Xiamen has a variety of shiny business hotels scattered around the island. For those on expenses, the two to choose from are the Marco Polo and the recently refurbed Millennium Harbourview, although new additions such as the Hilford have much more character for more adventurous tourists. We no longer recommend the Xiamen University Guest House, whose prices have doubled since the last edition even though levels of service and comfort have dropped like a stone. Upmarket hotels add a 10% to 15% service charge and there is now an additional 4% local government tax. You'll find abundant budget accommodations on the waterfront north of the Lujiang Binguan and some (much quieter) on Gulang Yu, although the former American consulate is being refurbished (yet again) and does not yet have a new opening date. Just outside the railway station, if you are just passing through, is the Yijing Hotel (Yi Jing Jiu Dian) He Xiang Dong Lu 108 (tel. 0592/385-8999; ¥248).

Xiamen holds its annual marathon on the last Saturday of March when almost 20,000 athletes compete for a first prize of $25,000, so don't expect any hotel discounts that particular weekend. Xiamen tourism is busy March through May, after which Chinese tourism drops to almost nothing, and only the odd foreigner is seen midsummer; it picks up again September through early October for a trade fair. Typically, 40% discounts are available in non-peak periods, more in lower-level accommodations.

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.