Sipping white-jasmine tea in the Park Hyatt Ningbo Resort and Spa’s lounge, you might think nothing has changed in China. The lounge—housed in a more than 500-year-old Ming dynasty mansion on the shores of Don Qian Lake—evokes an ancient world with its historic setting and serene water views. Of course, China has changed drastically in recent years, even the old port city of Ningbo. The area’s most recent addition, the Park Hyatt, is a $205 million destination resort in the mountainous outskirts of town.
The sprawling 236-room property—which should lure international travelers to venture past Shanghai (145 miles north) and Hangzhou (108 miles west)—is modeled after a traditional Chinese water village. A swimming pool fronts the lake, while water channels lace between low-slung buildings and pavilions. Guest rooms, including 17 suites and 10 freestanding villas, are sleek and minimalist, almost Japanese-like, although vaulted ceilings and gaping entryways are thoroughly Chinese in their grandeur.
Opening in spring, the Park Hyatt’s 121,000-square-foot spa will offer both Chinese and Western therapies. A cigar bar—housed in a centuries-old temple—will soon follow, and by June the resort’s dragon boats will be setting sail for sunset dinner cruises on the lake.
Park Hyatt Ningbo Resort and Spa, +86.574.2888.1234, www.park.hyatt.com