What We Love
- A villa at an exceptional hideaway in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon county, with breakfastStaying in a luxury villa with a private terrace and teahouse, rarified country design and a luxury bathtub with glorious views
- Creating a custom spa journey with the guidance of expert therapists
- Views of the cinematic natural scenery from every angle of the resort
What To Know
- There are tons of activities, including tai chi sessions, river-rafting, cooking classes and free bicycles to explore the area
- Three hours from Shanghai, the hotel sits on 148,000 acres of land (picture: bamboo groves and tea plantations)
- Free WiFi
Despite featuring heavily in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, astonishingly scenic Anji County remains relatively under the radar. And though the newest addition to the fashionable Alila collection has collected awards from National Geographic Traveler, Condé Nast Traveler, Elle China, Lifestyle Asia (we could go on…) since opening in 2016, this unique property is a pleasingly well-kept secret among luxury travelers.
Within three hours of Shanghai and Suzhou, Alila Anji offers a dramatic contrast to urban living. Its setting is 148,263 acres of dense bamboo groves and tea plantations, where the delicate Anji Bai Cha tea is harvested. If clean air and clean living are on your agenda, you could do much worse than point your compass in the direction of this revitalizing region, the first “eco-county” in China. And of course, the luxe mountain-view spa makes relaxation hard to avoid.
Start your days with a tai chi session, or borrow a bicycle for a peddle amid the the plum trees. All manner of activities can be arranged by the resort, from river-rafting in summer to fishing on Tian Fu lake to bird-watching and cooking classes led by the expert chefs of Alila Anji’s Hidden Dragon restaurant. You won’t even need to leave your villa to absorb your surroundings, if you don’t want to, thanks to floor-to-ceiling glass and a substantial private terrace with your own teahouse and garden perched at around 5,200 feet high. No wonder so many guests have left with their head in the clouds.
How to Get There
This is my first stay at Alila Anji Resort and I have to say its one of the very best luxury resort I've stayed in China. The resort is beautifully surrounded by bamboo forest and my spacious villa was facing beautiful reservoir with magnificent view. Yes, there is no better place to sit at the outside courtyard with glass of Champagne just enjoy the calmness and nature beauty which we are missing in the big smoke. I will definitely come back.
The ride to get there was long but the welcome therefore extra warm. The view is stunning and the food awesome. But no matter how great a hotel is located or built, it's the people who manage it that make the difference, and this team did
Alila Anji has breathtaking lake views. However we soon realized there was not much to do at the hotel, which was a pity because experiences can be created to make this a more meaningful stay for guests. In short, we had the most beautiful surroundings in front of us but we were unable to get close to nature/ experience it fully by having a satisfying walk or viewing the lake up close.
The hotel could improve by providing a more comprehensive walking/ jogging /hiking map with places of interest and directions indicated. I believe guests are interested to experience the place by walking around near nature (and not simply on the buggy road) instead of simply viewing from the rooms. Also it would be nice to have a boardwalk near the lake because that's what we were there for: to get up close to nature!
In addition,the hotel only accepts Unionpay and not foreign credit cards/ mastercard/ visa. I ended by using most of my cash paying for this stay as overseas cards were not accepted.
The hotel staff were friendly and tried their best, the scenery was beautiful,the Chinese restaurant was awesome, and I believe the hotel can be so much more enjoyable with some improvements on experiences :)
Very beautiful place with long drive from the city. A little bit pricy in terms of room rate and the food in the restaurant certainly does not meet the standard of a five star hotel. Would recommend a one day maximum two day stay.
Alila Anji is one of several escapes few hours from Shanghai. We visited during Qingming long week end.
It took us 5H+ from Shanghai but apparently it could take as little as 3H. Bottom line, if you are going there on a national holiday: take the train to Huzhou + taxi, less of a hassle.
The hotel is located on a gorgeous land, next to the lake. Rooms are spacious, nice view. The Indonesian manager was great, friendly, helpful, smiling... They were very kind to prepare some special deco in the room for our birthday boy as well.
The rest is just so-so and does not match the expectation you can have with the Alila name (especially if you have stayed in Ubud previously).
There was not much to do around, indoor swimming pool was cold and no-one would take a swim. Foreign restaurant was expensive and not very good (Chinese restaurant was very good however). Most of the staff was not at the level as well or at least not what you would expect from Alila (and the price you pay).
Surprisingly a big part of the rooms / land behind is not taken care of: some unfinished constructions, a kids park that looks like Tchernobyl and some maintenance that needs to be done.
There are however a few math that leave je hotel that would merit a bit more attention and offer something special to be guests.
The big question (living in Shanghai and always looking for escapes around): would we go back there? No. Glad we did it but that’s it.
Thanks to Jack for the special attention (and sorry we did not get to say goodbye)