- Beijing’s Best Sights
- Beijing’s Best Restaurants
- Beijing’s Best Nightlife
- Beijing’s Best Arts and Leisure
- Beijing’s Best Shops
- Beijing’s Best Hotels
- Best of the Great Wall
- Shanghai’s Best Sights
- Shanghai’s Best Restaurants
- Shanghai’s Best Nightlife
- Shanghai’s Best Arts and Leisure
- Shanghai’s Best Shops
- Shanghai’s Best Hotels
- Shanghai’s Best Excursions
Thanks to the 2008 Olympics, Beijing now has a hotel industry befitting international standards. From the big-name 5-stars to the coziest of hostels, there is a bed here to suit every budget and every taste.
Depending on what sort of vacation you want, your choice of hotel will make a huge difference to your Beijing experience. If you prefer the glitz and glamour of a luxury, big-name hotel, there’s no shortage of Hyatts, Westins, Intercontinentals, and Shangri-Las.
For visitors who want more individuality and charm, a boutique hotel like the ultra-stylish Opposite House or Hotel G is worth considering. Travelers on a budget should consider staying in a hostel: Beijing’s hostels are generally clean and have a reputation for friendliness.
Choosing a Hotel
Beijing is a sprawling city, so it’s worth staying as close to the Forbidden City as you can if you have limited time, as this will place you close to the main attractions. If you’re here on business but want to do some sightseeing too, a hotel in the CBD or on Financial Street (between the Capital Museum and the Temple of Great Charity) is your best bet.
Don’t want to stay in the smoggy city? If you don’t mind a longer metro trip into town, Aman at the Summer Palace is an excellent choice.
Standard rooms in Beijing hotels usually have either a double bed or two singles and a bathroom en suite. Breakfast is usually included in the room price, or is available separately at the hotel restaurant or café. Note that most hotels below a 3-star rating are forbidden by law to admit foreigners.
Many hostels are on par with 3- and 4-star hotels when it comes to cleanliness and facilities, so it’s wise to consider staying at a hostel if you’re on a tight budget. A bed in a dormitory will usually cost less than ¥100 a night; private rooms tend to cost only a little more.
Hostel rooms may not be as well stocked with amenities and may be lower on creature comforts, but most private rooms are equipped with toiletries and sometimes feature televisions. Aside from the price, the biggest benefit of a hostel is the convivial atmosphere and opportunities for socializing with other travelers.
- Best Design: Hotel Kapok
- Most Central Location: The Emperor
- Most Hip Hostel: Downtown Back-packers
- Best Hutong Atmosphere: Lusongyuan
- Best Place for a Party: Friendship Youth Hostel
- Best Decor: Hotel G
- Best Place for a Business Trip: Kerry Centre Hotel
- Best Boutique Luxury: The Opposite House
- Most Luxurious: Ritz-Carlton Financial Street
- Best Resort: Aman at the Summer Palace
© Susie Gordon from Moon Beijing & Shanghai, 2nd Edition