China’s luxury accommodations have kept pace with its meteoric development - when we first toured in 1994, the range of luxury hotels was limited and the quality disappointing. Nowadays, the choice is broader, and it has become common for a new hotel to garner several prestigious international awards as part of making its mark on a far more sophisticated market. Particularly in cities such as Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong, China offers a smorgasbord of top quality luxury hotels such that you can easily find one right for you. Meanwhile, lesser-known destinations such as Guilin and Hangzhou already feature uniquely wonderful properties, and given China’s growth, it won’t be long before many other interior destinations follow suit.
When you receive an itinerary from us, please take special note of the room categories detailed for your trip. Based on the information you supply, we will attempt to match you to the right room in the right property. On many occasions, that will mean that we are not assigning you to an entry level room – this is something you should pay attention to when comparing itineraries.
The Peninsula - Shanghai
With the opening of the new Peninsula, Shanghai makes its case for first class hostelry. When paired with the superlative Park Hyatt across the Huangpu river, these two excellent and complimentary properties put Shanghai on a par with cities like New York, Tokyo, London and Paris for quality. A cursory comparison of their price point against their competitors highlights the unparalleled value for money that China is able to offer at the high end of the luxury market. (Apologies to those who feel it is tautological to specify that luxury can have a high end.
Given the history of the Kadoorie family in Shanghai - Sir Ellis Kadoorie, the patriarch made his fortune here - the new Peninsula was always going to be a passionate affair. History so oozes from this property’s pores - from the 1920’s Schindler elevator to the Art Deco glassware - that any visitor will be amazed to learn this is a new build in the grounds of the former British consulate. Evoking the same period as its iconic sister property in Hong Kong, the Shanghai Peninsula adds the benefits of the latest room technology with features such as low cost, IP telephone calling and free internet service. Aficionados of the gorgeous Tokyo property will recognize the room layout with a dressing room and bathroom either side of the entry hallway giving way to a generously-sized and graciously-appointed bedroom.
For more information on the Shanghai Peninsula Hotel, visit their website.
Park Hyatt - Shanghai
Satiating all the senses with the height of contemporary sophistication, the Shanghai Park Hyatt evokes the same aristocratic art de vivre of a Parisian Grand Palais, and so it is no surprise to find a French General Manager at the helm. This is a property of superlatives, from the lofty ceiling height of its Diplomatic Suites to the panoramic cityscapes accented by the room design. One would expect the tallest-hotel in the world, with a lobby on the 87th floor, taking in breathtaking views of the city, to be impersonal and imposing rather than residential and personal in character, however apart from investing in incredible hardware, a lot of work has clearly gone into creating a professional but personable service ethos. Tony Chi, the American Chinese designer, was clearly not tasked with anything other than producing excellence at any price. From the subtle accents of its leather-bound walls to the intricate flower arrangements in its corridors to the exquisite fineness of its contemporary art, this hotel displays a proprietor in love with the best of the best in hostelry.
For more information on the Shanghai Park Hyatt, visit their website.
Hyatt Hotel - Shanghai (A Virtuoso Property)
The Grand Hyatt is one of those places that will put you in awe of the changes taking place in China. Occupying the 53rd to the 87th floors, the Grand Hyatt has set worldwide standards of luxury and sophistication which remain unrivalled. Floor to ceiling windows afford guests views from every point in the hotel, whether it be from your seat at one of the gourmet restaurants or from the bath of your hotel room. Incorporating such Chinese elements as bronze sculptures scattered throughout the lobby or grid work in the ceiling patterns, the design and architecture is ultra contemporary without being anodyne. Your stay at this amazing hotel may become as much a topic of conversation as your visits to the Forbidden Palace or the Great Wall.
To read about the Shanghai Grand Hyatt Hotel in greater detail,
please visit its website.
Four Seasons Hotel - Shanghai
The delight of Shanghai's Four Seasons Hotel stems from its familiarity.
The calm lobby, spacious bedrooms and marble-lined bathrooms boast
the ready comfort and muted elegance characteristic of Four Seasons
Hotels around the world. The hotel's immediately recognisable circumstances
and superior service make it a wonderful platform to begin your
day in Shanghai. The skill of the spa personnel make it a fantastic
place to return to in the evening!
To learn more about this Four Seasons Hotel, please click here.
The Mansion Boutique Hotel - Shanghai
Situated in the old French concession quarter of Shanghai, the Mansion is this city's first heritage boutique hotel. The 32 guest bedrooms are housed in a mansion, designed by French artchitect Lafayette in 1932. This was a period when Shanghai, swinging to the tunes of Russian émigrés dance and jazz bands, was one of the wealthiest sea ports in the world. This palatial residence was originally commissioned by Jin Ting Sun, a cohort of the infamous Shanghai gangster Big Eared Du.Guests should note that since this property is an elegant low-rise mansion in the heart of the French concession, there will be more street noises heard from the bedrooms than in a more conventional high-rise city hotel.
Hotel - Beijing (A Virtuoso Property)
The reason Raffles' new hotel is such an exciting opening is that
it is inside the only historic hotel property in the capital. The
Grand Hotel de Pekin, as it was known in the 1900's, hosted such
visiting celebrities as George Bernard-Shaw, Sun Yat Sen and Henri
Cartier-Bresson. Located centrally, the Forbidden City is a short
stroll away. The combination of this beautifully restored period
building with Raffles' exacting service makes this hotel, opened
in late 2006, a powerful competitor in Beijing's luxury hotel scene.
To inspect Raffles Beijing in more detail, please
visit the hotel website.
Park Hyatt - Beijing
The tallest hotel in Beijing, towering over a historic transport artery in the heart of the Central Business District (CBD), the Park Hyatt offers the most spectacular views over the modern megalopolis. With public areas, including an extensive hi-tech spa, designed by Super Potato and generously-sized bedrooms echoing the Mandarin Landmark Hotel by Peter Remedios, there is no questioning the pedigree of its interiors. The stylish “China Grill”, offering 360 degree views, created by visionary Head Chef, Jack Aw Yeong, was the first Park Hyatt restaurant in China to offer the option of savoring a wide variety of cooking styles, whether international, Chinese or Japanese, at the one same table. The glamour of the property is summed up by one of the best-stocked champagne bars in town. Sipping champagne on the 66th floor is one of Beijing’s highlights.
To read more about the Beijing Park Hyatt hotel,
please click here for it's website.
Aman-Summer Palace - Beijing
The graceful characteristics of many Aman properties are epitomized by this resort located within the traditional parameter and courtyards of the Imperial Summer Palace. The original purpose of these buildings was to provide temporary quarters for visiting dignitaries whilst they awaited an audience with the Dowager Empress or young Emperor. Aman facilitated the restoration of the architectural structures, exteriors and murals to their original Qing dynasty splendor. They opted for the simpler elegance of Ming dynasty furniture and fittings for the fully renovated interiors, upgraded with all the mod-cons expected of a five-star luxury hotel. With a private entrance into the Imperial Summer Palace, guests are on the doorstep of this World Heritage listed site.
Click here to visit the Beijing Aman Summer Palace website.
Grand Hyatt Hotel - Beijing
The Hyatt's latest property in China is located within the spectacular
Oriental Plaza, a show-piece development of Hong Kong's legendary
rags to riches business tycoon, Li Kai Shing. It benefits from the
amenities of a luxury shopping mall and is within easy walking distance
of Wangfujing, Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City. The rooms
and public areas of Beijing's Grand Hyatt are chic and modern, their
linear elegance adorned with vases of lilies and orchids. The hotel
houses some of the best restaurants in Beijing, including Da Giorgio's
for Italian and Noble Court for delicious dimsum as well as, of
course, its Grand Cafe's well-loved buffets. A final highlight is
the hotel's palm-tree lined pool and minimalist spa, magnificent
for creating a space inside an urban center that recreates the tropical
serenity of a luxury Bali hotel.
More information about the Grand Hyatt is available
from its website.
Peninsula Hotel - Hong Kong (A Virtuoso Property)
The Kadoorie family, which continues to own the Peninsula
Hotel group, has a long standing history in China. The Kadoories
were already operating both the world-famous Palace and Astor Hotels
in Shanghai when they opened the Peninsula Hotel in Hong Kong in
the 1920's. Although it might be tempting for such owners to rely
on their impeccable pedigree to promote their hotel, they have continually
invested in it, such that The Peninsula Hotel has become a byword
for excellent service, comfort and style. The hotel's restaurants,
lobby, spa, rooms and service continue to receive the highest plaudits
around the world.
Learn more about this prestigious hotel by visiting website.
Intercontinental Hotel - Hong Kong (A Virtuoso Property)
What the Intercontinental lacks in pedigree, it makes
up for in location on Hong Kong's harbor front. Its comfortably-appointed
rooms and suites offer stunning and expansive vistas across the
waters of the contemporary skyscrapers for which Hong Kong island
is famed. The hotel's facilities meet in every respect the expectations
one might have of a Virtuoso property. In addition, "Spoon",
the hotel's latest restaurant by Alain Ducasse, is causing a stir.
To browse through the Intercontinental Hotel's website,
With few exceptions, especially in secondary cities, it is axiomatic that the newest hotel is the best available. The Xian Sofitel is the newest five-star leisure hotel in Xi’an, and as such its hardware is second to none. Although some service elements can on occasion be wanting, the gap between it and its nearest competitor is so great as to trivialize this issue. The Sofitel is contained in a new wing of a collection of historic buildings in a central and convenient city location. Accor, the French holding company, has installed some of its lower-pitched hotel brands in neighboring buildings, and has established a customer base large enough to justify five different restaurants at the various properties.
For more information on the Sofitel in Xian, please visit the hotel's website.
Of Modern Art - Guilin Area
The dream of a Taiwanese tycoon, the Hotel of Modern Art represents
one element of a massive project dedicated to the promotion of the
contemporary arts and environment in China. An international arts
center, exhibition center and a huge atelier are incorporated within
the delightful 1,500 acres of land, strewn with modern sculptures
by artists from 47 countries. The hotel, only recently opened, has
applied for a five-star rating.
Hangzhou Aman Fayun Resort
Aman has taken a wonderfully aesthetic approach to its latest China resort, the Hangzhou Aman Fayun. The resort is named after an ancient village nestled between Tortoiseshell Bamboo groves and 14 hectares of low hills terraced with tea bushes. Aman has preserved 47 original dwellings of the village and restored its traditional exteriors to pristine condition. Meanwhile the interiors offer comfort, elegant Chinese furnishings and the modern conveniences of the twenty-first century. A TV and a music system will be brought to the room…upon request. Otherwise, travelers are meant to enjoy the intrinsic beauty of the village, and replace their IPods with the susurrations of the wind through the bamboo groves and the trickling stream nearby; Gentle paths are organized through the luxuriant vegetation to any of the 7 Buddhist temples in the nearby hills. And if guests wish to venture out, they will find that it takes but twenty minute's drive to break Aman’s spell for the real world beyond the village.
To learn more about Aman Fayun, please visit its website.
Regency Hotel - Hangzhou
This brand new five star hotel, set on the eastern shore of West
Lake, offers tremendous views over the lake. Every evening, there
is a fountain display, reminiscent of the Bellagio Hotel in Las
Vegas, by the water's edge. The quality of the decoration and food
at the hotel's cafe and Chinese restaurant are in keeping with this
city's reputation for fine dining, while its bedrooms and accompanying
bathrooms have set a new standard in this city. Additionally, the
hotel's location within a recently developed pedestrian area has
been deemed sufficiently smart to attract the interest of the world's
leading luxury brands.
To learn more about this property, please visit its website.
© Imperial Tours, October 2009