Floating high above Hangzhou—the lakeside city Chinese call “paradise on earth”—this 242-room Park Hyatt is beautifully ethereal. Guests enter through a series of tall Chinese chambers lined in marble, bronze, gold leaf, and wooden lattice, before being whisked to the 37th-floor Sky Lobby by express elevator. The understated contemporary design is subtly infused with Chinese elements such as parquetry hardwood floors styled after a nobleman’s residence and ripple glowing lanterns that cast a serenely elegant ambience. Dreamy guest rooms feature lake-blue silk carpets, timber-log desks, and blossom shadow patterns that gently glow across the bedhead at night. Be sure to make time for a dip in the dramatic black-granite pool and Jacuzzis. Organic Hangzhou cuisine (don’t miss the revered Dongpo pork and beggar’s chicken) are served at Dining Room, while two-level Forty8—the city’s loftiest restaurant—is a vibrant destination for steaks and seafood. This is also a prime spot for viewing the world’s largest tidal bore that roars up the nearby Qiantang River each month. Sweeping vistas of Hangzhou’s combination of nature, urbanity, and kooky architecture in the new CBD abound at every turn. But you feel blissfully removed at this sleek sanctuary in the clouds. (86 571/8696 1234; hangzhou.park.hyatt.com; doubles from US$190).
This article originally appeared in the December 2016/January 2017 print issue of DestinAsian magazine (“The Luxe List 2016: Park Hyatt Hangzhou”).