[photopress:hotels_olympics_1.jpg,full,alignright]Tang Xiaofreng, senior hotel business development manager for Ctrip.com, China’s largest online reservation site said, ‘Only some 20 hotels in Beijing still have rooms available for reservations by foreign tourists during the period.’ For the most part, he said, ‘only luxury suites are left for them to choose.’
All else being equal Westerners are going to want to stay where English is spoken.
Beijing, which is expecting about 500,000 foreign visitors and more than one million Chinese tourists to descend on it during the Games, has 806 rated hotels with 220,000 beds, according to the tourism administration.
On average, these hotel rooms are going (or went) for about 10 times their usual rate for the duration of the Games.
[photopress:hotels_olympics_2_1.jpg,full,alignleft]Earlier this year, the Beijing Olympic Organizing Committee said it expected the rate for a double room in a five-star hotel during the Games would be about RMB2,960 or about $390 a night, $300 for a four-star, $203 for a three-star and $135 for a two-star.
This was a tad optimistic.
Home Inn, one of Beijing’s no-star ‘budget’ hotels, said that during the Games its standard double is renting for $222 a night, compared to $25 today.
At the comfortable but by no means fancy four-star Comfort Inn and Suites in Chaoyang District, the central business and diplomatic quarter it is $640 for a room that costs $97 a night this week.
Near the top end of the Olympic rental scale, The Renaissance Beijing in Chaoyang District is charging $1,112 a night for a deluxe room that usually goes for $222 to $305. Only longer-stay visitors need apply.
These kind of Olympic hotel prices are well outside the realm of the possible for most domestic Chinese tourists. A huge range of much, much cheaper — no-star — hotels are available. To Westerners as well as Chinese. The problem is no one in them speaks very much English and international credit cards are often not accepted.