Perhaps some of you more seasoned China vets can help me out. My husband and I are going to Guangzhou in January (we have some business with the US Consulate) and we have to stay for 16 days. We don't know anyone there, so we'll have to stay in a hotel. Does anyone know a decent, cheap place we could look into? Are there such things as "long-term" style hotels that have a discounted rate, similar to extended stay hotels in the US?
Also, if anyone has recommendations for food to try or places to get good deals on electronics (we've heard Guangzhou is great for that) I'd appreciate it, too.
1. Suggest you try to rent a short-term apt. Jan is a bad time for apt renters because of Chinese New Year so maybe you'll get lucky.
2. Chinese New Year - plan around this (or before it happens), or your 16 day stay may be 16 working days = 30+ calendar days. Your worst nightmare.
Good luck - hope the US consulate is courteous, efficient, and helpful.
I was in Guangzhou in June of 2008 with a friend attending the massive annual Guangzhou lighting show. My friend's business travel agent in the States booked the Garden Hotel on his behalf, but I found a newly opened (then) apartment hotel about a leisurely 8-minute walk from the Garden Hotel. As I recalled, it was a nice neighborhood with tree-lined streets and many Western-type shops, restaurants and bars. In 2008, there was no subway service in the area. If it's still the case, taking taxis to and from the nearest subway station will add to your daily expenses. The rooms had stone or wood flooring for maintenance reasons, but they all have a small clothes washer and a scantly equipped kitchenette. There is also an outdoor balcony in each room with a clothes rack for clothes drying. The cost per night was 260 Yuan, I think. I negotiated it down from 280 for a 3-night stay. You might be able to negotiate a much better rate for your longer stay. Though I did not need to use either the washer or kitchenette and don't know if they are part of the amenities that came with the room, you may want to inquire if the kitchenette and clothes washer are still part of the deal. Keep in mind all facilities in China deteriorate very quickly due to improper or lack of maintenance. So, I cannot vouch for the physical condition of the apartment hotel or the rooms after 2 and a half years.
I have 2 business cards from the apartment hotel and depending on which card I am looking at, the apartment hotel name in English is called "Peace World Apartment" or "Nice World Apartment". The Chinese name is"好世界公寓", address is 广州市越秀区环市东路建设五马路29号。The building is tucked away from the main street and may be a bit hard to find. The apartment hotel contact numbers are: Tel. (020) 8375-2988, Fax (020) 8375-2999. Another business card has the numbers listed as Tel. (020) 8375-2999, Fax (020) 8375-2988. The manager (in 2008), Mr. He Xin's cell phone was 135-6010-0955, but he may not speak English or no longer work there.
As for food, there is a McDonald's (good for breakfast & coffee) within a 2-minute walk from the Peace World Apartment Hotel. The Garden Hotel is extremely expensive. My friend and I had dinner (that's dinner for 2 people) one night at the "coffee shop" type Chinese restaurant (on the second floor of the Garden Hotel) cost over US$100 at the 2008 exchange rate! However, Guangzhou's Peking Road or Beijing Road area is full of nice restaurants at very reasonable prices.
Hope the aforementioned is of some help to you and enjoy your trip.
Thank you so much! Any and all info, tips, etc., is really helpful and especially when you give such detailed information!