Normally when you travel to China for business, you tend to pick one of the chain hotels that get top ranking on search engines, Hilton, Hyatt, Holiday Inn, or what your budget allows.
If you dig deeper, such as Trip Advisor or similar websites, you may unearth the odd boutique hotel in the bigger cities.
On this trip, one of my suppliers had a nice surprise for me, when we stopped over in Shaoxing, a town best known for it's garment industry (not my business). The company booked me into a very special hotel.
Imagine an old chinese village turned into cottages. Lovingly restored former stables, residences and other structures turned into modern day suites with all the comfort you'd expect at a Hyatt, plus the uniqueness of old chinese architecture.
My suite was so large, I could have had a party for 20 and still not feel crowded. No cars, only golf carts, restaurant, tea room, bar and more amenities to make your stay complete.
Here is the truly amazing thing though. The resort, which is not inexpensive, caters almost entirely to the domestic market. Though some staff did speak very well english, all else was in hard core chinese. A trend, that I have seen develop over the past 5 years. The middle class in China is booming with no end in sight, their disposable income can afford such luxuries with no problem.
Fascinating really, to watch an emerging nation close up.
My room was cold when I first got there, and when I tried to turn up the heat? No double language labelling. Uhm, OK.
Dialing "0", a safe bet anywhere, got me the front desk who sent over the technician who fixed me up with that keyboard, I had to take notes... He should have camped out at my suite, as a couple of hours later he needed to return anyway so he could explain the remote control to me.
I needed my CNN fix.
Apparently a lot of government officials stay here, as well as smaller conventions of local businesses.
I'd say, it as the most authentic lodging experience since travelling to China. Though I roughed it a couple of times in the past, this one, added the luxury to the unknown when in China.
A WHOLE VILLAGE CONVERTED
RICE WINE JARS AT THE RESTAURANT ENTRANCE
VEGETABLE GARDEN BEHIND THE KITCHEN
MY SUITCASE BEING BROUGHT TO THE ROOM
PRIVATE COURT YARD
MY VERY LARGE AND UNDER UTILIZED SUITE
IT'S ALL CHINESE TO ME
HOW DO I FIND HBO?