Often referred to as the “Venice of the East” due to its intricate network of canals, charming bridges, and picturesque water towns, this city boasts a collection of UNESCO-listed classical gardens that date back to the Ming and Qing dynasties. Suzhou has been a centre of silk production for centuries — visitors can delve into the silk-making process by visiting the Suzhou Silk Museum. And The Pingjiang Historic District offers a glimpse into the city’s past with well-preserved architecture, narrow alleys, traditional workshops and The Suzhou Museum, the ideal place to connect with the destination’s heritage.
Shangri-La Hotel, Suzhou Yuanqu
The modern glass-fronted city skyscrapers of the GCL Plaza commercial complex (home to this international hotel), contrast the timeless serenity of the adjacent Jinji Lake. Just four years old, this property has direct access to a shopping mall and is within walking distance of attractions. There are 3,000 square metres of meeting space onsite, 303 bedrooms and 16 serviced residences, with lake views framed by floor-to-ceiling windows and mood lighting for added ambience. Higher-level room categories enjoy membership of the Horizon Club Lounge where breakfast, refreshments and cocktails are served daily. There’s also a spa, an indoor pool, a yoga room, restaurant and bars in-house.
Kempinski Hotel Suzhou
This family-friendly hotel offers a kids club, with activities happening onsite and locally, plus children under six eat free of charge at the hotel’s Seasons Café. The health centre incorporates a gym and 50-metre indoor pool. While the M-SPA offers treatments inspired by China’s lush forests, fresh streams and natural fragrances. Dine in the Wang Hu Ge Chinese Restaurant, specialising in dishes from Huaiyang and Suzhou; grab a drink or a bite in the Lobby Lounge and Deli with 360-degree views of Dushu Lake; and eat alfresco to the sounds of live music, in the Kempinski’s authentic German microbrewery.
Rising 27-storeys, this curved masterpiece accommodates 427 contemporary guestrooms, five restaurants and lounges, a luxury spa, a jacuzzi, sun deck and an indoor infinity pool overlooking Jinji Lake and the striking Suzhou skyline. Rooms begin at 45 square metres, going up to 71 square metres, some offering 270-degree views over the water. Guests can benefit from an on-demand robot service, accessed via an in-room QR code, delivering everything from room service to treats for kids. This IHG hotel has three eateries; JING All Day Dining Restaurant, Riva Mediterranean Steakhouse and XIU Chinese Restaurant.