Hangzhou, in China’s east coast Zhejiang province, is something of an insider’s secret, long prized by lovelorn romantics, photographers and naturalists for its scenic bounty.

In recent years, savvy hoteliers have been lured to the man-made Qiandao Lake for its photogenic collection of over a thousand islands and water-sports. For the 27-room Ripple Hotel, Shanghai-based firm X+Living has taken its design cues from the aquatic setting, filling the minimalist white-washed spaces with furniture shaped like fantastical boats that seem to float in mid-air, and oversized, elliptically shaped sofas that that recall ripples in the water.

Giant oars and bundles of reeds become art installations and dropped ceilings are sheathed in a geometrically precise basket-weave, while pendant and floor lamps are encased in stylised bamboo fishing cages. In the restaurant where locally sourced, organic ingredients are de rigueur, twigs are embedded into tables. The effect is a whimsical fantasy of a lakeside forest.