When booking a hotel room in China, there are two things you should keep in mind:
Hotel beds in fully Chinese-owned hotels are as hard as a rock.
If that bothers you, here’s different approaches I’ve tested out over the past few days that can help:
– ask the front desk for extra blankets that you can lay on top of the mattress to soften it
– get a camping mattress from a sporting goods store (or bring your own from home) and lay that on top of your mattress
– fold all the blankets or comforters you can get the hotel to give you to build a softer mattress and use a sleeping bag to cover yourself.
– if all else fails, sleep on the floor.
Not pretty, but it works.
When booking a room in a fully Chinese-owned hotel, deduct two stars from their rating to determine what you get by western standards.
In Lhasa, I stayed in what was supposed to be a three star hotel. Not only, was the interior old and grimey, but the rooms were about as charming as a Motel 6. Apparently, joint-venture hotels with the major foreign hotel chains come closer to what you’re used to getting for a certain star rating.
There’s nothing wrong with things being different in different places, but it’s good to know what you’re getting yourself into to gage whether the price you’re charged is worth it or not.