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BY 2004-03-12 16:29:56
To appease its internationally growing notoriety as China's Hong Kong of the North? Dalian, especially over the last the last 10 years, has witnessed a gust of hotel expansion. Major five-star chains such as the Hilton and Regent have recently wedded into the city's swelling lodging milieu, granting travelers a myriad of options ranging from big cheese expensive to cut-rate thrifty.
Because of Dalian's dual personalities as both a business center and as a vacation resort lodging rates fluctuate madly. During the off-season from September through March, rates hover in the wow-what-a-deal range. While from April through August, Dalian's prime time beach season, the rates escalate into the what-do-I-look-like-Bill-Gates realm.

Despite Dalian's girth of hotels, room availabilities tighten during the Chinese New Year (Spring Festival), which fluctuates between January and February, as well as during the Acacia Flower Festival in late May and the immensely huge International Fashion Festival in September. Advanced reservations during these visitor spurts are mandatory.

For downtown convenience, indoor opulence, and shameless pampering have your travel agent lasso a reservation at the Furama Hotel. This coddle palace could have seven more stars added to its already five-star rating and still seem a few stars short. Celebrities and visiting dignitaries favor it for its downtown convenience and text of amenities that include five restaurants ranging from Korean to French, and an indoor golf driving range. The Swissotel Hotel also enjoys rarified five-star status in the Zhongsan District. Close proximity to downtown's shopping districts and the Dalian International Airport rates it high with the business crowd. The Hilton Hotel, Dalian's freshest five-star, wonderfully meshes with the city's cosmopolitan look. Its swank ?Club in the Air? on the 36th floor rates as one of downtown's hottest nightclubs. In addition, the Harbor View Hotel, another five-star gem, offers first-class amenities as well as stunning maritime views.

For downtown convenience, but at slightly lower rates, budget-savvy travelers can choose from either the Bohai Hotel, or the four-star International Hotel. Both are just minutes away from Zhongshan Square making them suitable for both business and leisure.

The Economic and Technological Development Area, Dalian's foremost business center, possesses several convenient on-site hotels. The Dong Fang Mansion offers both location and the kind of five-star luxury that would even embarrass members of England's royal family. Visiting government officials and look-at-me celebrities are routinely seen padding through its halls. Every top shelf amenity is offered including childcare and mind soothing saunas. The Kailun Hotel is far easier on the wallet and also offers a quick recreational escape (16 kilometers) to Golden Stone Beach, known for its scenic string of tiny coves.

For a stay in or near Dalian's surrounding hills and beaches the New Era Hotel offers three-star seaside convenience. Located in the Lushun District, its backyard beach access makes it extremely popular with vacationers. The Xigang District's Oumeiya Grand Hotel also rates high with those intent on strolling barefoot through the surf. It resides directly on Fujianzhung Beach providing immediate walking access to the Yellow Sea. Wear footwear, however, for unlike most other sand centers the beach here bears uncanny resemblance to a gravel pit. The nearby Sea Horizon Hotel, on scenic Binhai (Beach) Road, also provides instant beach connection. A four-star rating ups its room tags into the high-end range, but the amenity factor is huge and includes an on-site beer garden. The Chengyaun Summer Resort, also located south of Dalian in the Xigang District, combines plush European architecture with manicured Chinese gardens creating the ultimate job escape setting. Or for an inexpensive stay there is theXiuyue Hotel. Wedged between the mountains and the sea on a view friendly slope it serves as the perfect lair for both hikers and sunbathers.

If budget restrictions demand bargain-basement lodging seek a room at the Yadesi Bathhouse. The room amenities rank just above that of a tent, yet the on-site massage possibilities are a plus.
(Editor:) (From:DalianNews.com)
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