People in Shanghai or Hong Kong barely bat an eyelid these days when an elaborate hotel design comes to fruition. Not the case for those local to the Sheraton Huzhou Hot Spring Resort, which has opened on the southern bank of Lake Tai—a meteor crater–lake thought to be as much as 70 million years old on China’s Yangtze Delta. Designed by Ma Yansong of MAD Architects the 100-meter-high horseshoe is perhaps a bellwether for the ambition and scope for high-end hotel design in lesser known cities of China. The hotel matches Ma’s sense for making a scene as it arches from the southern bank of the lake before descending into the water. It will be no less of a beacon come night time—the layered stories have been peppered with LEDs, which will beam various set pieces onto the water below. The resort offers each of its 321 guest quarters private balconies with views of the lake. Sunken tubs and rain forest showers can be found in all rooms, while iPod docks and ergonomic work chairs round out the amenities. There are plenty reasons to make the trip to Huzhou, which is around one hour from the international airport of larger Hangzhou. Huzhou Hot Springs Golf Club, surely among the best courses in the country, is close by, while others will be drawn by the attendant hot springs and the city’s originating role in Chinese tea culture.
5858 Taihu Rd, Huzhou; 86-572/2299-999.