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Good value/location hotels in Beijing, Shanghai, Hangzhou, Guangzhou, and Macau?

Good value/location hotels in Beijing, Shanghai, Hangzhou, Guangzhou, and Macau?

Old Oct 10, 19, 6:22 pm
  #1  
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Good value/location hotels in Beijing, Shanghai, Hangzhou, Guangzhou, and Macau?

I'm finalizing my plans for my upcoming vacation. I know there are plenty of China experts on FT that may be able to help. Sucks that I can't get transit directions via Google Maps, which would make my search much easier. I would prefer a location that's near a subway station. I'm planning to stay in Beijing, Shanghai, Hangzhou, Guangzhou, and Macau, but also visit surrounding areas as well. I'm currently in the middle of a Marriott Platinum challenge that expires on January 31st, 2020. I just need another 14 nights, which won't be a problem since I'll be travelling to Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur at the end of the year. I don't necessarily want to stay at a Marriott property if it's going to be expensive. I'm looking for good value and a reasonably located hotel. Ideally, I'm aiming for US$100/night or less and I'm pretty sure this can be done except for Macau. Comments on that point?

I was in Shanghai about a week ago and I stayed at the Four Points by Sheraton in Tangqiao, Shanghai. I got a very nice price of about 411/night. However, for the dates that I'm looking at, it's more than double so not really worth it cuz I know there are cheaper and decent alternatives. For Shanghai, I'm now looking at the Fairfield Jingan. Any comment on the location? Jingan as in near Jingan temple? Maybe @moondog can comment on that.

For Beijing, I'm looking at the Aloft in Haidian, which seems close to a subway station. Any other alternatives for a lower price?

Looking for comments on the other cities as well.

Thx guys!
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Old Oct 10, 19, 6:44 pm
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For a vacation I'd suggest something much more central than the aloft, and in an interesting area with some hutongs left. (Can't give you any hotel names though since I don't stay in fancier places.)

Further, the Beijing Metro is no fun: it can be very crowded and because the system is so large, moving from A to B can take much longer than you'd think (ditto the Shanghai Metro).
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Old Oct 10, 19, 8:31 pm
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1. Shanghai
-before Zhabei (historically poor district) annexed Jing'an (one of the most desirable districts), a Jing'an address = good location
-but, these days, a lot of the hotels that feature Jing'an in their names are actually in some pretty shabby areas...though new metro lines are helping to offset this
-anyway, I can endorse the Courtyard "Central" because the Hanzhong Road subway station is quite convenient, and the local area isn't so bad (e.g. WPP has a lot to do with this)

2. Beijing
-I agree with 889 about passing on the Aloft Haidian unless you have a reason to be up there
-since Beijing is so big, I suggest you focus on a few areas (e.g. SLT, Guomao, Gulou, Wangjing, downtown), and maybe post a list of candidates here (include non-Marriott options as well)

I need to think more about Hangzhou, and Guangzhou. Will try to post ideas later.
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Old Oct 10, 19, 8:45 pm
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Originally Posted by moondog View Post
1. Shanghai
-before Zhabei (historically poor district) annexed Jing'an (one of the most desirable districts), a Jing'an address = good location
-but, these days, a lot of the hotels that feature Jing'an in their names are actually in some pretty shabby areas...though new metro lines are helping to offset this
-anyway, I can endorse the Courtyard "Central" because the Hanzhong Road subway station is quite convenient, and the local area isn't so bad (e.g. WPP has a lot to do with this)

2. Beijing
-I agree with 889 about passing on the Aloft Haidian unless you have a reason to be up there
-since Beijing is so big, I suggest you focus on a few areas (e.g. SLT, Guomao, Gulou, Wangjing, downtown), and maybe post a list of candidates here (include non-Marriott options as well)

I need to think more about Hangzhou, and Guangzhou. Will try to post ideas later.
I know Beijing is very big. I'm open to new ideas. I'm also a bit familiar with Haidian given that I studied Chinese there when I was a kid. I spent 3 summers living in Haidian so I do feel comfortable there, but it's been a few years since I was back. I don't mind the Jinjiang or Home Inns. When I was a kid, I stayed in those chains as I travelled around China. It's more than good enough by my standard, but I know you guys here have much higher standards.
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Old Oct 10, 19, 9:47 pm
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Originally Posted by lsquare View Post
I know Beijing is very big. I'm open to new ideas. I'm also a bit familiar with Haidian given that I studied Chinese there when I was a kid. I spent 3 summers living in Haidian so I do feel comfortable there, but it's been a few years since I was back. I don't mind the Jinjiang or Home Inns. When I was a kid, I stayed in those chains as I travelled around China. It's more than good enough by my standard, but I know you guys here have much higher standards.
About 8 years ago, I was between apartments in Beijing, and took the opportunity to stay in ~8 different hotels over the span of 2 months. Somewhat surprisingly, I ended up liking Gulou (I even tried a private room in a youth hostel there) and Wangjing quite a bit. I suppose neither would be high on my list if I needed to be in CBD all the time, but they were cool since I didn't have such constraints. I can't get behind Haidian for people older than 30 though, and even 30 is pushing it.

Also look at Shuangjing and maybe the next station south from there. Unfortunately, not many mid range hotels, but still worth checking out.
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Old Oct 13, 19, 3:43 pm
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Originally Posted by moondog View Post
About 8 years ago, I was between apartments in Beijing, and took the opportunity to stay in ~8 different hotels over the span of 2 months. Somewhat surprisingly, I ended up liking Gulou (I even tried a private room in a youth hostel there) and Wangjing quite a bit. I suppose neither would be high on my list if I needed to be in CBD all the time, but they were cool since I didn't have such constraints. I can't get behind Haidian for people older than 30 though, and even 30 is pushing it.

Also look at Shuangjing and maybe the next station south from there. Unfortunately, not many mid range hotels, but still worth checking out.
I see 735/night for Renaissance Putuo in Shanghai. Seems about as low as it get for that hotel? What do you think? I know it's not Renaissance Zhongshan.
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Old Oct 13, 19, 4:01 pm
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You don't mention how long ago you were in Haidian, but the interesting little neighbourhood around Beida you might have enjoyed in the '80s and early '90s is no more. There is nothing, absolutely nothing to recognise: it's just like any other commercial district on the periphery of Beijing.

In the city itself, more interesting areas to stay include Dongsi and Xisi, as well as Gulou/Zhonglou. Even Qianmen's a lot more interesting than Haidian, at least for a tourist stay, if you can close your eyes to the vast areas that have been destroyed.
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Old Oct 13, 19, 4:06 pm
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Originally Posted by 889 View Post
You don't mention how long ago you were in Haidian, but the interesting little neighbourhood around Beida you might have enjoyed in the '80s and early '90s is no more. There is nothing, absolutely nothing to recognise: it's just like any other commercial district on the periphery of Beijing.

In the city itself, more interesting areas to stay include Dongsi and Xisi, as well as Gulou/Zhonglou. Even Qianmen's a lot more interesting than Haidian, at least for a tourist stay, if you can close your eyes to the vast areas that have been destroyed.
It was in the mid-2000s. Those were fun times in China. At the time, I think there were only 3 subway lines in Beijing! Line 1, 2, and 13 IIRC. Things have changed dramatically since then.
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Old Oct 14, 19, 1:46 am
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Originally Posted by lsquare View Post
I see 735/night for Renaissance Putuo in Shanghai. Seems about as low as it get for that hotel? What do you think? I know it's not Renaissance Zhongshan.
I've never been inside, but the location isn't that bad -- e.g. Line 7 can get you down to Changping Rd (Fat Cow++), JA Temple (though the transfer to Line 2 sucks), and Changshu Rd. I'd still probably pick the CY Puxi at the same price point though, admittedly because, as I mentioned a few posts up, Hanzhong Rd Stn provides 3 separate approaches to points south, all of which are better than Line 7.
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Old Oct 14, 19, 1:50 am
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Originally Posted by moondog View Post
I've never been inside, but the location isn't that bad -- e.g. Line 7 can get you down to Changping Rd (Fat Cow++), JA Temple (though the transfer to Line 2 sucks), and Changshu Rd. I'd still probably pick the CY Puxi at the same price point though, admittedly because, as I mentioned a few posts up, Hanzhong Rd Stn provides 3 separate approaches to points south, all of which are better than Line 7.
Oh ok, thx. You only stay in Marriotts? Any other hotels worth considering? You got any opinions on the other cities?
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Old Oct 14, 19, 3:30 am
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Originally Posted by lsquare View Post
Oh ok, thx. You only stay in Marriotts? Any other hotels worth considering? You got any opinions on the other cities?
No. I actually don't have a great deal of brand loyalty these days, but I was trying to focus on Marriotts in your case, and their footprint in Shanghai is far better than IHG, Hyatt, Hilton, etc. They are also better than these peers in Beijing, but the gap is much narrower, and I usually find myself at non-branded, Chinese chains, or Shangri-La (CBD only; they managed to score all of the prime real estate) when I'm there.

Note that pretty much all of the places we've been discussing in Shanghai thus far --even Zhongshan Park-- are on the outskirts. This isn't nearly as big a handicap these days as it was in the past as long as the subway access is good. That having been said, you might as well add some downtown candidates to your list of contenders. Nothing specific comes to mind off hand, but if you do map searches on Ctrip and/or Agoda, decent options tend to stick out (the same goes for Beijing, of course, and this search technique is even more important there).

Another thought; some of the Chinese chains can be surprisingly okay (others less so, of course), and the way status usually works is you simply pay for a membership card (e.g. silver, gold, diamond), and this usually gives you access to the lowest prices on offer, plus few other mostly useless perks. I bought the top level Green Tree card a few years ago because they have good coverage in some of the cities I travel to in Guangdong/Guangxi, and it has paid for itself many times over (as far as I can tell, it doesn't expire). Typically, I book one night via Ctrip or Agoda the first time I try out a Chinese hotel, and switch to direct bookings afterwards. However, in some cases, Ctrip rates are really hard to beat by booking direct (my theory is that with their 50% market share, one of the only ways for them to grow their hotel booking business is to enter into aggressive arrangements at the property level where they essentially serve as a source of capital).
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Last edited by moondog; Oct 14, 19 at 3:54 am
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