Photography From Hangzhou’s West Lake Scenic beauty. Traditional Chinese architecture. Absolute serenity. Take in the stunning vistas that surround Hangzhou at West Lake.
1/8 Renowned for its beauty, the structures of Hangzhou, particularly around West Lake, can provide a glimpse into Hangzhou’s past. With towering pagodas, ancient temples and delicate bridges, traditional Chinese architecture provides a picturesque contrast to Hangzhou’s modern city life.
2/8 There is no loss for serenity in Hangzhou. A tranquil boat ride on the waters of West Lake or the nearby Qiantang River is one of the best ways to see the landscape. Quite fitting of the city’s dual energy—the adventure of floating through the waterways that emperors and explorers once roamed is coupled with the calming effect inherent in the water itself.
3/8 Spanning 650 hectares (1,600 acres) and surrounded by a lush green shoreline, West Lake is without a doubt one of Eastern China’s most breathtaking natural jewels. Looking out toward the lake you’ll see mountains on three sides and the city on the fourth—a view appreciated by many ancient emperors and poets, as well as modern businesspeople, shoppers and adventurers.
4/8 Four Seasons Hotel Hangzhou at West Lake rests at the edge of West Lake amid forest glades, gardens, ponds, streams and lagoons. It’s a tranquil setting, and yet it is just minutes from the bustling city.
5/8 Hangzhou’s natural beauty is just steps away from your room at Four Seasons Hotel Hangzhou at West Lake. Many of the Hotel’s elegant accommodations open up to a terrace that overlook such sites as traditional gardens, forest glades and even West Lake.
6/8 Tea is an important aspect of both the culture and the economy in Hangzhou. Home of the Longjing variety of green tea, you’re bound to sample what is often referred to as the national drink of China. The Concierge at Four Seasons Hotel Hangzhou at West Lake can point you to historic tea houses where you can experience a traditional tea service in ancient style.
7/8 Grab a table on the terrace at West Lake Bistro, or WLB, for breakfast, lunch or dinner to relax as you enjoy your meal overlooking West Lake. Serving both Asian and Western cuisine, the restaurant’s terrace makes for a comfortable spot for beautiful weather, and the bright interior can bring the outside in without having to be out.
8/8 Surrounded by mountains and the city skyline, it is natural to pause before West Lake’s heavenly beauty. One can sense the ancient majesty that lingers throughout Hangzhou, a place that Marco Polo himself dubbed “the finest and noblest [city] in the world.”
Hangzhou, just a quick train ride away from Shanghai, offers two distinct sides of China. You have a city of 7 million that is an economic powerhouse in the making. You also have the ancient temples, rolling tea fields and majestic mountains which maintain Hangzhou’s close ties with its fabled history. But it’s West Lake’s storybook beauty and the traditional Chinese architecture that surrounds it that offer such stunning vistas and a sense of peace to all who visit.
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Four Seasons Magazine
The best of luxury travel, style and culture from thought leaders and tastemakers
Issue 3 2014