The Top 15 Spa Hotels in Beijing & a Hot Tip for Beijing Travelers

The Top 15 Spa Hotels in Beijing & a Hot Tip for Beijing Travelers

I remember Beijing well, so many places to explore, so much walking, so many activities, and the flu. That’s Beijing, it can really wear you out because it’s simply one destination that there is so much to take in, and so much to do. So, make sure to plan for a pitstop and some time for rejuvenation.

How? Here’s my tip, book yourself in for one night, at least, at a superb hotel that offers loads of amenities then sit back and chill. Don’t let fatigue destroy your plans or distract you from getting the most out of your time in the city.

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The Top 15 Hotels in Xi’an China

The Top 15 Hotels in Xi’an China

Xi’an was one of my favorite destinations and I place I highly recommend to anyone touring China. You can read more about my journey here. These are top rated hotels in Xi’an that are also convenient to all the major attractions such as the Drum and Bell Towers, the Mosque, City Wall and so on, also they are highly suitable for foreign visitors. For the Terracotta Warriors, no matter which hotel, you’ll need to organise transport, for which the concierge at these hotels will be able to assist.

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Key Travel Tips for First Time China Visitors

Key Travel Tips for First Time China Visitors

The first time in China can be an entrancing experience, put together the mysticism of Asian culture, the buzz of the staggeringly large number of people, the sheer size and scale of everything, and you’ll probably be on a starry-eyed traveler high for a while. But, undoubtedly at some point you’ll have to come back to earth, this a guide to help you to not come crashing back!

A different kind of manners – the west and east has a different style of domestication, learn to live with it, because you’re not going to change the social norms of 1 billion+ people. There’s almost an every man for themselves attitude whilst not rocking the boat approach, for example, it’s oddly OK to push in front of someone else as long as it’s done peacefully and respectfully.  This lack of orderliness and queue jumping can really infuriate western travelers, particularly tired ones who I have often seen dish out a piece of their mind, and it’s for sure got to me on occasions. Just roll with it, or stand aside and offer the way to person in a rush, likely they probably smile back and offer you the way in return. So, golden rule, it’s every man for themselves, whilst, maintaining harmony, but as a foreigner it’s best to err on the side of graciousness and offer them the way. Although, if you are in the circle of family or friends, or you are seen as an ATM, you’ll probably be shown a very high level of courtesy.

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Macau Accommodation: Ole London Hotel

Macau Accommodation: Ole London Hotel

Initially I’d only booked two nights at the Pousada Marina Infante Hoteland when I got around to asking to extend for another night, the price had doubled, bugger. So it was onto the online accommodation sites again and this time cTrip had the best deal.

The Ole London Hotel was the cheapest option listed and looked reasonable,  its located on the main part of Macau and very close to Macau’s Historic area.

All the taxi drivers I used know the place by it’s english name too, which is handy, and the place is right next door to the Best Western Sun Sun. The hotel is a bit of a walk to the major casinos like Lisboa, Wynn or the MGM Grand, but it’s only about 17HKD in a taxi (less than $3 aud). There’s also a bus stop nearby.

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Macau Accommodation: Pousada Marina Infante Hotel Macau

Macau Accommodation: Pousada Marina Infante Hotel Macau

Accommodation in Macau is nowhere near as cheap as the mainland, and can even be on par with western hotel prices during busy periods. After searching Hotel Club, eLong and Ctrip to find the cheapest, most reasonable hotel in Macau, at the time, Hotel Club ended up having the best deal and I stayed at the Pousada Marina Infante Hotel Macau. Accommodation in Macau is a little like Hong Kong in that you need to book in advance to get really good deals.

The hotel is located on Taipa Island so its a little way from central Macau and the casinos like the Grand Lisboa, Wynn, Sands or MGM, but it’s close to the Venetian, The Plaza and the City of Dreams or what’s often referred to as the Cotai Strip.

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Hong Kong Accommodation: Dorsett Kowloon Hotel

Hong Kong Accommodation: Dorsett Kowloon Hotel

Formerly known as the Dorsett Olympic Hotel, the place has 141 rooms and is located on Anchor St at the northern end of Kowloon in the area known as Tai Kok Tsui. It’s well back from the main attraction of the Hong Kong’s Victoria Harbour but close to Mong Kok which will please shoppers.

To their credit, they run a free shuttle bus at regular intervals from morning through into the night. The shuttle bus is a modern 21 seater that stops off at the nearby MTR station, it also runs through to the Dorsett Seaview Hotel and to the airport.

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Shenzhen Accommodation: The Orient Sunseed Hotel

Shenzhen Accommodation: The Orient Sunseed Hotel

I found and booked this place via the cTrip website and it seemed to be a reasonable compromise between price and comfort at just under 200RMB ($31AUD) and still in the Nanshan District of Shenzhen. I stayed here just before heading over to Hong Kong.

The place isn’t really close to anything, but at the same time it’s not too expensive to get a taxi to anywhere you need to go. If you after reasonable budget accommodation in Nanshan it’s probably worth checking the rates.

The place is starting to show its age but for a budget price it passes ok. The rooms are kept clean, but the carpets in the room I had graced a few stains. Otherwise everything works, the shower is clean, plenty of pressure and hot water and free toiletries included (toothbrush, soap, comb, etc.).

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Holiday Inn Nanshan, Shenzhen China

Holiday Inn Nanshan, Shenzhen China

The Holiday Inn is an American hotel chain, so, it’s guaranteed that the prices are going to be higher than your run of the mill Chinese hotel. But what do you get for the extra cost?

For a start, the Holiday Inn Donghua in Nanshan District is clean, like, western style clean and has western style service with attention to detail, and all the staff seemed to speak some level of English. Don’t get me wrong, I love roughing it in China, but sometimes the sense of familiarity is comforting.

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New Asia Hotel Shanghai

New Asia Hotel Shanghai

I booked the New Asia Hotel through HotelClub and at the time it was pretty cheap, and for the location, it was far cheaper than anything that was close to the Bund, Nanjing Rd and so on.

So I wasn’t expecting much, not for the price, but I was surprised to find that this was a quality hotel, it’s not new by any means, but it has English speaking staff, it’s clean and tasteful.

The hotel also features a bar and a restaurant on the ground floor and another restaurant which serves a buffet breakfast. I ate at the ground floor restaurant twice and enjoyed a tasty meal of fried eel and dumpling soup, on another occasion I ate a simple fried rice, both were good. The buffet breakfast is great value and comes with some real friendly and welcoming staff.

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Beijing Accommodation: The Redwall Hotel

Beijing Accommodation: The Redwall Hotel

The first thing that struck me about the Redwall Hotel was the incredible service provided by the concierge team. As soon as I put my foot on the steps of the hotel there was someone bounding out the front door to help with my luggage and escort me to the reception to check in.

Oddly, and to my benefit, the concierge even helped out in securing the best rate possible and matching the cTrip price which initially the reception desk was unable to do.

The hotel is starting to show some age, the rooms are kept very clean and are well maintained with everything working as it should. Unfortunately the same cant be said about the restaurant, it’s rubbish, the food is average and the place looks like it hasn’t had a decent clean in years, it really lets the rest of the hotel down. The breakfast is acceptable though ,and reasonably priced by Beijing standards, but I’m sure better could be found if you were prepared to travel away from the hotel.

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The Melody Hotel and Where to Stay in Xian

The Melody Hotel and Where to Stay in Xian

Stupidly, I hadn’t booked a hotel when I went to Xi’an and by the time I got on the bus from the airport I was starting to get a little nervous. Fortunately as I got off the bus in the center of Xi’an it stops right out the front of the Melody Hotel. I walked straight in and booked a room, probably paying twice what I would have had I booked via the net….

The hotel is quite conveniently located right in the center of the city and it’s straight across the road from the Drum Tower, walking distance to the Mosque and the markets, walking distance to the Bell Tower and much more. Whilst it’s not sparkling new by any means, the rooms are comfortable, clean and many have great views towards the Drum Tower.

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The Traffic Hotel Chengdu

The Traffic Hotel Chengdu

The Traffic Hotel is located south of central Chengdu along side the Nanhe River. Right next door to the hotel is the Xinnanmen Bus Station (Tourism Passenger Transport Centre) which is the Chengdu’s main bus station with services to many long distance destinations like Emei, Leshan, Jiuzhaigou and many more places in Sichuan Province.

The Traffic Hotel/Inn (previously the Communications Hotel?) sits somewhere between being a hotel and a backpackers hostel. Some rooms feature shower and toilet and other rooms just have a toilet. Common use showers are available on each floor. The rooms are basic but clean.

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The Shudu Mansion Hotel Chengdu

The Shudu Mansion Hotel Chengdu

Booking over the phone with Ctrip
I hadn’t sighted the hotel prior to booking but at the time there wasn’t much choice as there was a major conference on in town and accommodation was hard to find. That’s where Ctrip, the China based travel booking service, saved the day once again.

You can book accommodation, flights and more travel services with ctrip either via the Internet or via phone. As I found out later they do have an english booking service over the phone too, but in this case my kind new friend Ran had done the hard work and saved the day by arranging a place to stay.

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The Tibet Hotel Chengdu

The Tibet Hotel Chengdu

When I came to Chengdu it really was a blessing to find this place. Let alone being my first time in Chengdu, it was my first time in China too. So I was really keen to find somewhere safe, friendly and hopefully with someone who speaks english to help this dumb foreigner!

When I made it there and walked up towards the door for the first time the concierge lept forward from inside swinging the doors open and greeting me with a big ‘hello, sir’, which was kinda comforting, as I walked through the door I thought, wow, this place is pretty neat. The lobby floor looks like polished marble, the timber work is exquisite and there is a massive piece of  what looks like hand sewn artwork behind the reception desk….

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