The Luxe List 2011, China: Four Seasons Hotel Hangzhou at West Lake, Hangzhou

  • Four Seasons Hotel: Hangzhou balcony view

    Four Seasons Hotel: Hangzhou balcony view

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The Luxe List 2011Set right on the shores of the willow-fringed West Lake, and a mere hop, skip, and jump from Hangzhou’s famous attractions, Four Seasons Hangzhou epitomizes the charm of the classic Chinese city that enchanted emperors and artists for centuries. Imagine being a part of a Chinese watercolor painting as you wander the manicured bonsai gardens, traditional rockeries, and sun-dappled pagodas, against the mist-laced backdrop of the lake. Relax in one of the 78 spacious, wood-paneled guest rooms —each serviced by a personal butler—that open to a terrace conservatory with vistas of waterfalls and forested glades.

For a high-class dining experience, head to Jin Sha, which specializes in Chinese cuisine, and features 11 comfortable pavilions surrounding a garden lagoon, or spoil yourself with a Jade Spring Ritual at the imperial-style spa, which involves a soak in a golden mosaic tub containing 60,000 Hangzhou Dragon Well tea leaves.

5 Lingyin Lu; 86-571/8829-8888; fourseasons.com; doubles from US$394

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