If you want to visit Harbin during the Ice and Snow Festival -- December to early March, when thousands flood the city -- try to book a room at least 2 weeks to a month in advance. Some hotels offer minor discounts during the festival. Discounts at other times range from 30% to 50%.
More budget options are available since a range of economic hotel brands have established outlets in Harbin over the last few years. The most convenient and better quality are Ibis (Yibisi) and 7 Days Inn (Qitian Liansuo Jiudian), which are well situated around the Zhongyang Dajie area. Both offer clean and cozy rooms, and satisfying service. Ibis at Zhaolin Jie 92 (tel. 04518/750-9999; fax 0451/8750-6575; www.ibishotel.com; 215 units) charges ¥168 for a standard room; at 7 Days, Tongjiang Jie 55 (tel. 0451/5882-5888; www.7daysinn.cn), a room costs ¥198 to ¥208.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.