As a frequent traveler to Beijing I thought I would update my perception of the current prices. Hotels were outrageous, food fairly priced and unchanged, air fare (USA-China) great deals, and taxi up just a bit.
Hotel Rates in Beijing
The price of 4 and 5 star Western hotels has skyrocketed in Beijing. While the price of airline tickets to Beijing was very reasonable in March (2012) the prices of hotel rooms are through the roof. The Marriott where I regularly stay was asking $1600 RMB plus 15% tax. If you aren’t familiar with the exchange rate that is about $292.00! This is Beijing, China not New York. And the Marriott wasn’t out of line with many of the other hotels’ prices that I checked. I finally got a good rate at the Park Plaza Wangfujing. This is a very nice hotel with some recently renovated rooms. Good breakfast and very nice staff. This was my second stay and would certainly return again.
Long Haul from USA to Beijing
I generally fly America or United from Chicago to Beijing. March is usually a slow time as there is little tourism to Beijing because the weather is cold. The Business airfare was as low as $3300 on American which is a steal but the downside is that there were only 80 seats filled in coach on my outbound flight. This is a serious problem for American as if they need more problems. I have heard a rumor – totally uncorroborated that American may stop their service to Beijing. I urge you, if you are considering traveling to China support American’s airlift to Beijing.
Basically western hotels are close to the same price we pay in Miami, but outside of the hotels food is generally reasonable. I frequent several places such as Bellagio, South Beauty, and a few others. These places are Asian fusion or Szechuan – my favorite.
Beijing taxis are fairly reasonable. An average 15 minute ride in the city will cost you about 20 RMB or $2.50. They tack on an extra RMB or 2 these days probably because of the cost of fuel. Remember Beijing Taxi drivers speak no English so have your hotel write down your destination and keep you hotel’s address handy for the return.
Steven Pinkert’s summary on current Beijing prices: if you can find a good hotel rate Beijing is still a value. By the way Steven Pinkert also has a blog about his family at www.pinkert.us