China is not really cheap to travel in, and the City Hotel (offering at that time a special rate of 188 RMB or about $32 USD for a fairly shabby room with truly ancient, stained carpeting) is still a bargain. The bed was billed as a single but actually close to double size and reasonably comfortable by western standards if you do what I do - sleep on top of the bedding and haul out the extra blanket to pull over you. (Koreans and Japanese sleep on the floor while the Chinese simply have mattresses as hard as a floor).
2 great things about the City Hotel (besides price - again, China doesn't offer great travel values compared to what you can get elsewhere in Asia - and quality is often not nearly as good) ...
But first great thing is they speak English pretty well. This is rare in many parts of China - I also went to Chengdu and my supposed 3 star hotel did not have one word of travelers' English (not even 'airport' or 'bus' or 'train' - they looked up every word I wrote down - pretty mystifying when all the staff were fairly young and are required take English for 4-5 years starting in middle school).
Second is the City Hotel is really centrally located. You can walk out the door and be at either the Bell Tower or the City Wall in the historic part of Xi'an within 10 minutes. It's a busy area, but the hotel is set back off the main street and my room was also super quiet (at least for China!) And it's just round the corner from the direct bus to the airport - very handy! (Taxi to airport will cost 150 RMB - I think the bus was 28 RMB).
I didn't try their restaurant (which was supposed to have 'international' breakfast - but the morning I checked, it didn't)... and their advertised 'massage' was not available when I asked (but a great place was just two blocks away - one of the best massages I've had). Although there are heaps of foreigners at the City Hotel (mostly Europeans), the TV doesn't have the English CTV channel, but a nice touch is the English China Daily newspaper in the lobby.
As long as you don't care much about appearances, and want to save your money to spend on all the overpriced tourist admissions in China, the City Hotel is a bargain by Chinese standards. Again, China is NOT bargain Asian travel - you are always paying for something, and except for cheap transport and (sometimes) cheap food, it's pretty high priced. For ex., the main reason to go to Xi'an - though not the only site worth seeing - is the Terra Cotta Warriors museum - and it's about a $25 admission (plus the cost of getting there - use the public buses or you will pay a fortune!). Just about everything will cost $4 and up to enter in China - and I do mean everything, including Buddhist temples, etc.
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- Also Known As:
- Xi'An City Hotel China/Shaanxi