China's 3-star hotels
China's 3-star hotels are generally of a lower standard than 3-star rated hotels in the West, and not every 4-star hotel meets required standards in terms of their buildings, services and facilities. Deluxe 5-star hotels are in line with international standards. The level of English spoken by the receptionists in 3-star and some 4-star hotels can be poor, although you should not have a problem communicating with them. 4-star hotels provide better language services than 3-star hotels.
We do not recommend that you choose a 3-star hotel, because their services and facilities usually lag far behind those provided by 4-star hotels. In the 3-star hotels, the beds are often hard, the geographic location may be undesirable and the rooms are always smaller than those of 4-star hotels. Actually, in terms of price, there is only a small difference between 3-star and 4-star hotels, but the services and facilities of the latter are much better. If you still find it difficult to make a choice between them, we strongly recommend that you choose 4-star hotels.
Normally, check-in time is 14:00. If you need to check in before this time, available rooms first have to be cleaned. Check-out is normally before 12:00 noon. If you do not check out before this time, you will be charged extra, normally half or the full room rate. Check-out can vary, for example, in Tibet and Xinjiang, check-out is usually before 14:00. So we recommend that you confirm with the reception desk what the checkout time is, to ensure that you avoid extra fees.
In most 3-star hotels, the air conditioners are not turned on all year round. Given this, 4-star and 5-star hotels are a better choice. In most hotels in Tibet, air conditioners remained turned off during the daytime as the highest temperature is only 24℃. If it's too hot or too cold during the night, the air conditioners will be turned on. In Lijiang, as it's quite cool during the day in summer, the air conditioners in the ordinary hotels (including 4-star hotels) remain turned off. In winter, they will be turned on at night. However, in the high quality 4-star hotels and 5-star hotels, you can turn on the air conditioners whenever you want. In such cities as Beijing, Xi'an, Shanghai, Guilin and Hong Kong, you can choose to turn on the air conditioners whenever you want.
In China, hotel beds are usually harder, because according to Chinese traditions, hard beds are considered good for people's health. If you find your bed is too hard, you can ask for several more quilts and lay them on your bed.
Normally, 4-star and 5-star hotels are equipped with fitness centers, retail stores, boutiques, beauty parlors, broadband Internet access, free Wi-Fi, swimming pools, recreational amenities and hairdryers. They also provide room service, concierge and laundry services.
Not all the hotels provide Internet services. Some hotels charge hourly fees, normally 100 RMB per hour or even more. However, most 4-star and 5-star hotels, provide free Wi-Fi in the hotel lobbies.
Since hotel fees are covered in your package, why are you still required to pay a deposit?
Indeed, your tour package covers your hotel fees and breakfast, but the hotel will request a deposit in case you consume items from the mini bar (which will cost extra), damage any items in the room or have dinner in the hotel. Seven days or so after you have left the hotel, the deposit will be refunded to your credit card (if you pay your deposit by credit card). If you pay the deposit by cash, the hotel will refund you cash on departure.