Summer in a city like Shanghai can be glorious but when the heat gets a tad overbearing, a luxurious respite is just hours away in the surrounding region known for its mountains and lakes. Here are our top five recommendations
Alila Anji, a stunning resort and our top choice for this list
5. Pullman Zhouzhuang
Melding classical gardens and contemporary architecture with vibrantly modern rooms, a splendid indoor pool and a wonderful Chinese restaurant, this spanking new Pullman property is a great summer retreat just minutes from the charming water village of Zhouzhuang.
4. Naked Castle Moganshan
High up the Moganshan peaks some 2.5 hours by car from Shanghai was a castle built by a Scottish missionary in 1910. Subsequently abandoned, it was revived by boutique hotelier Naked Retreats with 1 spa, 2 restaurants and 95 luxurious rooms, many boasting gorgeous views of the stunning mountain range.
3. Fuchun Resort, Hangzhou
This Jaya Ibrahim designed beauty was conceptualised as a grand retreat cloistered by hectares of tea terraces and imbued with views right out of a Shanshui painting. It was indeed planted on a famous spot featured in Yuan dynasty painter Wang Gongwang’s epic ‘Fuchun Mountain Abode’ painting.
2. Four Seasons Hangzhou
A grand dame set in an old city, grand service here is paired with amazing dedication. Attractions here include a sensational spa and a fabulous Chinese restaurant often regarded as one of Hangzhou's best. Breakfast or tea on boats cruising the private and more scenic parts of West Lake should not be missed.
1. Alila Anji
Nestled between a turquoise lake and jade green bamboo forests, Alila Anji captivates with magnificent views and a milieu so exotic, it offers a complete escapade from the modern world. The villas here are grand and lavish, offering complete seclusion and intimacy. These are indeed perfect havens to lose oneself over the summer haze.