Banyan Tree Hangzhou
Taking root at the Xixi Wetlands an hour away from downtown Hangzhou, the Banyan Tree here is designed as luxurious hideaway enveloped by gorgeous elements that collectively constitute a Chinese 'yuan' or garden.
One can opt to row out into the Xixi Wetlands park for a leisurely spot of tea with scones and pastries accompanied by Longjing tea, Hangzhou's most popular brew. Bai Yun specialises in Hangzhou and Cantonese cuisine and serves classical dishes like braised pork ribs, West Lake fish stew and bamboo shoots with smoked pork.
No surprises here with the familiar touches of a Banyan Tree establishment. There is an air of classical refinement even though service is friendly and down to earth.
The dream of living in a garden is quintessentially Chinese and here one can live that dream in villas that come with stone baths and rosewood patios. The suites are raised along more modern lines but are nonetheless sumptuously decorated with Chinese accents. The lobby opens to a scene inhabited by graceful willows, streams and arch bridges, a dreamscape that has allured countless since the antiquities. Here stands a fine example of how culture, nature and architecture can blend harmoniously to enhance heritage sites open for developments.