China

Hotels in China

For decades, hotels in China outside of Hong Kong could be rough going. Today, however, Beijing and Shanghai are home to some of the best hotels in China and secondary cities are seeing a boom in hotel growth as well. The Peninsula, which had been a reliable Beijing mainstay, raised the bar along with many other China hotels a decade ago. Its 2004 renovation brought some pizzazz to the 525 rooms, now outfitted with all the latest tech amenities. The Pudong Shangri-La exemplifies the energy of Shanghai today, with 952 rooms in the soaring modernist twin towers. It got the official seal of approval as one of Yin Mao's favorite hotels in China when he tied the knot here in 2007.  

Beyond the country's popular urban centers of Beijing and Shanghai, it's hard to keep up with the five-star hotels and resorts with hundreds of rooms as well as smaller more quirky properties that are opening. The 47-room Amanyfayun, near Hangzhou, is designed like a Chinese village surrounded by fields of tea.

One of the most aesthetically dramatic properties in China, the Commune by the Great Wall has lodgings created by some of Asia’s best contemporary architects—set right alongside the most stupendous building project of the ancient world.

One of the Ritz-Carlton’s new-look hotels, this funky, modern Financial Street outpost bears no traces of the chain’s signature country-estate grandeur.

Multiple buildings surround a quadrangle in this courtyard-style Dongcheng neighborhood hotel, which is down an ancient alley, or hutong. Buildings dating from dynasties pastincluding Qing, Yuan, and Mingare scattered around it.

Shanghai hotels tend toward the vertical and voluptuous, but one look at this austere lobby—exposed brick walls; steel beams; stone floors—and it’s clear the Waterhouse has broken the mold.