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Four Seasons Hangzhou at West Lake
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Reviewed December 18, 2012 via mobile

This is by far the best and most beautiful hotel I have stayed in. Prior to the trip, I was considering between Four Seasons, Banyan Tree or Aman Resort. I am glad I chose this.
The vast and beautiful garden in Chinese Jiangnan style make the property itself a tourist sight to roam and spend your day relaxing and taking photos. Every angle you snap makes a beautiful postcard. It gives you the impression you are in the imperial royal retreat the Qing emperors stayed in during their tour to Jiangnan hundreds of years ago.
Location wise, the hotel is located by the west lake. Exiting the hotel by the east door, it will bring you to one of the 10 famous sights of west lake and impression west lake show in a few minutes. A morning stroll out to the lake is relaxing and all other sights by the lake are easily accessible by foot, tram or boat. The hotel also provide bicycle for use. Starbucks and KFC are also right outside the hotel if you need a bite.
We took the grand primer room and it was beyond words. Perhaps they could have done better by preparing the room for 3 before our arrival. However, it was quickly rectify with a call to the housekeeping. Service is always prompt and with a smile. The bed is extremely comfortable too.
Perhaps it was off peak, we hardly see other guests along the corridor to our room. It was very private and quiet. Visiting Hangzhou in December is peaceful and serene.
The spa is stunning and therapist is attentive and professional.
The food in Jin sha is worth a try too, great presentation and tasty.
All in all, the stay in four seasons perfect our visit to this beautiful city.

  • Stayed: December 2012
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Thank Shinichi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Alleen W, Public Relations Manager at Four Seasons Hangzhou at West Lake, responded to this reviewResponded December 19, 2012

Dear guest, our upmost gratitude towards your liking of our hotel’s garden, facilities and service. The flowing water, grassy land and subtly-composed rockeries creates an elegant atmosphere revealing an intimate lakeside Eden that allows all hotel guests to get convenient access to the beautiful scenery of the garden while keeping their privacy undisturbed. We are delighted to know that you had an enjoyable stay with us. Once again, thank you for taking your precious time to share your wonderful experience and we sincerely anticipate your next return to our hotel.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 9, 2012

This has to be the most amazing hotel ever, better (although admittedly different) than Florence or Hualalai...). I did not know that West Lake is the most sought after domestic Chinese destination. The hotel is on the lake surrounded by the most beautiful grounds. It is one giant postcard...

The staff is so eager to practice their English, they will be disappointing if you don't ask them anything. Everyone is extremely friendly and attentive. The Chinese restaurant is simply breathtaking. We were a small group and were given a private dining room on the lake. A must.

One travel tip: get a direct fly to the Hangzhou airport and take the high speed train to shanghai or Beijing. This is what we did and well worth it.

Room Tip: All the rooms have great views, but ask for one closest to the Lake.
  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled with friends
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Thank Olivier L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Alleen W, Public Relations Manager at Four Seasons Hangzhou at West Lake, responded to this reviewResponded December 16, 2012

Dear guest, we are grateful for your positive comments towards our hotel. Situated along the enchanting West Lake, Jin Sha restaurant presents a modern culinary vision of authentic local, Shanghainese and Cantonese dishes, providing guests with a unique and unforgettable dining experience. We are most delighted to know that you have had a wonderful time at our restaurant. We sincerely look forward to your next stay with us.

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Reviewed November 21, 2012

4 Seasons at West Lake is a stunning hotel with as fine of service that is available. From the start to end of our trip, we were greeted by everyone on the staff by name, served divine food at JIN SHA, tended to by the concierge team and pampered in one of the most incredible spas I have ever seen. This is a world class property with a fine-tuned and incredibly up to the task team. HIGHLY RECOMMEND.

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled with friends
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Thank JEFFREY P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Alleen W, Public Relations Manager at Four Seasons Hangzhou at West Lake, responded to this reviewResponded November 27, 2012

Dear guest, thank you for taking the time to share your experience with us. We are delighted to know that you have enjoyed the hotel’s facilities and services. It is our pleasure to provide you with a memorable stay in our hotel. We look forward to your next stay with us.

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Reviewed November 14, 2012

Four Seasons lived up to and exceeded our expectations. From the beautifully manicured grounds to the exquisite suites, there is no place more serene and luxurious than this. The hotel has a great location just next to West Lake and the Impressions show. The rooms are well appointed and we were very pleasantly surprised by the welcome gift waiting in our suite when we arrived. We were celebrating our 29th wedding anniversary. Very nice touch, thank you! We were delighted by the staff, all of whom gave excellent service. Of special mention is Ben the Concierge, who helped us buy train tickets to Shanghai, gave us good directions and also helped us with buying Impressions show tickets.
The restaurants are very very good, a must try is the pyramid pork at Jin Sha and the Vinegar braised pork ribs. So delicious we clamoured for more!!
The suites are very well appointed. We had one that opened up to a brook and the gardens. Nespresso was a standard in the suite, towels and rooms were cleaned twice daily. Everything was refilled twice daily. Fruits were supplied daily without fail.
If you are not trawling the Lakes, spend some time at the lounge for Hi Tea. The cakes and sandwiches looked so good. Service was discreet and fast. Always with a smile.
The Spa service was also very good. The Royal Pavillion was very well equipped. Such beautiful environs and so serene. The therapists were also well trained.
We would give this hotel 2 thumbs up... thank you for making our stay so comfortable. Anyone who had anything bad to say are probably impossible to please.

Room Tip: Choose the garden suites, the sound of water is very soothing...
  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Lin5858
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Alleen W, Public Relations Manager at Four Seasons Hangzhou at West Lake, responded to this reviewResponded November 18, 2012

Dear guest, thank you for your valuable feedback towards our hotel. It is our pleasure to provide you with a pleasant and comfortable stay with us. We look forward to your next stay with us.

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Reviewed November 8, 2012

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.

Room Tip: The ground floor rooms have a larger patio but people in the rooms on floors 2 and 3 can see and hear you if you're out on the patio.
  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank HVB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Alleen W, Public Relations Manager at Four Seasons Hangzhou at West Lake, responded to this reviewResponded November 18, 2012

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.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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