Nestled between a turquoise lake and jade green bamboo forests, Alila Anji captivates with magnificent views and a geographical air so rarefied and genteel, it offers a complete escapade from the modern world.
The most delicious bowl of beef noodle we've savoured in China was served to us at Lake View, the hotel's main restaurant which also serves wonderfully flavoured hot pots in the colder months. Hidden Dragon dishes out delightful Zhejiang cuisine with grand views. Spa Alila has treatment rooms that may look a tad sombre with black marble and grey brick walls but delivers excellent massages within. Unusually, guests are served nourishing double boiled soups after their massage treatments instead of the usual tea and fruits.
Excellent service by key personnel - the best housekeeping, concierge and restaurant staffs, somehow sullied by one or two unsmiling, unaccommodating and unthinking individuals - a sad trend that continues to plague China's top service providers.
The villas are by far the most spacious we've encountered in China and are tastefully decorated with Chinese elements like rolling blinds and embroidered panels. Endowed with unforgettable vistas, these are indeed perfect havens to while away life's summer haze. One can indeed spend days in these grand and lavish villas reveling in complete seclusion and intimacy or explore local attractions that offer glimpses into China's rural heart. Amidst rustic and luxurious elements so brilliantly harmonised, every memory of this exquisite hideaway, from foggy mornings to the blazing sunsets, will be well cherished.