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.
A master of luxe hospitality, Peninsula Hotels chairman Michael Kadoorie spent his childhood in Shanghai. So the March 2010 premiere of his ninth property, the Peninsula Shanghai, was a homecoming of sorts.
Formerly the Regent Shanghai, the Longemont hotel rises 53 stories above the Changning district, just 10 minutes from the Bund. Inside, huge white columns and a spiral staircase create a sense of drama in the high-ceilinged lobby.
All 1,171 guest rooms at this hotel, linked to the airport via pedestrian bridge, are comfortably appointed with down duvets, stylish décor, and dramatic runway views—but you don’t have to be a guest to take advantage of its indoor and outdoor pools, spa, or steam room and sauna.
209-room Imperial-style hotel adjacent to the Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square.
This happy little courtyard hotel charms guests the moment they walk through the traditional red-lacquered gate.
The opulence that greeted guests when the Pen opened more than two decades ago—the sweeping Busby Berkeley–style marble staircase and luxury boutiques—still exists, but a 2004 renovation brought a sleek modernity to all 525 of its rooms.
Stories abound about the origin of this castle-like building. Some say it was inspired by shipping mogul Eric Moller’s daughters dream, while others say the Scandinavian style owes to Moller’s Swedish roots.
Fresh from a $65 million makeover,this 492-room property has a sleek 18,000-square-foot spa and a restaurant by star Singaporean chef Justin Quek. Each of the tech-savvy guest rooms contains a practical mobile phone for use in Hong Kong.
One of Shanghai’s first ultrahigh hotels (it opened in 2003), the JW is still one of the city’s best-located properties.
There's no better place to embrace Shanghai's glamorous past and high-tech future than from these twin towers on the northern section of the Bund.
Inspired by China’s imperial palaces (lacquered red pillars; gold bamboo panels; crystal chandeliers), with escalator access to one of the city’s most upscale shopping malls.
Since 1928, this Hong Kong institution has defined the luxury hotel experience, and although certain kinds of travelers (especially lovers of sleek, high-tech minimalism) may find the Peninsula too old-world, there’s no denying it’s a serious class act.
Located just off Huaihai Road, this historic hotel is perhaps best known as the site where former President Nixon and Zhou Enlai signed the Shanghai Communiqué in 1972.