January 05 2010
It was only a matter of time before Hangzhou on mainland China developed a hospitality scene to match its beauty and cultural heritage. Following the opening of Banyan Tree’s fourth mainland-Chinese resort in December (first picture; www.banyantree.com; doubles from $368), this month Amanresorts debuts Amanfayun (pictures two to four; www.amanresorts.com; doubles from $383). Housed in a Tang dynasty-era hamlet, the 42 rooms are divided among low houses composed of brick and timber (though, unlike the farmers who erected them a century ago, guests will benefit from radiant underfloor heating).
To the south in Hong Kong, tradition is similarly being given a 21st-century twist at Hullett House (www.hulletthouse.com; doubles from $600), where the 1881 Marine Police Headquarters has been reinvented as a luxurious inn – the whimsical Chinoiserie murals are very Eloise-at-the-Plaza – with no fewer than five eateries, including St Georges, manned by an ex-Gagnaire chef, and Loong Toh Yuen (fifth picture), which serves dim sum and modern interpretations of Hong Kong dishes.