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.

Why It’s Unique: Built into a stand of tamarind trees, the “Big Beach in the Sky” treehouse sleeps four in rustic accommodations steps away from the blue waters of the South China Sea.

688-room hotel on Kowloon's Tsim Sha Tsui East waterfront, with floor-to-ceiling bay windows in every room.

Hotelier Adrian Zecha has transforming an ancient tea-growing village 20 minutes from Hangzhou’s city center into one of Asia’s most unique retreats.

W Hotels’ first Chinese outpost is in Hong Kong’s booming West Kowloon district, and many of its 393 rooms have enviable views of the skyline. Guests have access to a 24-hour concierge, an indispensable resource in Hong Kong.

Fresh from a $40 million renovation, with Asian elements (such as cabinets inspired by Chinese medicine chests) and a great address.

Within a 10-minute walk of the People's Square, this Art Deco hotel originally opened in the central business district in 1934. Today, the white exterior is lined with sconce-like light fixtures, while the lobby is decorated with a painted glass ceiling and a grand curving staircase.

Hidden down a quiet alleyway in the clubby Sanlitun neighborhood, the hotel mixes Hollywood glamour and Art Deco touches: in the 110 plum-hued rooms, sexy black-and-white photographs hang on concrete walls stenciled with damask motifs (request a room on the ninth floor for sweeping skyline views)

Opened in December 2010, this is among the first of a handful of new hotels that are upping the ante on luxury on Tibet's windswept plateau (Shangri-La and InterContinental are on the horizon for 2012).

Guest quarters are decorated with vivid thangkas and woolen carpets in the rich rust and maroon hues that are a local trademark, and each has an open hearth for cold winter nights as its centerpiece. Private balconies offer breathtaking views of the Ringha River and distant snowcapped peaks.

China isn’t exactly known for sustainability, but the new Urbn Hotels & Resorts group aims to change that.

One of four hotels attached to the posh Pacific Place shopping mall (on the edge of Central where it segues into Wan Chai), the soaring, 56-story Shangri-La has the city’s highest-altitude lodgings.

The 78 guest rooms overlook the historic West Lake and feature hand-painted silk panels and such high-tech touches as plasma TV's.

This happy little courtyard hotel charms guests the moment they walk through the traditional red-lacquered gate.