One word that can never be used to describe a Chinese architect: boring. As a rising global superpower, it should come as no surprise to see a multitude of impressive architectural innovations erupting all throughout the lands of China.
Among its latest and greatest landmark buildings is the stunning Sheraton Huzhou Hot Spring Resort. Looming above the picturesque banks of Lake Taihu, this uniquely shaped 27-storey resort boasts 321 large guest rooms, including 44 suites and 39 villas, all with private balconies.
Can you guess what inspired its shape? This building has been called everything from a horseshoe to my personal favorite, a giant glowing doughnut. Architect Ma Yansong, however, says its design was actually inspired by the traditional bridges depicted in old Chinese artwork.
“Huzhou itself is a place famous for traditional ink paintings and splendid water views, and the arch bridge is one of the key elements of traditional architecture,” he explains.
“By incorporating this iconic ring-shape, my goal was to design a contemporary resort that seamlessly integrates with the surrounding environment while evoking the beautiful arch bridge over Taihu Lake.”
The exterior really shines at night! Its LED light system displays animated textures and patterns that light up the property from head to toe. It creates a striking visual that is reflected in the lake’s surface.
With an exterior design that leaves us staring in awe, the interior space should match its grandeur, right? Step inside and behold the lavishly designed lobby featuring a wistful array of lights comprised of 20,000 Swarovski crystals. The floor is paved with Afghan white jade and Brazilian tiger’s eye stone. Fancy, huh?
Each luxurious room is decorated in beautiful pastel colors and equipped with an iPod docking station, a microwave and ironing facilities. The bathrooms are spacious and include both a bathtub and shower.
The Huzhou Hot Spring Resort is designed to help you stay busy or simply relax. Maintain your workout routine at its state-of-the-art fitness center and pamper yourself afterwards at the Shine Spa, which includes a steam room, saunas, and a hydrotherapy pool. Satisfy your appetite for international cuisine at any of the resort’s three restaurants or two lounges. For a truly tranquil experience, visit Starlight for a panoramic view of the lake.
Sheraton Huzhou Hot Spring Resort, No. 5858 Taihu Road, Huzhou, Zhejiang, China; +86 (0) 572 2299 999; starting at $395 a night