My expectations were high given this is a Four Seasons and I was still blown away by how great our stay here was. My husband and I were in China for two weeks on business and fit in 3 days of pleasure to celebrate our anniversary at this serene spot in the frenzy of China.
Our pick up at the train station, arranged by the hotel, was flawless and we welcomed the English-speaking staff member they sent with the driver. The hotel staff all speak good English by the way.
We were welcomed warmly by at least 5 staff members upon arrival and whisked right to our room for check in. What a nice treat to not have to wait at the desk to check in. Our luggage traveled with us for check in and it was nice not to have to wait for it to arrive later. The hotel knew it was our anniversary and gifted us with a nice bottle of chilled champagne ready and a large cake! They brought us two fresh rose arrangements, which was such a thoughtful and appreciated touch. We had a regular room, it was #215. The room was very large and comfortable. I liked the furniture and decor. My favorite was the terrace! With the windows open and with all the tress, it was delightful to wake up with birdsong and to watch them fly around. The sofa was conformable, the desk chairs were nice and they had a lot of plug-ins of several varieties with easy access on the desk. The large bathtub also near the windows made me feel like I was in a tree house. I would prefer a higher room than one on the ground floor. The trees did a good job of sheltering us and it felt very private. We ate a reasonably priced room service breakfast in the terrace room every day. It was two days into our trip until I realized the windows opened all the way!
Almost every light in the room is on a dimmer switch. Simple really, but a very nice touch. The lighting in the room was great, even the curtains had good lighting.
Our housekeeping was terrific. She noticed we drank a lot of water and the starting with the second day left us 6 bottles instead of 2. I also love how there are no large clunky room service carts in the hallways when housekeeping people clean rooms. They shut your door while they are cleaning. It's something I never noticed to appreciate until I never saw one. Just classy. They also have 2 chairs at the large desk, allowing for both of us to use it at the same time, which is impossible and not thought of at other hotels. This is a very minor point but speaks to the room standards. I always use one of the water glasses hotels put in the bathroom to hold my toothbrush and toothpaste. That leaves only one water glass. Here, she brought another glass out so there were two glasses in addition to the one I won't drink out of because my toothbrush is in it. I travel a LOT and have had the privilege of staying in nice hotels and no one has ever done this simple task before
The sound-proofing was great. We never heard another soul from our room and the HVAC was quiet. We slept very well!
We went to dinner at WLB and I was wearing a sleeveless sweater and the hostess came over with a blanket in case I got cold. I dropped my lip gloss when I took pictures of the lovely fountain they have at the front and someone brought it to me in the restaurant before I even noticed it was missing!
It was raining when we arrived so we went to the spa. They were able to accommodate us in an hour or so for a couple's massage and scrub even though we had not made advanced reservations. The spa was gorgeous and my hot stone massage was the best I have ever had. Yue Yue was my therapist and I highly recommend her. We also went back for foot massages later in our trip and that treatment was also delightful. I thought the prices for the spa treatments were average hotel spa prices.
We did not use the indoor or the outdoor pool. The grounds were gorgeous and we spent some time wandering the many gardens and hidden pavilions. It was so quiet and peaceful, I think I only heard a horn honk once at the hotel.
We ate at Jin Sha for dinner once. Ironically the concierge was to make a reservation, but we had to change the time, so we called the restaurant directly to change our reservation, and then when we showed up, they did not have it at all?! They accommodated us regardless, and the restaurant was indeed busy. The food was delicious. WLB had some nice western food, which was a welcome change for us with 2 weeks of Chinese. The french fries were delicious, as was the carp. Everything we ate there was great.
The Wifi was free but slow. You could pay to upgrade it to something faster but we were not there to work so it was not too much of a bother.
The staff was all very friendly and greeted us by name often. The concierges were all very helpful in coordinating our activities for the day, and getting our train tickets. They advised us to attend the Impressions at West Lake show, which was not on our radar to do and were thrilled we did it, even if it rained during the show. The hotel lent us blankets to take with since it was cold and we were not prepared for it. It's also terrific because you can walk to it from the hotel and it's difficult to get a taxi after the show. We were going to save the Linglin temple for our last morning thinking we could do it quickly and then catch the train but the concierge advised us to do it in the afternoon and recommended the botanical gardens for the morning, which was perfect. We appreciated his advice. Our trip would not have been as terrific without their suggestions.
The location of the hotel is superb! We only went into Hangzhou proper once and spent the rest of our time exploring West Lake. We enjoyed a boat ride around the lake and took cabs to the Longjin tea area where we saw the tea farms and visited with tea farmers, and had a tea tasting. The hotel will call you a cab that will arrive in minutes if there is not one already there waiting. We never had a problem getting a cab from the hotel. If you do take a taxi to the more remote places like the temples and pagodas around the lake, you may want to just hire your driver by the hour so you have a ride waiting for you. It can be difficult to find a taxi to leave.
Wines by the glass are expensive almost everywhere in China. I've seen that in other reviews here. The half bottle in the room was reasonably priced. We did have a bizarre mini bar experience. My husband wanted a vodka tonic so he opened the Absolut bottle in our room and found the safety seal already broken and then smelled it to find someone had replaced the Absolut with WATER. Thinking this is better explained in person, he went to the desk where he showed the staff who were aghast and apologetic and sent 3-4 free Absolut bottles to the room! How pathetic to stay at a nice hotel and then cheap out on a $6 drink? The hotel handled it brilliantly but I can't believe the behavior of past guests.
I'm allergic to cigarette smoke (which makes traveling in China a challenge) but we requested a no-smoking room and I never smelled cigarettes at the hotel. :)
If I had one quibble, it's only that they do not have oreos or peanut M & Ms in their minibar! My husband likes them when he travels to China. They did have some really good potato chips though. This hotel was simply fantastic. It appears very well managed and also maintained. I'm already looking for another Four Seasons to visit! This was our first Four Seasons and what an introduction to the brand. Xie Xie nin to everyone there for such a great time.
The ground floor rooms have a larger patio but people in the rooms on floors 2 and 3 can see and hea...
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dear guest, our upmost gratitude towards your liking of our hotel’s facilities and services. We are delighted to know that you have had a memorable stay in our hotel. Many thanks for taking the time to share your experience with us. We sincerely anticipate your next return to our hotel.
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