The Park Hyatt Resort in Ningbo is a beautiful, old Chinese styled resort, with open walking grounds.
Distance from Shanghai: Three hours drive (across the longest bridge in the world, no less). They do run a shuttle bus from Shanghai.
Room rate: ¥1,900 upwards
Best for: Architecture, lake view, pool, environment, food
The Location: When you drive there, you actually completely ignore all the signs for Ningbo and the S4. You take the G60 to Hangzhou, and you keep going until the sign for the S7. That road then takes you over the longest bridge in the world and straight to Ningbo. The drive through Ningbo is dull and ugly, it must be said — but once you escape that and near the hotel, you are back to pure lake views and green hills.
The Hotel: Not specifically family friendly, but a very nicely designed hotel with a good location. While it’s a Park Hyatt, the quality of the fixtures and materials in the room is a bit more like a Hyatt Regency — i.e. some of the small points such as the windows, paint / decoration and building isn’t quite as high as the ‘Park Hyatt’ brand would aim for.
Nonetheless, the hotel looks gorgeous, the food and the service is usually excellent.
The grounds are very nice for walking, the swimming pool is lovely and you can get a boat out onto Dongqian Lake just round the corner from the hotel.
The Rooms: A nice design, but as mentioned they can be a little rough around the edges for the price range. The best rooms are the ground floor rooms that have a little ‘garden’ area outside. They do have villas, which would only be worthwhile if you got a lakeview, as they are priced very high.
Overall: This isn’t a must-visit hotel. It looks nice, the food is good and so on, but it is not designed specifically for families, so some of the other family friendly hotels near Shanghai would be better options. However, if you’re in Ningbo or really love the style and look, then it will still be a nice stay with a great view.