You'd think, since it is the capital city, that Beijing 5 star hotels would be commonplace—it's a frequent stop for business travelers and tourists alike, a cultural and religious center, and one of the most popular places to visit in all of Asia, especially with its easy access to stunning attractions like The Great Wall of China. But you'd be wrong. Though the competition amongst Beijing hotels is nothing to scoff at, the quality of hotels rarely reflect the high prices of the top-end offerings. What Beijing hotels do have, however, is an underrated array of budget and mid-range locations, including some of the best hostels in the country.
The central area of the city is where you'll find most of these, though the traditional region to find a discount hotel in Beijing China has always been far to the south. But emerging discount hotels have made central Beijing the best place to stay for budget travelers. Even if you disregard the many fine hostels, such as the Far East Youth Hostel and the Youyi, this is a great area to find cheap lodgings. The layout of Beijing makes finding a room in the center of town a real boon, though, so during the summer months you might look into calling ahead. Especially if you want to stay at the Lusongyuan Binguan, one of the most popular hotels in Beijing. Situated nearby the Forbidden City, the location is just as good as the service.
There are a number of other decent budget Beijing hotels, but they are all further south, away from much of what makes staying in Beijing so exciting. Still, if you really want to save some cash and don't mind taking a bus to the city's main sights, this is a fine place to stay. Long a haven for backpackers and those on extended vacation in China, they are a little more out of the way, a little less clean, and a little less ready for picky travelers or those visiting with children.
But the mid-range hotels in Beijing are not much more expensive, nor do they vary much in quality. Not only that, but since bargaining is such a crucial aspect in everyday Chinese business dealings, you can usually get prices below what they are listed, especially during the slower fall and winter months. Failing that, though, there are still plenty of values scattered across central Beijing. The Gongti Binguan fits in perfect amongst the nightlife found surrounding the city's Workers Stadium, and is quite popular with travelers in their 20's. The Zhuyuan Binguan is in a well-preserved building from the Qing dynasty and is a lesson in Chinese history all by itself. If you want to be closer to the Temple of Heaven, the Xiaoxiang Hotel is for you. This is one of the most popular hotels in Beijing for a reason, though it is occasionally overshadowed by the nearby Jianguo Hotel Qianmen, one of the most spacious and well-loved hotels in Beijing. Just a few blocks away from the Temple of Heaven, not to mention Tiananmen Square, the Jianguo is exceedingly popular and you will definitely have to book ahead of time.
For those that want to sleep in the same quarters as one of China's most famous leaders, the Youhao Binguan is the former residence of Chiang Kaishek. There's certainly no shortage of people who do.
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