to people who havenot been to Hangzhou before:
The Intercontinental is located in a building which essentially looks like a supersized Ferrero Rocher - a gigantic golden ball - on the banks of the river that flows south of Hangzhou.
there is the story going that the major of Hangzhou commisioned this as the new majors office, but when than chinese prime minister Wen Jiabao came to Hangzhou on a visit he told the major to knock it off as the golden ball looks too outragously lavish to house a communist local govermnent
so than they went and arranged for the Intercontinental hotel to move in - it indeed looks and feels more like a megalomaniac politicians wet dream than a hotel.
enough curious stories - the hotel is actually quite good. wonderful, spacious rooms, and of course the ambience "inside the golden ball" is unique, something you wont ever forget.
it would be a top3 hotel in Hangzhou .... if it were located anywhere near the Westlake or in the downtown. The location in the "new development" (= far out of city-center) distract is the achilles heel of the property the hotel cant overcome
+++++ AMBIENCE: absolutely grandious, spectacular. Should be the setting of a James Bond movie.
+++ ROOMS: really really good. the rooms layout is big and given this property is still very new, everything still looks spotless. great interiour design. walk-in wardrobe. big bathtub, great water-pressure. comfortable kingsize bed, a really useful large and comfy couch, espresso-machine with complimentary capsules ......
+++ SLEEPING QUALITY: great soundproofing, cant hear a whisper from the neighbors, the corridor or outside. good A/C. comfy bed.
+++ GYM/POOL: the pool and the gym on the highest floor look awesome and you have it for yourself most of the time.
+ SERVICE: mostly good.
+ VALUE FOR MONEY: not bad, its not cheap - but i would say for what you get the pricetag is fair enough.
- LONG WAYS: thats the first major downside that comes with the grandious layout of the hotel, you have to really march once you enter the hotel to reach the lobby, and also to get from the lobby to your room is taking minutes.
------ LOCATION: lets put it this way: its in the middle of nowhere. even though this is supposed to become to new city-center of Hangzhou, but if Hangzhou has a city-planning department, they messed this up big time. this area is a deserted wasteland.
to get anywhere you need your own car or a taxi. there is 0 there at a "pedestrian level" - and i do mean REALLY NOTHING, not even small shops or food-stalls..
within a 1km radius are a few office-towers and the Hangzhou-citizen-center with the library.
another 1 km or 2 east is a big shopping-mall, but i guess neither of those are reasons to come to Hangzhou.
To the Westlake/city-center its an estimated 20-30 minutes ride depending on the traffic, and unfortunately in Hangzhou is often very bad, so one likely gets stuck on the road.
That might be the reason, why the property despite the hotel doing a good job looked 3/4 empty when i stayed there. If you need to be in this area, the Intercontinental is a great hotel - if you came to Hangzhou to enjoy a tourist-routine you are much better off staying at a place close to the Westlake, where everything is walkable.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.