My Photographs: Top 5 The Shangri-La Hotel – Hangzhou, China,

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Shangri-La Hotel October 2017. Captain Wonderboy and I had just finished tackling the unbridled chaos of West Lake’s Su Causeway and were in desperate need of a well-deserved time out. “Check out that fancy hotel!” I exclaimed. So we did, crossing the insanely busy road and walking up the driveway of the opulent Shangri-La Hotel. We’d been walking the entire day, so as soon as we saw this quiet leafy café terrace I instinctively knew it was time to collapse for a bit over some overpriced drinks.

Shangri-La Hotel October 2017. One of many five star hotels set around West Lake, The Shangri-La offers plush rooms, an indoor pool, tennis courts and gourmet dining. It also has a charming front garden where guests can play badminton, mini crazy golf and table tennis. And there’s a small petting enclosure featuring some of the whitest, fluffiest rabbits I’ve ever seen.

Shangri-La Hotel October 2017. A walk around Shangri-La’s garden wouldn’t be complete without a photo in its ridiculous flower carriage. “Oh my god!!! 10 out of 10” a friend of mine was moved to write upon seeing this shot of Shangri-La Leighton. “There is NOTHING more romantic than this!” A ring-a-ding-ding.

Shangri-La Hotel October 2017. It was gloriously quiet in Shangri-La’s café terrace as we settled down for an hour’s respite. Wonderboy went for a cappuccino, while I decided on this refreshing Virgin Piña Colada mocktail. Just for kicks we asked the waitress to give us a quote for a night’s stay. Naturally the entire joint was booked out for National Holiday week, but I was surprised to learn that a double room usually goes for just 870RMB (£100/$130) a night.

Shangri-La Hotel October 2017. After my drink I took an extended wander around the hotel grounds. Coming upon an ascending stone path, I walked up through a wild garden until I reached Shangri-La’s gorgeously designed fitness centre and Spa. Peeking inside the lobby, I saw that even their most basic treatment programs weighed in at more than a night’s stay at the hotel itself. Maybe next time…

There’s so much to see and do in Hangzhou. To find out more, cast your peepers over my Top 5s on  Hefang Market Street, Leifeng PagodaOrioles Singing in the Willows Park, Shuangtou Bridge, Wushan Hill and Su Causeway.

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