Itching for a stay at a hot China hotel? Condé Naste Traveler has released its Hot List Hotels 2010, and the Asia segment of its list includes six to-die-for China hotels offering toe-curling delights, luxuries and services both at the heart of bustling cities and in secluded retreats far from the strains of the day to day. Click the link for the full list of Condé Naste's Hot List Hotels Asia, or simply read on to see what's causing buzz this year in China's hotel industry.
1. The Amanfayun Hangzhou is a great place for a romantic getaway. A gorgeous little property hidden in a picturesque valley, the Amanfayun's serene surroundings include tea fields, natural bamboo forests, quaint villages and a pilgrimage circuit of five significant Buddhist temples.
Guests will find traditional reflexology foot and hand massages on offer, but they can also opt for a trip to the bath house for treatment rooms equipped with circular wooden soaking tubs, rain showers, steam rooms and double-seated showers.
This secluded retreat is only a 20-minute drive along bamboo and tree-lined avenues from the center of Hangzhou. Once described by Marco Polo as "The city of heaven" Hangzhou is still today regarded as one of the most beautiful cities in China with its tranquil West Lake scenes, numerous pagodas, historic temples, botanical gardens and vast wetland areas.
2. The Fairmont Beijing is exceptionally well situated for the business jet set, neighbored as it is by Fortune 500 companies and premier office towers at the center of Beijing. Inside the hotel's gate-form architecture are natural light-filled interiors accented by contemporary Chinese artworks, including a 52-foot-long glass sculpture of a fish, a Chinese symbol of wealth and prosperity.
Behind the gold and roseate colored floor-to-ceiling windows are rooms and suites designed to reflect a blend of traditional and contemporary Chinese style, with state-of-the-art amenities. Those with a more exclusive experience in mind will find the Fairmont Gold levels on the hotel’s skybridge caters to their every need.
Of course, no great hotel is complete without fantastic dining. In the chic Lunar 8, guests will find inspired crispy Peking Duck, while The CUT serves delicious Wagyu beef. After dinner, enjoy the evening with a glass of bubbly in the seductive Champagne Bar.
3. In the UNESCO World Heritage listed city of Pingyao, renowned for a transporting ambiance created by the city's extraordinary Ming and Qing-dynasty era residences and massive walls, you'll find Jing's Residence. A 19-room boutique established in a former siheyuan (courtyard home) of a wealthy Qing Dynasty silk merchant, the hotel's design is in perfect harmony with its historic surroundings.
Well situated for exploring the old city's charms and a host of Pingyao attractions both inside and outside its battlements, the residence encompasses a series of grey-brick pavilions built around a set of four courtyards in the authentic architectural style of northern China. Outside of each pavilion are tables and chairs for guests to relax in while enjoying a good read or pot of tea while soaking up the area's vibrant historical character.
4. Shanghai's newly revamped top attraction, the Bund, plays host to a number of fine hotels, including the newly opened Fairmont Peace Hotel and the Waldorf Astoria Shanghai (though neither have all their rooms and facilities open yet). Among these, it's the Peninsula Shanghai that's won out this year and for good reason. With Michelin-starred chefs, rooftop bars and restaurants, an exceptional spa, and rooms outfitted with every modern luxury imaginable, the Peninsula is the place to stay to enjoy the city's best views as well as top-notch services.
Even the Peninsula's entry level rooms feature 46" flat screen TV's, work desks with iPod connectivity; spa-like bathrooms featuring mood-lighting, TVs, phone access, double vanities and rainforest showers; while Peninsula-engineered beds ensure wonderful sleep uninterrupted by outside noises thanks to triple-thickness glass windows.
5. An urban resort concept in Shanghai's fashionable Jing'An district, the Puli Hotel and Spa offers stunning views, fabulous designs, an indoor infinity pool and a superb Anantara Spa. With its wonderfully serene atmosphere in the middle of Shanghai's metropolitan cacophony, the Puli has oft made a name for itself with its superlative services and eye-catching interiors.
Spacious rooms come outfitted with 32-inch LCD TVs, Bose wave music systems with iPod docking stations, true high-speed wireless internet access, Nespresso coffee machines and rain showers. With all these modern gadgets and creature comforts at your fingertips, you'll probably need a very good reason just to step out of doors.
6. With its smallest rooms coming in at a voluminous 730 square feet, enormous by Hong Kong standards, the Upper House is an oasis of calming design and effortless enjoyment right downtown, situated as it is 38 stories above the Pacific Place retail complex.
With its well-trained staff keeping kinks at a minimum, guests have more time to enjoy the hotel's Andre Fu-designed public spaces and guestrooms. Neutral earth tones and textures in the hotel's abundant bamboo, shoji glass and Bedonia stone keep the mood highly refined and relaxed, but guests can still get a rush from the panoramic views at window seats in the 49th-floor lounge. Stellar views of the Hong Kong skyline can also be enjoyed from deep soaking tubs in rooms, which are angled specifically so that guests can luxuriate to the sight of endless city lights.
Once you get hungry, see what Chef Gray Kunz is cooking up. He has the critics all a-buzz with his new Café Gray Deluxe, his most recent endeavor after winning a Michelin star for his Café Gray in New York City.