Hotel Breakfasts in China – What to Expect

Hotel Breakfasts in China – What to Expect

One of the best things after a late night arrival into an unknown city is to wake up and find an awesome breakfast awaiting. So, when travelling what can you expect in a Chinese hotel, and how is the breakfast, well, here’s a guide.

Most hotels I have stayed in offer breakfast, which is usually included in the room rate. If you have a really super cheap deal from ctrip, or the like, you may not get it included, in which case you may find it’s only 30RMB to add breakfast back in, unless your in a 4-5 star hotel where they may charge anything from 80 to 300RMB, in which case you could gorge yourself, or just go for wander a find something to eat for less than 20…

What do they offer for breakfast? Firstly, it really depends on what star level hotel you are staying in and to some degree, where. Nearly all the hotel breakfasts, that I have seen during my travels in China, are buffet style, so it’s actually a great chance to try some local dishes.


Lets start with a standard mid-range hotel that perhaps usually caters to local travelers. Here you’ll likely find a selection of popular everyday breakfast staples, such as:

Congee, or rice porridge (xīfan 稀饭 or Zhou 粥) which is basically just white rice and water boiled for a long time. Sounds simple, but once you start eating this one it will surely become a staple for you too. There’s many variants, such as adding beans and or millet, or even meat such as pork or fish, some will add extras such as peanuts, slithers of ginger, or pickled vegetables.


Youtiao (油条) and doujiang (豆漿) you’ll find this everywhere, in the hotel breakfast, at street stalls, supermarkets, everywhere.. Youtiao is basically a fried dough stick and doujiang is soy milk, so in a way, here is the local version of toast and milk. And it’s yum.


Baozi (包子) and Mantou (馒头) are two popular staples, basically simple yeast risen steam buns made from flour and water, salt and maybe egg. The mantou is plain where is the baozi can have any number of fillings such as meat or vegetables.


You are also likely to see fried rice (chaofan 炒饭), noodles (miantao 面条), sausage (xianchang 香肠), boiled eggs (zhu jidan 煮鸡蛋), vegetables (suchai 蔬菜), steamed yam (zheng tudao 蒸土豆) and dumplings (jiaozi 饺子).


As the hotel price goes up, so does the breakfast offering, with 4 star and above hotels offering a western style breakfast plus a broader range of local fare. The western style offerings usually begin with toast and butter, although, it’s rare to find fresh bread in lower price hotels unless your lucky, definitely toast it or pass. You may also find milk, hot milk, cereal, croissants, bacon, scrambled eggs, fried eggs, baked beans and so on. You may also find chefs cooking on demand and the noodles and eggs etc. are cooked fresh after you select. As the price of the hotel goes up, you should start to expect to see a pretty amazing breakfast buffet.


Some hotels will also offer Dian Xin (点心) particularly in Guangdong, although, for the full menu of Dian Xin it’s likely to be in a separate restaurant from the breakfast buffet and you’d need to pay extra.


The hotel doesn’t offer breakfast, what to do? Wander around and you’ll surely run into a street stall selling Baozi (包子), Mantou (馒头), Yóutiáo (油条), doujiang (豆漿) and the like for probably less that 10RMB. At worst there’s probably a McDonalds not too far away, KFC (who also sell youtiao and xifan) or local fast food such as Yonghe King or Kungfu.

OYC Hotel & Convention Center at Seven Star Crags Zhaoqing

OYC Hotel & Convention Center at Seven Star Crags Zhaoqing

Some time ago I remember seeing an ad on the English news channel here in China for the OYC Hotel and thought I’d love to check that out one day. The attention getting feature in the ad was the huge cave and hot spring located underneath the hotel, now we are in Zhaoqing for a couple of days, how could I miss checking it out.

The OYC hotel is a five star hotel, although some people get confused by translations which say it’s a seven star hotel, but really it’s a hotel beside Seven Star Lake and Seven Star Crags. Perhaps the impressive location beside the scenic area is worthy of adding another two stars, considering you can enjoy the amazing views straight from your room or wander out the gate and walk or hire a bike and ride around the lake.

The hotel is really is focused on the convention and business meeting market featuring 2 ballrooms, convention hall, auditorium, reception hall and conference rooms.

There’s 3 restaurants that we saw, the Ocean restaurant features floor to ceiling fish tanks where, for dinner or lunch, you can enjoy a live mermaid show. Yup, a couple of girls with healthy lungs strap on a fish tail and go swimming. The nearby Palace Cafe is a little more casual and at that time offering great value lunch buffet.

Beneath the hotel is the prime feature, the hot spring, man-made, features a huge re-creation of a cave much like those found within the Seven Star Crags and numerous hot spring pools for swimming around or simply lazing around. There’s also a simple restaurant which opens for dinner and a Spa plus gymnasium and sauna rooms. Sure to be a popular spot after the business convention, especially when the dancers come on stage. Yup, there’s a stage performance to enhance your hot spring relaxation time.

The rooms are immaculate, featuring everything you’d expect for the rating and probably a little more, like remote controlled blinds for example.

The service matches the star rating and then some, unbelievably attentive, friendly and you can just sense the many days of training that went into achieving that end.

Just so you don’t get bored while your’e in the toilet, there’s a great big fish tank featuring meter + long fish!

We were lucky to get a great deal at the time, and price wise the hotel offers great value, if this is the level of service your looking for, plus the hotel and Zhaoqing itself would make for a great weekend escape and experience for those in Guangzhuo and even Hong Kong. There is a bus service that runs between the hotel and Hong Kong and another servicing Macao and Zhuhai.

Seven Star Crags and OYC Hotel Map:

Guandong Victory Hotel Shamian Island Guangzhou

Guandong Victory Hotel Shamian Island Guangzhou

If you’re looking for accommodation in Guangzhou and you’re after somewhere peaceful to stay, I think it would be pretty hard to beat Shamian Island. It’s relaxed, peaceful but still only a short taxi fare to the major shopping streets and main tourist attractions of the city.

I think there are four hotels on Shamian Island, including the White Swan Hotel, Guangdong Shamian Hotel, Customs Hotel and the Guangdong Victory Hotel. We chose the Victory Hotel simply due to the deal they had going at the time.

The hotel was built back in the early 19thcentury by the British who used it as a bank, so as you could imagine it’s a pretty grand old building. The building is in two sections with an east and west side, we stayed on the east side. The interior is a little dated looking, but still clean and comfortable.

The room was small but again clean and comfortable apart from the blocked toilet, and when you drained the bath, it regurgitated the water back up the drain hole in the bathroom floor, nice. I guess that’s all a legacy of a nearly 100-year-old building.

Probably the coolest feature of this hotel is the rooftop swimming pool.


For more info and latest discount rates check out the hotel page here, also see a map of hotels on Shamain Island.





Accommodation in Humen: the Grand Noble Hotel

Accommodation in Humen: the Grand Noble Hotel

While in Humen we stayed at the Grand Noble Hotel. It’s a clean, comfortable hotel, the food at the restaurant was more than fine and there was even English speaking staff.

The room at the Grand Noble


Even more interesting is that there is a Starbucks on site, so coffee and somewhere to chill is taken care of. The hotel is also very central to the main shopping area which is packed with clothes stores. It’s also easy to get to the city’s main attractions including the Weiyuan Fort, Naval Battle Museum, Humen Bridge, and Opium Museum.


For rates and more info on the Grand Noble Hotel here. See here for my top picks for hotels in Dongguan, Guangdong China.



V Inn Hotel Xiamen

V Inn Hotel Xiamen

I’m glad I left the Xiamen Huaqiao Hotel to come here, whilst the room is not quite as nice, the service at the V Inn makes all the difference.

The staff are friendly, and some speak English, while at the four-star Xiamen Huaqiao Hotel, combined with a CTS travel agency, couldn’t book a bus ticket, the staff at this hotel had it done in minutes. Really so helpful.

Id also made this reservation with cTrip over the phone who managed to find a place at a great price even on the weekend with only hours notice.

As for the hotel itself, it’s a good walk away from the ferry terminal and Zhong Shan Road, but taxis are pretty cheap and seem easy to get hold of. I didn’t try the restaurant at the hotel, but at the end of the street, there’s a KFC if you need. This must also be ‘flower shop street’ as every second shop on this short street is selling bouquets.

The room was a good size, basic but clean, the bathroom was showing it’s age. The room had a free broadband connection too.

Check here for a map of Xiamen hotels and intro to the city. And my picks for the top 15 hotels in the city.