Hong Kong-based design studio CCD has recreated a slice of old China in the midst of Hangzhou’s central business district, along the edge of the Qiantang river. The 162-room Diaoyutai – dubbed by local wags as Downton Abbey – takes its structural cues from the traditional Chinese courtyard home in which social spaces radiate from a central core, here the lobby and all-day dining restaurant.
The aesthetics layer abstract Orientalism by way of pavilions and landscaped gardens of rocks and pine which, in turn, are framed by smart French windows. White and beige leather blend with natural timber, stone and metal finishes.
At 60 sq m or more, the guest rooms – over half of which feature river views, whilst a third open onto balconies – are spacious cocoons linked by a hallway, and a walk-in cloakroom lined with three full-length mirrors. The riffs on local architectural motifs include traditional brick paving patterns, and handcrafted copper pots alongside silk screens, lacquerware and Chinese armoires.
Meanwhile, the spa includes a 20m lap pool and a yoga room, but it’s the in-house restaurants that draw the attention – especially Royal Court, which serves upscale local delicacies, while the more casual Pinju Hangzhou makes the mark with Shanghainese standards.