Sunday, March 1, 2009

My China Hotel Experiences

I've been to China a grand total of 4 times, in different cities and at different eras. The first time I was there was in the eighties, when we went to visit our great grandmother. We landed at Xiamen, spent a few days there, then went to the countryside to visit our relatives there, before going siteseeing in other cities. The most modern hotel we stayed in was in Xiamen, maybe because it was a major city in the south. But nevertheless, it was not as nice as the other hotel rooms I've stayed in before, just something very basic. I do not know if it was because my grandparents opted to get cheaper rooms, but my guess is that those were the already the best rooms available. The ones in the countryside and the less major cities were not as good as the one we had in Xiamen.

Fast forward to the late eighties (I think, or was it the early nineties). My parents had to attend a trade fair in Guangjou, and we tagged along. I didn't really have much expectations of the hotels given my previous experience with a hotel in what is supposed to be a major Chinese city. Lo and behold, the hotel we stayed in actually could be at par with some luxury hotel rooms elsewhere! There were modern restaurants, chandeliers, a piano playing in the lobby and good service. I suspect that it's because it's one of the trade centers and they have to cater to more foreigners with more discerning tastes.

The third and fourth times I went to China were to Fujou and Guanjou again, both in the late nineties, and both times were to bring my father for medical treatment. The hotels were nice enough, but not the level of luxurious hotel room we had when we went to the trade fair. Maybe that's because since we needed to spend for dad's treatment, we didn't go for the higher end hotels. But then I found that there were actually more hotels by then, from the budget to the luxury, unlike the eighties when there were hardly any choices for hotel rooms.

China has indeed come a long, long way.