At One Hotel — Suzhou, China
The idea of a mixed-use development – so ubiquitous today as centrally located prime real estate become an increasingly precious commodity – has been given full-throttled expression along the edge of Suzhou’s Yangcheng Lake, an easy hour’s drive west of Shanghai.
Sprawling over 46 acres and costing a hefty $300m, the Sangha features the full complement of family residences, apartments, medical facilities, and childhood-learning centre, all designed by a crack team of designers including Gensler, Neri&Hu Design and Research Office, and Margaret Sullivan Studio.
Taking centre-stage is the At One Hotel. Designed by Tsao & McKown, who also did the Sangha’s masterplan, the 72-room, three-storey hotel tracks the shoreline of Yangcheng Lake with views of the 6th-century Buddhist Chongyuan Temple.
Serenity seeps around every corner, the designers furnishing the interiors with tactile Dedon furniture, ceramics and wooden sculptures, reclaimed timber and recycled stone, while the all-white interiors of the rooms – some boasting captivating lake views from the tub – are bathed in light and kitted out with Vola fixtures.
The first-floor wellness centre is a vast pleasure dome of onsen, watsu massages, hammam pool, salt cave sauna and Kneipp walks. If none of that works out all the kinks, adjourn to the Medical Clinic for its TCM treatments.