We have recently returned from China and on arrival stayed for 3 nights in Hangzhou! What a delight.... We stayed at the Sofitel which was in a great location apart from the badly needed refurb...but I shall push on from there.It was central to most areas..the lake, the Heritage Shopping Precinct just behind and many restaurants!
I must say I was abit apprehensive whenever we were first planning this first trip into China with some of the comments I was getting that just the 2 places Hangzhou and Shanghai would be too long for a 11 day visit, but on the contrary. I could have quite easily have spent more time in Hangzhou its so beatifull. Most of the time we were there the was alot of Haze beyond the lake surrounding the hills, I suppose due to the Humidity and heat so I think it would be breathtaking on a clear day. The West Lake Water show was fantastic!! such a hilight on this trip.One word of advise though make sure you make arrangements for return trip otherwise forget it. Our concierge told us to make our way to the shangrila Hotel(have a coffee) and then get their concierge to get a taxi for you, but, we somehow missed the hotel and tried to hail a taxi about a dozen times without any luck, it took us 2 hours to walk back to Sofitel but what a pleasant walk around the lake!We took the electric car(like a golf buggy) around part of the lake and walked the resttaking in all the sites.
It was lovely to see so many people enjoying themselves in the park with their musical instruments and singing and dancing.
We shall definately make it back here another time!