While the numbers vary from source to source, according to Statista, there are over 279,000 hotels and accommodations offering 14.326 million rooms across China. We’ve asked our experienced travel designers for their pick of the best new hotels in China for 2023. From breathtaking interior designs that captivate the senses, to tranquil destinations offering serenity, to prime locations nestled in the heart of vibrant metropolises, we are delighted to present our curated selection of eight new hotels that should be on your list.
- Naada Courtyard, Linden Centre (Shangri-La, Yunnan)
- Rissai Valley, A Ritz-Carlton Reserve (Jiuzhaigou, Sichuan)
- Diaoyutai Hotel Qingdao (Qingdao, Shandong)
- Kimpton Shanghai Qiantan (Shanghai)
- LUX* Lashi Lake (Lashi Lake, Yunnan)
- Upcloud Shilin Villa (Huangshan, Anhui)
- Hotel Indigo Hangzhou Tianmushan (Hangzhou, Zhejiang)
- Four Seasons Hotel Suzhou (Suzhou, Jiangsu)
Naada Courtyard is the newly opened Shangri-La branch of the Linden Centre, a local boutique chain that has two other properties in Yunnan province, one in Dali and one in Shaxi. Located on the shores of Napa Lake, a place that turns from a watery wetland in the spring and summer into the Yila Grasslands during the autumn and winter, this nature reserve boutique is a part of Napa Village, a Tibetan community of 49 households. The 8-room courtyard, a classical Tibetan trapezoid structure that previously served as a community center, was restored by the Linden family and serves as the perfect base to explore Tibetan village living.
The rooms are comfortable, modern, and bright, decorated with soft colors and natural wood highlights, with each window looking out onto the captivating scenery of Napa Lake. In addition to exploring the beautiful surroundings on foot or horseback, guests can also choose to get involved in community activities with service experiences like helping the village children practice English, visiting a local family for an authentic Tibetan afternoon tea session, or learning the Tibetan art of hand-weaving. Bird-watching enthusiasts will also be delighted by the chance to observe numerous migrating bird species that flock to the wetlands surrounding the lake during the winter months.
Rooms start from $138USD / night
Boasting the highest price tag on our list is Rissai Valley, Ritz-Carlton Group’s first China Reserve resort and its sixth worldwide. Rissai Valley is closely located to two UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Jiuzhaigou National Park, and Huanglong Valley. Designed with sustainability in mind, this serene and elegant Reserve of 87 villas harmoniously blends in with its breathtaking landscape.
True to the Ritz-Carlton brand, Rissai Valley villa interiors are meticulously crafted, eloquently combining enduring Tibetan cultural heritage with modern design elements. The resort features a full-service spa that integrates ancient Tibetan rituals with the therapeutic attributes of natural herbs.
The highlight of Rissai Valley Reserve, however, remains its location. A mere 15-minute drive away is Jiuzhaigou National Park, renowned for its lush forests, cascading waterfalls, and clear turquoise lakes featured in the 2001 Oscar-winning film “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”. Another hour’s drive away is Huanglong Valley, home to snow-capped mountains, hot springs, and dense forests dotted with waterfalls. The valley is also the natural habitat of several endangered animal species including the giant panda and the Sichuan golden snub-nosed monkey.
For a more in-depth overview of the hotel, read our June article here.
Rooms start from $1,117USD / night
Diaoyutai Hotel’s sky lobby on the 51st floor greets visitors with a breathtaking view of the stunning Qingdao Bay from the moment they set foot in the hotel. Located in Tower 1 of the iconic twin Qingdao Financial City buildings that resemble stacked jewel boxes, just 2 blocks away from the coastline, Diaoyutai Hotel Qingdao by MGM sets a new standard in the neo-Chinese hotel concept. With its high-ceiling lobby and palatial rooms decorated with Chinese traditional elements and equipped with Bose Bluetooth speakers, the Diaoyutai Hotel chain strikes the fine balance between innovation and tradition.
While spacious, the carefully crafted interior never feels empty, with traditional art pieces and delicately designed furniture creating a visual balance and an elegant ambiance.
The hotel is conveniently situated just an 8-minute drive from the picturesque Shilaoren Bathing Beach, featuring golden sands set against the breathtaking backdrop of Laoshan Mountain, and 10 minutes from Qingdao’s iconic Tsingtao Brewery, China’s most celebrated beer brand. The iconic Laoshan (Mount Lao) Scenic Area, an enormous national park with awe-inspiring rocky formations, panoramic view of the surrounding body of water, and stunning waterfalls, is an hour’s drive away east.
Rooms start from $202USD / night
They say you haven’t been to Shanghai unless you’ve seen the Bund. Along comes the New Bund, a development slated to be the new slick international business center of Shanghai.
In the heart of Qiantan Avenue, aka the New Bund, a stone’s throw away from the waterfront overlooking the Huangpu River is Kimpton Qiantan by IHG. It’s an ultra-modern hotel inspired by the cosmopolitan vibes of Shanghai. The hotel’s interiors blend dark, grey, and wood tones, creating a sophisticated atmosphere, and the generously sized rooms are outfitted with a range of smart amenities, complemented by an assortment of pillows, including memory foam, down, and buckwheat options.
After a long day in the city, unwind at the hotel’s rooftop bar which offers breathtaking views of the Huangpu River and the New Bund. Also, don’t miss the chance to take a refreshing dip in the rooftop infinity pool.
Rooms start from $227USD / night
LUX* Lashi Lake is one of the LUX* Collective’s retreats along the Tea Horse Road in Yunnan. The entire focus of this gorgeously modern and minimalistic 9-room retreat is Lashi Lake itself, a protected wetland area on the southern foothills of Yulong Snow mountains, home to rich flora and fauna.
Each generously sized room at the hotel features expansive floor-to-ceiling windows with unobstructed views of the breathtaking lake, seamlessly merging the interior with the natural beauty that unfolds beyond.
Rooms start from $400USD / night
Upcloud Shilin Villa (Huangshan, Anhui)
(This property does not currently have a website. Their WeChat channel ID is: 崖舍光影)
There is little surprise that the breathtaking and otherworldly scenery of Huangshan inspired the visual effects of James Cameron’s “Avatar”. Hidden amidst the sea of clouds that linger around the Yellow Mountains (Huangshan) amidst pine trees and mountain rivers is one of the best hotels in Huangshan: Upcloud Shilin Villa, a local guesthouse 1,630 meters above sea level, facing the majestic Lion Peak of the Huangshan Mountains.
Built into the side of a mountain, this retreat focuses on providing a healing experience replete with activities ranging from yoga, meditation, and tai chi to cultural activities such as tea ceremonies and temple visits.
The best time to see the true splendor of Huangshan is at sunset and sunrise. For guests staying here, each room in this cliffside sanctuary offers breathtaking panoramic views at all hours, without ever leaving the bed.
Rooms start from $686USD / night
A stay at Hotel Indigo Tianmushan is all the best parts of a night spent experiencing the untamed wilderness but without the bug bites.
Set in the Tianmu Mountain area of Hangzhou, Hotel Indigo Hangzhou Tianmushan draws inspiration from the ancient forest that envelopes its surroundings, known as the “Kingdom of Trees.” Tianmu Mountain is arguably one of the best hiking and mountain-trekking destinations close to Shanghai (only around 2 hours by high-speed train). With strategic proximity to landmarks like Chanyuan Temple and the Grand Glacier Canyon of Tianmu, this IHG’s specialty hotel seamlessly integrates nature into its design philosophy from gingko art chandeliers to wall patterns that mirror textures of ancient trees. The rooms are minimalistic with soft natural colors and big floor-to-ceiling windows that open up to views of Tianmu Mountain.
From the preserved natural beauty and nocturnal sounds to the aroma of rare herbs and the art of therapeutic tea, the hotel provides a rejuvenating experience that immerses guests in the healing power of the forest.
Rooms start from $127USD / night
Located just an hour’s train ride from Shanghai, Jinji Lake in Suzhou is the largest inland lake in China. Set on a 9-hectare private island in the middle of Jinji Lake, Four Seasons Hotel Suzhou is the perfect sanctuary and base from which to explore Suzhou.
The Four Seasons compound is made up of rooms, suites, and large villas, each of which has panoramic views of the surrounding water and the Suzhou CBD skyline. The hotel offers spacious playrooms for children under its Kids for All Seasons concept, and the outside area is pet-friendly, making it a great destination for families with children and pets. And, for those who like a challenge, and an excuse to explore the city on foot, we recommend the 3.5-hour “fitness” trail that encircles Jinji Lake and is easily accessible from the hotel.
Rooms start from $326USD / night