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.
Welcome to the Hawaii of the South China Sea. The 450-room Ritz-Carlton is a standout among the growing number of resorts on Hainan, China’s only tropical island.
The capital’s boutique hotel scene gets a boost with the 99-room Opposite House, in the burgeoning Sanlitun area; it’s the first property from the recently formed Swire Hotels group. The rooms in this emerald cube have deep wooden soaking tubs.
A stem-to-stern renovation completed in 2006 (to the tune of $150 million) renewed the luster of this legendary property—a decades-long favorite of visiting dignitaries like Margaret Thatcher and Henry Kissinger.
Small rooms with clean lines and pale wood furnishings.
One of Shanghai’s first ultrahigh hotels (it opened in 2003), the JW is still one of the city’s best-located properties.
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.
JIA consists of fifty-two rooms, plus two 1,000-plus-square-foot penthouse suites, both specially designed for high-profile guests (with bodyguards in tow). Space has not been sacrificed to style—even standard rooms clock in at almost 500 square feet.
Amanresorts’ first foray into China is a cocoon of quiet sophistication near the heart of the frenzied capital.
In the iconic Shanghai neighborhood known as the Bund, Les Suites Orient is a minimalist escape—a hotel that’s both smaller in scale (just 125 rooms and 43 suites) and infinitely more understated than its flashy neighbors. The result: a seemingly insulated respite from the Bund’s vibrant hustle.
Muted spa-like rooms (blond-wood furniture; white leather sofas) atop a 66-story skyscraper—the tallest on Chang’an Avenue.