A village resort unlike any other, Banyan Tree Yangshuo is situated in the heart of Guangxi’s iconic limestone cliffs. With the Li river, caves, hills, waterfalls, rice terraces and more nearby, Banyan Tree will make you feel at one with nature, even though bustling Guilin is just a short car ride away. Wake up early to watch the sun rise over the layered cliffs, creating depth and color that make an amateur with a camera seem like a professional photographer.
Just to the south of mainland China is the tropical island province of Hainan. While many travelers choose Hainan’s flashier Yalong Bay, Haitang Bay, in the southernmost city of Sanya, is an up-and-coming alternative that offers better views, bigger waves, fewer tourists, and cheaper prices. The best way to experience them all is at Conrad, a Hilton Hotel located on the white sand beaches.
Built in 1910 as a premiere men’s club for British residents of Shanghai, the building at No. 2 the Bund is now the luxurious Waldorf Astoria. Located directly across from the city’s iconic Lujiazui skyline, the hotel offers guests a stunning city view from every room. Enjoy the meeting of worlds both European and Chinese, old and new, and be a part of history as you experience the dynamism of Shanghai.
With nothing but tea terraces as far as the eye can see, Elite Spring Villas is a zen retreat that celebrates Chinese history and culture. Located in the rural Anxi quarter of Quanzhou, Fujian Province, Elite Spring Villas will make you feel like you’ve traveled back to a time when China was little more than untouched nature. Here, you can bathe in tea-infused hot springs before renting a bike to see how far you can ride before meeting another human. Be ready to ride for a while.
Perched atop the most beautiful rice terraces in China is the humble Apple Tree Inn. Though not a flashy resort, Apple Tree Inn is located right in the middle of an ancient village, offering guests not only convenient access to the rice terraces, but also views of traditional mud houses. Expect few foreign guests onsite, but plenty of Chinese tourists who have been clued in to this hidden gem of a property.
Just a heartbeat away from both the gleaming Canton Tower and the winding Pearl River, Ritz-Carlton Guangzhou is a luxury traveler’s city dream. Located in Guangzhou’s central business district, the hotel is also convenient for business travelers who are looking for a little extra flair. All river view rooms directly overlook the Canton Tower, which is the fourth-tallest freestanding structure in the world.
Xishuangbanna is a Dai autonomous prefecture in the extreme south of Yunnan, bordering Myanmar to the southwest and Laos to the southeast. The prefecture harbors much of the biodiversity of not only Yunnan, but China as a whole, being home to rain forests, rare plants and the last few Asian elephants in the country. Deep in the heart of it all, on the banks of the Luosuo River is Anantara Xishuangbanna Resort and Spa, a haven as rustic as it is elegant.
Set against the backdrop of Lhasa’s iconic Potala Palace, the St. Regis Lhasa Resort offers convenient access to the best that Tibet’s capital city has to offer. Though the name suggests high prices, rooms start as low as a remarkable RMB665, or just over $100. Jokhang Temple, considered to be the most sacred Buddhist site in all of Tibet, is just a twenty minute walk away from the St. Regis, a walk on which travelers can appreciate the city’s rich religious heritage.
Right at the base of Anhui’s charming Yellow Mountains near the historic village of Hongcun sits a hotel that blends in perfectly with the area’s ancient feel. Anyone who has ever seen a traditional Chinese ink painting will instantly recognize the signature look of the Yellow Mountains’ granite cliffs and the iconic way that the clouds hover above the peaks on a rainy day. Given that the mountains are best viewed during sunrise, guests of Banyan Tree Huangshan will have a distinct advantage, as the views that have inspired poems and paintings are just outside every window.
Located in Beijing’s central business district and occupying 22 floors of one of the area’s skyscrapers, Hotel Jen Beijing offers floor to ceiling views of the city’s CCTV Headquarters, known fondly as the “Underpants Building” thanks to its undergarment-esque shape. Hotel Jen is a Shangri-La brand, but luckily comes without the usual hefty price tags. Instead, the hotel comes with a massive fitness center spread over two floors, where young professionals can workout while marveling at Beijing’s beauty.