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.

Housed in a pair of blue-glass towers, the Shanghai JC Mandarin hotel is located in the Nanjing Road shopping district, just across the street from Plaza 66. Inside the lobby, a five-story mural of Admiral Zheng Ho—a 14th-century seafarer—is surrounded by gold-foiled images of the sun and sea.

The eagerly anticipated Mandarin Oriental, Beijing, in a dramatically angled tower within the Rem Koolhaas and Ole Scheeren–designed CCTV complex, is slated for completion in 2008.

Brand new in 2005, this 399-room waterfront property has a gargantuan, decadent spa (try a Chinese Wellness Ritual, which begins with a tea ceremony and includes a scrub and a massage), and spacious rooms and suites (the smallest of which are about 500 square feet).

A mile from Tiananmen Square, with 500 streamlined rooms, top service (waiters remember how you take your coffee), and an indoor pool. 

Room to Book: Deluxe rooms with Forbidden City views are rooms 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 16, and 20 on the fifteenth and sixteenth floors.

Just north of Sheung Wan, along the water, Italian mosaic tiles and custom-designed furniture by French interior designer Andrée Putman lend a Continental touch to the 50 blue-and-white suites at this 2010-opened property.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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)