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Tomsima

Foreigners at hotels in Shanghai

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Tomsima

Hi chinese-forums, have a question, hope it isn't too controversial, definitely not trying to cause debate, just wanted some answers is all.

 

So I got into Shanghai and went to my hotel booked on Meituan. When we got there I was told I was a “外賓” (whereas my wife is a “內賓” and that's no problem) and so was not allowed to stay at their hotel, they said that had yet to obtain the certificate to allow foreigners at their hotel. OK. So we called ahead, and not a single hotel on Meituan would let me stay there. In Shanghai. There's literally foreigners every, what's going on? The four seasons hotel way out of my price range, so can't stay there, but clearly has loads of 外賓 (I was there for an interview this morning so saw firsthand). I've been in China for years and been to all sorts of cities and never come across this before. This is my first time to Shanghai and after getting lucky with a lax hotel manager I'm finally sitting in my hotel room typing this, wondering if this has always been the case in this city?

 

Those familiar with Shanghai or have even just stayed here once, would love to hear your experiences.

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Tomsima

I don't stay in high end hotels, and was in Beijing last month, stayed at two different hotels and didn't come across this. Ive travelled fairly extensively around hubei, Yunnan and guangxi, was in Jiangxi only last week without any problems, not come across this before. Perhaps because they are poorer areas?

 

I'm definitely starting to feel the door closing I'm sad to say...

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889

All I can say is that my experience, having travelled as well throughout much of the country over many many years, is completely the opposite. 

 

Getting turned away from hotels has been a constant for decades. It's simply become more constant in recent years. Though conversely a bit easier to avoid by careful use of the booking sites (e.g., check for recent English reviews).

 

 

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anonymoose

It hasn't always been like this, but I'd say over the past 5-10 years, it has become much more strict, and this is the same in large cities as well as small (actually, small cities with few foreigners may be better).

 

I usually use ctrip for my Chinese hotel bookings. You will notice, though, that 9/10 (or maybe more) hotels do not accept foreigners. Very frustrating indeed. Sometimes I just give up and use hotels.com. More expensive and fewer choices, but at least you know all the hotels that show up will accept foreigners.

 

China is the only country I know that does this.

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889

I wouldn't be at all surprised at the re-introduction of 外汇卷.

 

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yueni

If you want to ensure that foreigners can stay at a hotel, it would be safer to use a non-Chinese booking site (at least, that's what I do), because the hotels listed on the site would obviously be catering towards foreigners. Otherwise, you get this issue.

 

I've literally only ever had this problem in China. I don't know if there are any other countries that do something like this.

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AaronUK

I saw a video about this here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0aFvIVFCV-k

 

Foreigners are required to register at a local police station, hotels in big cities have arrangements in place to do this on your behalf. I can't comment on whether getting a 'certificate' to do this is required and whether hotels popular destinations just don't bother applying for one because its not commonly needed. Perhaps someone else will have an idea about that.

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Lu
1 hour ago, yueni said:

I don't know if there are any other countries that do something like this.

I think this can also be an issue in Russia (or at least it was when I was there in 2008). Foreigners have to register and not all hotels/hostels can process the registration.

 

I thought this had been resolved in China some 10 years ago, and that the only reason some hotels still turned foreigners away was that they were unfamiliar with the required paperwork. I take it this is a new (or re-introduced) measure?

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zander1
1 hour ago, yueni said:

I don't know if there are any other countries that do something like this.

 

North Korea?

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AaronUK

In UK we require some Chinese nationals such as students to register at a local police station, so I don't really think anything about it when I hear China requiring the same of us.

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happy_hyaena

Ctrip might also be OK. They personlly called me up (twice) when the hotel I had booked didn't accept foreigner in order to help me solve the problem.

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roddy
56 minutes ago, AaronUK said:

In UK we require some Chinese nationals such as students to register at a local police station, so I don't really think anything about it when I hear China requiring the same of us.

We don't, to the best of my knowledge, prevent them from staying at certain hotels. It's an entirely different thing. 

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zander1
22 minutes ago, roddy said:

We don't, to the best of my knowledge, prevent them from staying at certain hotels. It's an entirely different thing. 

 

Yeah, it's not even remotely the same. There is no hotel in the UK that would not allow non-British nationals to stay there.

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Tomsima

I had to renew my passport in January. I have now discovered I am now required to carry two passports on me at all times, as the stamp for my last entry is in the old one. Now when I go to my foreigner approved hotel, it is not enough to provide date of entry, I have to show them and allow scans of two passports before I'm allowed to stay. I don't know if you're just finding a way to cope, but it's definitely not the same as the UK.

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Jim

Had completely missed this being a thing, not stayed in hotels for ages until had reason to a very short notice in Beijing earlier this year where I managed to stay even not having my passport on me, though involved going down to the local cop shop with a member of hotel staff and ringing the paichusuo I usually register at in another part of the municipality. Before that only ever remember really small hostels in remote country areas saying no.

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imron
4 hours ago, Lu said:

I thought this had been resolved in China some 10 years ago

This was my recollection as well.  This restriction used to exist, then I remember a big fanfare when it was removed.  So I guess it has either been reintroduced, or the hotel just doesn't want to be bothered doing the paperwork for the police registration.

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JeroenB

I've actually sneaked into hotels using the parking lot elevator while my (Chinese) in-laws booked room (which strangely only requires one passport per room). Indeed it seems to me that the smaller the city, the less of an issue this becomes.

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889

In Beijing and many other places, the 涉外 restrictions were indeed eliminated with great fanfare around 2003.

 

http://www.bjgaj.gov.cn/web/detail_getArticleInfo_39716_col1159.html

 

http://news.sina.com.cn/c/260811.html?from=wap

 

However, these measures haven't been rescinded because in fact they were never really implemented. Following the sounding of the fanfares there was no change at all: foreigners (and I mean me) continued to be banned from many hotels.

 

Just another performance of the Openess Masquerade that so often appears on the Chinese stage.

 

 

 

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imron
29 minutes ago, 889 said:

Following the sounding of the fanfares there was no change at all:

That'd explain it then!

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