, saunas, clinics and ticket booking offices. Sometimes bowling alleys and swimming pools are available.
Sometimes shopping malls, banks and post offices are also available
Do the hotel staff speak English?
In the 4 or 5 star hotels, the staff is well trained in speaking English, especially at the reception. These upper class hotels also provide an English description of the hotel in your room.
In the big Chinese cities also the staff of 3-star hotels is able to speak English.
In smaller cities they speak only simple English.
If you face some communication problems during your stay, please contact the assistant manager in the lobby or our local tour guide first.
If they can not help you either, please do not hesitate to contact Chinatraveldesigner directly. We will offer the contact information for every client who has booked our service.
Is the tap water in Chinese hotels drinkable?
It is unwise to risk your health by drinking the tap water, although some luxury hotels claim that their tap water is purified and safe to drink. Usually all rooms in the hotels are equipped with water heaters or thermos bottles. Boiled water will be offered by the hotel free of charge. Some hotels provide bottled water daily free of charge. Bottled water is also widely available in stores, restaurants and street kiosks.
What kind of laundry arrangements do hotels have?
Generally laundry service is offered in all hotels. The laundry handed in the morning is returned the next day. Extra fees are charged if you ask for an express service.
When can I check-in & check-out at the hotel? What are the procedures?
Usually the check-in time is after 14:00 and the check-out time is before 12:00, but these times are subject to the management of the specific hotels. We advise that you contact the hotel or your agent if you need an early check-in or a late check-out, as it may incur an extra fee.
When checking in, you will need to present your passport and fill in a form. The hotels also normally require a small amount of deposit.
Check out will usually take some time as the hotel will check the room and perform a few administrative tasks. When checking out, the hotel will return the deposit you have paid if there is no damage or loss in your room and charge you for any additional services used (room service, phone, etc).
What are hotel rates for children?
A child under 12 years old, if sharing a room with his parents and not occupying an extra bed, only needs to pay for the breakfast charge; if occupying an extra bed, a child needs to pay for the extra beds as well. For a child under 2 years, a baby cot will be provided by the hotel free of charge and the breakfasts are usually free; Children older than 12 years will be charged as adults.
The rules may vary in different hotels. If any surcharges occur, they must be paid directly to the hotel.
What types of rooms can I reserve?
Single Room - Includes one queen-size bed, accommodating one person.
Twin Room - Includes two single beds, accommodating two people.
Double Room - The room includes one double bed (or king-size bed), accommodating two people.
Triple Room - Includes three single beds, accommodating three people.
Suite - Includes a sitting room and one or more bedrooms.
Do hotel rooms in China have internet access?
This situation is improving all the time. All 5 star hotels and many 4 star hotels have internet access in their guestrooms. In addition, almost every 3 star and above hotel has a business center with computers and internet access.
Do service fees included in the prices?
Generally, the breakfast, tax and service charge is included in the price.
What's the cancellation policy?
If your reservation has been guaranteed or the room rate has been prepaid during the peak season, the hotel will charge you accordingly. The cancellation policies vary from hotel to hotel.
Will Chinese Hotels ask for a deposit when I check in?
All Chinese hotels will ask for a deposit upon check in. The amount required will vary depending on the hotel. The deposit should range from RMB 100 a night to RMB 800 per night. The deposit can be paid in cash or by credit card. The deposit is to cover mini bar usage or similar usage of chargeable item in the room or damage to the room.
What should I do if I lose my belongings in the hotel?
If you find some of your personal property is missing, first check to make sure that you have indeed lost the item and have not just misplaced it. Then call your guide or travel advisor for help. If some of your valuables or important documents are lost, call the police immediately.