‘Heaven on earth’ Hangzhou straddling the Qiantang River has the repute of being China’s most romantic city, and why not? The city is most known for the lush forests-fringed dreamy West Lake and its willow-lined banks and the mist-swathed hills. However, Hangzhou is also famous for its shíkùmén (stone-gate) architecture, quiet, serene temples, and ornate and ancient pagodas. So, it’s no surprise that travelers throng to Hangzhou, China, and are also spoilt for choices when it comes to choosing hotels to stay. The best hotels in the city meld traditional Chinese elements with contemporary comforts, making for a memorable stay.
That being said, Hangzhou has many neighborhoods and each area has a persona that is as distinct as it is interesting. For instance, the city center is famous for its nightlife and entertainment areas. West Lake is perhaps the city’s most scenic neighborhood and is also home to several pagodas, temples, and museums. The picturesque Shangcheng is all about iconic landmarks and nature preserves. So, while there’s a lot to see and do in Hangzhou, there are a lot of great neighborhoods to stay too.
So, if you’re looking to have a great time in Hangzhou, choosing a great hotel is necessary. Check out the 11 best hotels in Hangzhou, China:
Banyan Tree Hangzhou
Banyan Tree is like a Wu Guanzhong painting that has come to life. The resort is nestled in the lush green folds of the Xixi National Wetlands Park, China’s first wetland reserve. What’s more, it has stunning waterways, romantic bridges, gilded pagodas – and soaring egrets!
An elegant lobby with crimson carpets, standing lamps, and high-beam ceilings immediately cast a sense of calm and serenity. The indulgent Banyan Tree Spa is a great place for a massage or a facial for washing off all and any stresses. Three impressive restaurants satiate all your cravings and the hotel even arranges for special meals all around the picturesque property, whether it’s under a tent or on a boat ride.
Lovely, understated villas with ivory walls and tiled roofs serve as the rooms. Moreover, they all feature beautiful Han murals and antiques. Some of the most luxurious villas on the property are the Water Terrace Suites, the Spa Sanctuary Villa, and the remarkable and jaw-droppingly expansive Presidential Villa. With all these exquisite features, Banyan Tree is indeed Hangzhou’s very own natural hotel wonder.
If the contemporary additions were kept aside, it is easy to mistake Amanfayun like a village from a period movie or better yet, the Qing era. The magical resort sits on the West Lake and is surrounded by tea plantations, bamboo forests, and ancient temples. Moreover, it is a mere 20-minute drive into Hangzhou’s city center.
Staying at the Amanfayun is like a detoxifying experience in a secluded and tranquil haven. The Aman spa deserves special mention, especially because of its age-old, traditional Chinese treatments. The outdoor pool sprinkled with daybeds is the perfect place to spend a laidback day. Even food is a sensual experience here, and one can find everything from European, western, and local fare at the resort’s restaurants. That being said, the wonderful delights of the property go beyond its material amenities. For instance, one can indulge in a morning prayer session with Buddhist monks. What’s more, one can even sip on tea flavors going back centuries at the charming Tea House. However, the showstopper is the late 19th-century Fayun Palace which has a cigar room, lounge, library, and even a revolving art gallery. To top it all, Amanfayun even has a calligraphy artist who offers lessons to guests!
A few of the 47 stone dwellings that serve as Amanfayun’s rooms are over a century old. Visitors can choose between five types of units. However, all of them have the same running theme – ‘tranquility.’ One can expect soft, mood lighting, canopy beds, and elegant but luxurious bathrooms in all rooms, ensuring the highest comfort.
Wushanyi International Youth Hostel
Budget travelers to Hangzhou needn’t worry about burning a hole in their pocket for accommodation. The Wushanyi International Youth Hostel located in the city center is an exceptional option for them to put their feet up in Hangzhou. Wushan Square and other highlights of central Hangzhou are a mere stroll away.
Just like other hostels, guests have the options of mixed-gender and female-only dorms or private rooms, each of which has ensuite bathrooms. Dorms also have individual reading lights, outlets, and lockers as well.
However, the best part about the hostel is its life outside the rooms. The bar/restaurant area is the main hub, which has everything from all-day food, seating, and lounging areas, and even TV and games. It’s also a great place to mingle with fellow travelers and swap travel stories. Moreover, the hostel also provides luggage storage, a travel desk, laundry services, and even bike rental services.
Four Seasons Hotel Hangzhou at West Lake
Nestled in the grand Chinese gardens in West Lake, the Four Seasons Hotel with its traditional Jiang Nan architecture beautifully blends into the landscape. The resort features pagoda-style pavilions and black-tiled roofs and has lily-strewn ponds and bamboo forests surrounding it. What’s more, the buzzing city center of Hangzhou is just 10 minutes away
A lovely white, pagoda-style exterior with traditional dark tiles houses the airy, light-filled lobby. As soon as guests check-in, they can go in for a wonderful gondola ride. The stately courtyard houses the divine infinity pool, while private terraces ensconced in foliage overlook the lush panorama. Additionally, the on-site restaurants serve everything from Cantonese to Hangzhounese cuisine, while sensual and relaxing The Spa looks nothing less than a Chinese palace. While West Lake is a mere five-minute walk, Four Seasons even has complimentary bicycles for people to explore the region.
Moreover, the property builds on the intime aura with just 81 rooms that include three villas and five suites. The spacious rooms all offer spectacular views of the property and feature plush carpets, fluffy beds, and hi-tech mod-cons. The dark-gray-and-beige color palette complements the vibrant throw pillows and fresh flowers wonderfully.
Park Hyatt Hangzhou
One of Hangzhou’s chicest and loftiest hotels is the mesmerizing Park Hyatt. The towering, 49- floor hotel boasts excellent views of the city and its tea-clad hills and mountains beyond. Apart from being located in the heart of the Qianjiang New City, its proximity to two metro lines makes most of Hangzhou accessible quickly.
The hotel’s design is a modern take on the merchant mansion from the Ming era. The lobby is a design marvel and has grey-hued parquetry marble floors, lacquered screens, and floral carpets. Four elevated lounges and restaurants satisfy any and all cravings, including Chinese dim sums. Moreover, the competent concierge suggests excellent activities, right from museum visits to tea picking ones. The sensuous black-granite swimming pool makes for a tempting place to just take in the lush scenery, while the well-equipped gym is great for working off all those extra calories.
Traditional Chinese flourishes like hand-painted Chinese lacquer cabinets for minibars, lake-blue plush carpets, and cherry-blossom patterned headboards embellish the rooms. A slew of mod-cons and deluxe white marble bathrooms lend the contemporary factor.
Relais & Chateaux Chaptel Hangzhou
The vintage Chaptel Hangzhou lies right next to the picturesque West Lake, surrounded by its cluster of gardens, pavilions, and pagodas. The elegant boutique hotel is housed in an original brick shikumen mansion and is the perfect place to experience the rich local culture.
This oasis of a hotel blends traditional Chinese 1930s culture with mod-cons while retaining the original appearance of the vintage structures. Timeworn walls surround the hotel, which is nothing less than living history. Guests can choose from 17 luxury suites, each of which is housed in two/three-storied vintage buildings. Most of them have independent patios and balconies, a large living room, and lots of lovely rooms upstairs. Moreover, the main suites boast of Art Deco ornaments that blend beautifully with the traditional Chinese furniture.
Even though it’s a boutique hotel that focuses on the experience, Chaptel still has a fitness center. What’s more, the hotel also organizes leisure and adventurous activities for those staying here, like biking, hiking, and even private tours.
Hangzhou Rose Garden Resort & Spa
If you’re looking for a secluded and serene spot away from the bustle of Hangzhou, you’d do well to choose the Rose Garden Resort & Spa. The lovely resort not only lies on the banks of the Qiantang River but also on the southern fringes of the lush West Lake region. This also places it just 10 minutes away from West Lake and just half-an-hour from central Hangzhou along the river itself.
Even though its a boutique resort, Rose Garden has a plethora of relaxing and luxurious amenities. Enjoy Hangzhounese and Cantonese cuisines in the eight dining rooms or the restaurant. There’s even a British Bar where one can dig into Asian/American/Continental buffet breakfast. Two indoor and outdoor swimming pools with daybeds are great for a swim when the weather is hotter, while the spa center is pampering to the hilt. Moreover, the fitness center will beckon you to work out, what with its full-length windows that have pool views. Those on business will also find the conference rooms and meeting spaces great.
Furthermore, the rooms at Rose Garden are spacious and feature comfy beds, writing desks, ensuite bathrooms, and lots of mod-cons. Moreover, the mountain-view rooms also feature balconies with spectacular views of the river and West Lake too.
Tea Boutique Hotel
Those looking to delve into China’s fascinating tea culture will find no better place to stay than the Tea Boutique Hotel in Hangzhou. Featuring a Japanese-Chinese minimalist spirit, this tea-themed accommodation is Chinese tea culture at its best. The hotel’s location is pleasantly secluded and lies right across from the Yellow Dragon Scenic Spot along West Lake.
As soon as they step in, guests are given a cup of gongfu tea that is as healthy as it is sweet and refreshing. The staff is not only friendly but also extremely knowledgable of Chinese tea and culture. Apart from offering a range of Chinese tea, the hotel also boasts tea-themed artwork, heavy wood furnishings, soft, accented lighting, and a muted color palette to create a relaxing ambiance. A decadent Thai-style spa is a perfect space to stay put on a laidback day or get a massage after a long day of exploring Hangzhou. The cherry on top is the Hangzhou-style gourmet food served at the restaurant.
Similarly, the 43 boutique rooms at this tea-themed hotel feature elements of the Chinese tea culture. Complimentary local green tea, comfy, fluffy beds, hi-tech mod-cons, and luxe ensuite bathrooms seal the deal.
Midtown Shangri-La is much like the eponymous paradise it takes its name from. The Hangzhou hotel boasts a jaw-dropping off-white facade and sits amidst lush, open-air courtyards. It sits on the northeastern edge of West Lake and is also a fantastic base to explore the top 12 things to do in Hangzhou.
On the inside, a glittering chandelier that reflects the ripples of the lake is a showstopper in the dramatic lobby. The hotel is peppered with striking avant-garde artwork, classic Chinese landscape paintings, and traditional silk screens. Unwind in Chi the Spa by getting a pampering facial or a foot reflexology massage. What’s more, the 13-story hotel also features steam rooms, a sauna, Jacuzzi, a fully-equipped gym, and a dreamy swimming pool. Four romantic restaurants are there to take care of all and any cravings. Also, the best way to begin your day is by digging into the complimentary breakfast buffet which is a hearty spread.
Rooms at the Shangri-la reflect its luxe aesthetic. While the Deluxe rooms with marble bathrooms and floor-to-ceiling windows are great, the Specialty Suites have the best views of West lake. The swoon-worthy rooms also have hi-tech mod-cons for ultimate comfort.
East Hotel Hangzhou
When it comes to merging styles of east and west, no one does it as the East Hotel. The boutique hotel beautifully melds western comfort aspects with traditional Chinese culture, making for a unique relaxing environment.
So, what makes the East Hotel so special? For one, guests are welcomed with a warm, soothing cup of Longjin tea. They can even visit the lovely teahouse, which serves a host of varieties of Chinese tea. Moreover, the hotel even has a cozy library, barbeque facilities, and bicycles available for rent for exploring the neighborhood. The on-site restaurant serves delicious Hangzhounese cuisine. To top it all, one also has lots of options for breakfast, and can even have it in the snug confines of their room.
Even accommodations at the East Hotel are one of a kind. The room designs are inspired by the four seasons of Jiang Nan region and feature soothing shades of white and green. The furnishings are nostalgic and elegant at the same time. Likewise, the artistic LED screen wall is both contemporary and classical and exhibits the modern East-meets-West style.
The Azure Qiantang
if you don’t want to worry about lifting a finger while staying in Hangzhou, the Azure Qiantang is your heaven on earth. In spite of lying in the buzzing Shangcheng District, a wonderful sense of calm envelops the blue-themed property.
The lobby of the Azure Qiantang is a jaw-dropping art masterpiece. The cathedral ceilings are painted in shades of the namesake azure. It also features a glorious selection of Chinese ceramics, for which Hangzhou, China is famous. A palatial pool overlooks the gardens and is the perfect place for a heavenly dip. The hotel also has one of Hangzhou’s best fitness centers, along with a steam room and a sauna. Moreover, tea lovers will love to indulge in the splendid selection of teas available here. To top it all, there’s a bilingual concierge who will take care of all and any Hangzhou questions that you might have. The icing on the cake is that the Azure Qiantang is from where you can catch the best views of the monthly tidal bore to sweep the Qiantang River. This quirky phenomenon is the largest of its kind in the world!
Rooms at the hotel radiate a Zen-like ambiance with crisp white linens, floor-to-ceiling windows, and vivid splashes of the blue hue. The marble bathrooms with bathtubs are the ultimate place to relax after a long day.
Recommended Restaurants / Bars in Hangzhou:
- Hyatt 28: This restaurant has continually featured on the list of ‘Asia’s top 50 restaurants.’ It is famous for traditional Hang dishes like the Dongpo pork pyramid.
- Eudora Station: This lakeside bar is a favorite due to its fabulous outdoor rooftop terrace.
Recommended Activities In Hangzhou:
- Hangzhou – Full-Day Picturesque Tour: Explore some of the most beautiful attractions in Hangzhou including pagodas, tea plantations, lakes, and temples.
- Hangzhou Tea Culture Tour: No visit to Hangzhou is complete without delving into its fascinating tea culture. This tour takes you to tea villages, plantations, and museums and tells you all about how tea is produced and made.