This is a unique hotel set in an ideal location. It's difficult to explain the place, but I'll give it a go...
When we approached the hotel in our taxi we were struck firstly by the absence of any sign marking we were entering a hotel. Instead we were met by armed police and an extremely smart man in a black suit who asked where we wanted to go. We explained that we wanted to check into our hotel and we were then ushered in. As we drove up the drive we passed a group of 3 military-looking police marching towards the gate we had just come through. This seemed slightly unnerving. However, as soon as we reached the reception villa we were pleased to find friendly smiles coming from the staff.
The check-in was quick and superb. We were driven to our villa in a buggy (only a 7 minute walk, but too far with 2 small children and luggage). The room (Garden View Room - 3101) was well equipped but not plush. Flat-screen TV, free internet (not wireless), all the usual 5 star requirements. However, there was a fairly strong smell of smoke. This didn't bother any of us, but might bother some people.
The truly great thing about the hotel is the grounds. It's set right on the lake. One morning we hailed a passing boat to take us on a tour to the islands (300RMB for an hour and a half). The grounds are superbly well manicured and feature some lovely authentic-looking architecture. The hotel is on the opposite side of the lake to the city, so it's very peaceful. Getting into town takes around 15 minutes by taxi. you could walk it in a couple of hours, less at a quick pace.
the restaurant was also really good. There were a couple of vegetarians in our party who found some great dishes in the Chinese restaurant - the fried eggplant with garlic was a delight.
All in all a truly memorable hotel - better than staying in the mainstream establishments that are so often identical to each other!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The hotel was once an old abbey, and has a history over 100 years. It covers an area of 360,000㎡, backed by mountains, surrounded by West Lake, away from the noisy city, it is a resort like paradise. The hotel boasts its Chinese garden and architecture, it is known as “the most famous garden of West Lake”. Luxury hotel rooms, fine food and wine, perfect conference facilities, private music hall and theater, very local characterized lakeside teahouse, luxury yachts and boats, and lawn yoga, all these will let you enjoy a slow life in the world heritage area. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Xihu State Guesthouse Hotel Hangzhou
- Xihu State Hotel