Hotels can be like airports - a standardised experience. An oversized bed facing a wall mounted flat screen TV next to an expensive mini bar kind of experience . In some ways this is quite comforting in a foreign country. The hotel lobby can represent an international space with understood protocols to ease you when travelling.
One of the main differences that I always notice when I visit a hotel in China is the extra attention being given to tea. This is not always true and I have been tempted to complain when I visit a decent hotel in China stocking mugs and teabags. But in many hotels you will find complementary loose leaf tea and a Gaiwan or Gong Fu sized teaware. This always brings a smile to my face and mental tick of approval.