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Best Hotels in China

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About China

China is about as big at the US geographically, and the landscape it covers is so varied that it’s not worth commencing a list of what you can see here. Its recorded history is among the oldest in the world, with dramatic twists and turns that have shaped the look of the country as well as the architecture and the culture. But if you think about China as just vast, or solely as being the world’s oldest continual civilisation and a treasure trove of historic sights and treasures, you’re missing the modern face of China with its huge, glass-fronted skyscrapers and technological ingenuity. Basically there’s a huge amount to see here. Whether you want to plan your visit in minute detail fitting in as many Heritage Listed treasures as you can, or you just want to see what happens, you’ll be kept busy. With all this choice it’s worth trying to make a few choices in advance, and choosing the best places to stay in China is something we can help with.

From the best hotels in China’s major cities to the best places to stay to see China’s pandas, or the Great Wall, we hopefully have something to get you started.

Where to Stay?

  • Beijing is a dynamic city, a place strung between its glorious ancient history, its rather dramatic recent history and its ever-changing place in the modern world. And now is a great time to visit. There’s a sense of momentum and reinvention, with skyscrapers designed by world-renowned architects springing up close to ancient temples, palaces and brutalist Communist monuments. And the hútòngs, with their seemingly bottomless history of commerce and hospitality, are getting a hip makeover.
  • Shanghai seems somehow more like the China you imagine from the old days of exotic trade and travel. It has modern skyscrapers aplenty, but it also has some beautiful old architecture, and it’s in the old town that you find a few of our recommendations for the best places to stay in China, close to the Yùyuán Gardens and the central markets. We also love the Art Deco treasures of The Bund, which was Shanghai’s answered to Wall Street. Shanghai is busy and energetic and your trip here probably will be too.
  • Xi’an, the eastern end of the Silk Road, is ancient. There’s been a city here, in the Shaanxi Province for around three thousand years, and this was China’s capital for 73 different emperors, over the course of about a thousand years. For somewhere so ancient there’s not a huge amount to show, but what Xi’an does have is a vast army of life size Terracotta Warriors, waiting with their horses, around 30kms east of town. Xi’an also has the world’s largest city wall, 12metres high, 18metres wide at the bottom and almost 14kms long. Xi’an also has some of China’s best museums.
  • Chengdu is a laid-back city on the sprawling Chengdu Plain, a place perfect for panda-lovers and those with an interest in Chinese history. Chengdu is properly ancient, it’s been here since about the 4th century BC, and at one stage it was the capital, so it has some incredible architecture and ancient treasures. Chengdu is also known for its food, especially its teahouse culture, but for many people the highlight will be the Giant Panda Conservation Centre.
  • Suzhou is another ex-capital with a rich, dynastic history. China’s preeminent city during the Ming and Quing dynasties, it’s been beautifully and carefully laid out around a series of canals, sprinkled with elegant bridges, and lined in places by gardens and pagodas, and is frequently compare to Venice. This is also a region known for its temples. Perfect if you’re interested in China’s cultural history. The markets are good too.
  • Nanjing, on the Yangtze River, has been the capital too: the name means ‘southern capital’ to Beijing’s ‘northern capital’. This was the capital for the Ming emperors, starting from around six hundred years ago, and its Ming mausoleums are one of its great sights. Nanjing’s city wall is another impressive sight, and it has a number of excellent museums.
  • Guilin is a city in an incredibly scenic spot in North Guangxi. Thus Guilin is beautiful too, with its two rivers, one being the Yangtze, and four lakes and sheer, karst mountains as a view. Guilin is also close to some of China’s most scenic sights, the Li River, the Longji rice terraces at Longshen and Yangshuo, a fantastic centre for exploring the local caves in the incredible karst mountains. Guilin’s main industry is tourism, and there are numerous Western-style hotels, but this is also a very popular spot for Chinese travellers.
  • Hangzhou, in Zhejiang, is another very popular city for tourists. It’s also known for its natural beauty, especially its West Lake, which has been much lauded in Chinese art and culture. Hangzhou is another city that serves as China’s capital, for around 150 years, so time to build some really elegant bridges, pagodas and temples.
  • Guangzhou is separated from the rest of China by a a mountain range, it’s on the Hong Kong side, and large, busy and liberal by Chinese standards. This was one of the first Chinese cities to have connection with the rest of the world, and it’s still a great point to see the meeting of old and new. Guangzhou is also fantastic if you love a market and you love to try new food.
  • If you want to see the huge Buddha at Mount Emei you’ll want to look for accommodation in Leshan.
  • If you want to climb Mount Tai, one of the five sacred Daoist mountains in China, you’ll want to stay in Tai’an.
  • If you want to see the Yúngāng Grottoes, one of the best places to stay in China would be Datong.
  • And if you want to see China’s beaches visit Hainan.

Use our guide to the best places to stay in China and start planning your trip to this fascinating, ancient land.

The Best Places to Stay in China

Some of the Most Historic Hotels

  • Shanghai’s Amanyangyun is an Aman offering converted from villas originally built in the Ming and Qing dynasties. Decorated in a traditional style, and embellished with modern luxuries. The facilities go beyond the normal, from private bathhouses to Italian restaurants.
  • The Fairmont Peace Hotel on the Bund is Shanghai’s most iconic art-deco building. Offering a heavenly blend of imperial charm and artistic splendour, this hotel takes you back to the halcyon days of 1930s Shanghai. Full of magnificent things, enjoy an evening at the hotel's famous piano bar and be spoilt for choice with the hotel's six superb restaurants.
  • Recalling the glory days of Shanghai, The Peninsula Shanghai is an imperious establishment. With everything from private yachts to a fleet of vintage cars, the hotel spares no expense for its guests. An unforgettable place to stay.
  • Jing’s Residence is within the walls of the historic walled city of Pingyao, a charming, beautifully preserved property with 19 cosy rooms and a restaurant specialising in the local cuisine. Taking tea in their beautiful courtyard is romantic and memorable.
  • The Zen Urban Resort is a boutique hotel in downtown Chengdu, with an emphasis on Zen philosophy. Elegant rooms line the modern gallery which surrounds the hotel's interior courtyard. Designed in line with Zen principles, suites feature wooden floors, low-lying beds and a seating area with traditional tea. A charming hotel.

For a City Break

  • Shanghai’s The Waterhouse at South Bund embodies a stylish, contemporary aesthetic. Designed by the city's in vogue Neri and Hu, this former concrete dockhouse has been transformed into a boutique delight. Stunning rooms are adorned with artwork by Tracey Emin and Arne Jacobsen and its restaurant is amongst the finest in Shanghai. A stellar option.
  • Occupying the top 29 floors of the Jing An skyscraper, Jing An Shangri La is perfect for those looking for a room with a view. Boasting all the modern luxuries you could ask for, this hotel offers a superb blend of Chinese culture and western hospitality.
  • Chengdu’s The Temple House is a stylish hotel offering clever designer rooms, transforming old bones into a swish modern hotel where high end luxury comes as standard. Plus there's a choice of beautiful bars and restaurants on site.

The Most Romantic Hotels in China

  • Luxury materials and contemporary style converge at the St Regis Chengdu, steps away from Tianfu Square. In the suites, cherry blossom carpets add warmth and local flavour to the predominantly modern design while mini chaise longues add a romantic, regal feel. Have afternoon tea at Decanter before visiting the spa - just the two of you.
  • Tonino Lamborghini does sound more Italy than China, and it certainly encompasses Italian style into the traditional Chinese design of this 92 room hotel. It’s right on the banks of Jinji Lake, which is a short drive from Suzhou, in the perfect spot for beautiful evening strolls before supper at Danny’s restaurant, a gourmet French affair with an impressive wine list.

For Foodies

  • Le Passage Mohkan is your quintessential French colonial summer escape: a 40 room bolthole spa in a beautiful, green valley, with a celebrity chef and a heated spring water pool. Come here to indulge.
  • Also just outside Shanghai, but in the Minhang District, Amanyangyun is a collection of Ming and Qing Dynasty villas turned 47 room Aman hotel. In addition to the extraordinary decor and modern luxury there’s a private bathhouse and an impressive Italian restaurant.
  • The Langham in central Shanghai has super stylish interiors. But the real reason to visit this excellent hotel is for its divine Cantonese restaurant: T'ang Court. The recipient of three Michelin stars, it's one of the world's finest purveyors of Cantonese food.

Some of the Best Places to Stay Outside China’s Cities

  • The Banyan Tree Huangshan is a smart, comfortable resort where traditional Chinese architecture meets Western-style comfort. But it’s the setting which really elevates it: in the foothills of mist-moated mountains, which appear to be floating. This is a large resort, close to some great sights, perfect for hikers too.
  • The Four Seasons Hangzhou at West Lake in Xihu Qu, is right on the lake of the UNESCO-listed West Lake. It has grand, spacious interiors, with a definitely Chinese feel to the architecture and the decor. And the hotel is surround by beautiful gardens.

For Families

  • The Brickyard is a fantastic base for exploring one of the lesser visited sections of the Great Wall of China. Originally a tile factory, this 25 room hotel has been sympathetically restored and its accommodation is smart and comfortable. Some rooms have incredible panoramic views of the wall from their terraces. No phones or TVs in the rooms.

For great value

  • Chengdu’s Buddha Zen Hotel immerses guests in Buddhist culture in a traditional property neighbouring Tianfu Square. Guestrooms line an ornate wooden gallery surrounding the interior courtyard. Simplicity and elegance prevail in the suites, which feature Buddhist artwork. Unwind in the hotel spa; a city sanctuary.

Prefer an Apartment or Villa?

  • If you’d prefer to stay in an apartment or private villa we recommend you visit our online partner, booking.com.

Travel Information

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See all » 10 hôtels in Chengdu

  • Zen Urban Resort Chengdu (Wuhou) 80 rooms from £27

    City Style  -  This urban resort makes a stylish city break, with a great location close to the best of Sichuan's famous restaurants
    Local exploring  -  Guests love this hotel's location, conveniently situated between the city's main attractions and the best eateries
    Romantic Break  -  Couples rate this Zen hotel highly; book a Queen Room for extra living space
    Sights nearby  -  Visit the landmark Chengdu Anshun Bridge, a covered bridge that crosses the Jin River and hosts a number of popular restaurants
    Air conditioningRestaurantDisabled accessParkingNo pets

    Zen philosophy is the basis for this boutique hotel in downtown Chengdu. Elegant rooms line the modern gallery which surrounds the hotel's interior courtyard. Designed in line with Zen principles, suites feature wooden floors, low-lying beds and a seating area with traditional tea. A charming hotel. See More

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  • Dorsett Chengdu Chengdu (Qingyang) 556 rooms from £44

    Local exploring  -  Guests love the location of this hotel, set apart from the city centre chaos while offering great transport links
    Romantic Break  -  Book a luxury suite at this hotel for a romantic soaking tub behind modern-style Shoji screens
    City Style  -  The contemporary, Asian-inspired interior design at this hotel gives it a local Chengdu charm
    Sights nearby  -  Visit the Wenshu Monastery, a traditional Buddhist monastery with ancient architecture located close to the hotel
    Air conditioningRestaurantDisabled accessParkingNo pets

    This luxury hotel is nestled in the historic Luomashi district of Chengdu. Spacious rooms blend modern design with Asian accents seen in the lattice detail and textured wallpaper. In the suites, Shoji screen-style doors lead to a bathtub. Sample Sichuan cuisine at the restaurant; a chic stay. See More

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See all » 8 hôtels in Shanghai

  • Les Suites Orient Shanghai 168 rooms from £107

    City Style  -  With fabulous city views and chic suites this is the perfect city crash pad.
    Sights nearby  -  Visit the famous Buddhist shrine, Jade Buddha Temple.
    Great walks  -  Take a stroll through the picturesque Yuyuan Garden.
    Views  -  Great views from hotel
    Air conditioningRestaurantDisabled accessViewsNo pets
    Recommended by  -  Tablet

    A smart hotel towering over the fashionable Bund area. Spacious suites benefit from floor to ceiling windows, fabulous views and contemporary Chinese design. Dine in style in your own private dining room or sip on a cocktail in the lounge. A spoiling stay. See More

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  • The Waterhouse at South Bund Shanghai (Huangpu) 19 rooms from £132

    Sights nearby  -  The Old Wharf and Yu Garden are both under five minutes walk.
    Great walks  -  Shanghai's Artificial Beach is just a two minute walk away.
    Local markets  -  Huaihai Road is one of the city's major shopping areas.
    Restrictions on children  -  Children not permitted.
    Air conditioningDisabled accessViews
    Recommended by  -  Mr & Mrs Smith

    An industrial chic design hotel on the banks of the Huangpu river, with views of futuristic Pudong from its rooftop bar, the Waterhouse at South Bund is at once historic and modern, rough and luxe. Without doubt, the trendiest hotel in Shanghai. See More

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See all » 4 hôtels in Beijing

  • The Brickyard Beijing (Beigou Village) 25 rooms from £135

    Sights nearby  -  This is a particularly good bit of the Great Wall to visit as it is slightly off the beaten track
    Back to Nature  -  No phones or TVs in the rooms, just floor to ceiling window for appreciating the view
    Spa  -  Enjoy a treatment whilst taking in views of the Great Wall
    Restaurant  -  As many of the ingredients as possible are locally sourced

    Fantastic base for exploring one of the lesser known sections of China's Great Wall. Originally a tile factory, The Brickyard has been sympathetically restored and rooms are smart and comfortable with sit out terraces for soaking up the panoramic views. See More

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  • Opposite House Beijing (Chaoyang) 99 rooms from £195

    City Style  -  A place for those who delight in design. Stylish and sophisticated.
    Sights nearby  -  Located within easy access of the impressive Forbidden City.
    Swimming Pool  -  Indoor pool
    Designer  -  Uniquely designed interiors.
    Air conditioningSpaRestaurantSwimming PoolGardenPet friendlyDisabled accessParking
    Recommended by  -  Mr & Mrs Smith, Tablet

    A popular and full-service design hotel located in a high-end shopping area. It’s also a ten minute taxi from Beijing’s historic sights and atmospheric hutongs (traditional alleyways). Sleek and serene, this space is the most welcome haven after a day in Beijing. See More

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See all » 3 hôtels in Hangzhou

  • Four Seasons Hangzhou at West Lake Xihu Qu, Hangzhou Shi, 78 rooms from £312

    Romantic Break  -  Surrounded by traditional Chinese gardens and views of mystical West Lake, the Hotel is a haven for romantics
    Back to Nature  -  Xihu is a great choice for travellers interested in tranquillity, nature walks and temples
    Business meetings  -  Well-equipped business centre with meeting, banquet and conference facilities
    Sights nearby  -  West Lake has many sights, such as Yue Fei Temple, Lingyin Temple, a Buddhist monastery and Long Jing tea farms
    Air conditioningSpaRestaurantSwimming PoolGardenDisabled accessViewsParkingNo pets
    Recommended by  -  Tablet

    Contemporary luxuries collide with traditional design at this Four Season's offering set in the whimsical UNESCO World Heritage Site of West lake. Interiors are spacious and grand with modern minimalist style dotted with Chinese art and furniture. A spectacular base to explore the city from. See More

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  • Amanfayun Hangzhou (West Lake Scenic Area,) 42 rooms from £544

    Hideaway  -  A former farming village, sympathetically converted into a luxury hotel complex. The ultimate hideaway
    Great walks  -  Walk to the neighbouring villages or the nearby tea plantations
    Sights nearby  -  The town of Hangzhou is just thirty minutes away
    Romantic  -  Good for couples.
    Air conditioningSpaRestaurantSwimming PoolDisabled accessParkingNo pets
    Recommended by  -  Mr & Mrs Smith

    A quiet retreat set amongst rugged nature and some of China’s most important Buddhist temples. Sultry suites are ideal for couples and foodies will love the fine dining. A conversion of a former village it is as much a cultural experience as a five-star stay. Complete with traditional bathhouse. See More

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See all » 1 hôtel in Nanjing

  • Grand Mansion Nanjing 158 rooms from £199

    Local exploring  -  The hotel is within walking distance of the Oriental Metropolitan Museum amongst numerous other sites and attractions.
    Sights nearby  -  The Presidential Palace, Nanjing Library, and the Jiangsu Art Gallery are just steps away.
    Local markets  -  Sample local delicacies at the famed pedestrian food street Shizi Qiao.
    Air conditioningRestaurantSwimming PoolGardenDisabled accessParking

    An imposing hotel in a central location. The design cleverly amalgamates a professional feel with softer cultural touches. The city slicker will be equipped with everything they could need from a gymnasium to conference halls and multiple restaurants. An all encompassing hotel worthy of a stay. See More

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See all » 1 hôtel in Suzhou

  • Tonino Lamborghini Suzhou (Jiangsu) 92 rooms from £120

    Great walks  -  Perambulate the hotel's gorgeous gardens for which it is known
    Sights nearby  -  A short drive out of town Zhongyinbao Lake is worth a visit
    Swimming Pool  -  Indoor pool
    Views  -  Great views from hotel
    Air conditioningSpaRestaurantSwimming PoolDisabled accessViewsParkingNo pets

    Think impressive Italian style blended with traditional Chinese culture. Situated on the banks of Jinji Lake, and just a short drive from the historic sites of the stunning ancient water town of Suzhou. Dinner at Danny's restaurant is a gourmet French affair and there is an impressive wine list. See More

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See all » 1 hôtel in Deqing

  • Le Passage Mohkan Shan Huzhou, Deqing 40 rooms from £310

    Foodies  -  With a rotation of often celebrity chefs the cuisine here is always top notch
    Spa breaks  -  Indulgent treatments makes it perfect for a relaxing break
    Great walks  -  Through the tea plantations and local villages
    Swimming Pool  -  Heated outdoor pool
    Air conditioningRestaurantSwimming PoolDisabled accessViewsParkingNo pets

    The epitome of French colonial chic Le Passage Mohkan Shan echoes its former heyday as a summer bolthole for Shanghai's fashionable set. Boasting celebrity chefs, top class spa facilities and a spring water heated pool it is shamelessly indulgent. Stylish rooms complete the package. Très bon! See More

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