On my recent month in China I stayed at many cheap hotels when I was somewhere with no backpacker hostel.
With the current development boom in China I find you mostly get fairly new hotels that look fancy from a distance but with many things broken or missing. Almost always you'll pay less than the prices on display in the lobby.
I paid between 50 and 70 RMB (
CNY) most of the time. One time I paid 100 RMB.
But in my very last hotel in a non-tourist city in Inner Mongolia I visited several hotels all in the hundreds or at least over one hundred. It was dark and below zero and I was tired and on foot. The people at the hotel had already offered me a lower price than the starting price, but it was still a bit high if I didn't want to use the ATM again before crossing the border so I offered a lower price and it was accepted.
In this case the hotel looked fancy and at first the room looked fancy but it had enough problems that I thought I still paid more for it than at other hotels.
But the point of all this is, should I have been bargaining over the price of the hotels the whole time I was in China? Is this what Chinese people do? Is it expected?
I'll be back in China soon so it will be handy to know.