We headed for Nanjing, which means “southern capital”. We wanted simplicity, mainly – wilderness and the Nanjing outskirts offered some incredible forests to reconnect with some plants and the annoyances of the journey were outweighed by the visceral thrill of being some place new.
The journey to Nanjing took approximately three hours and when arriving into Wuxiangshan Park you get an immediate sense of the enormity of the resort. No cars are allowed on site, so my bags and I hopped onto an electric golf cart that wound its way up the last few metres to the hill and our room. After we traversed the huge gates we first visited the lodge. The entire place is immediately welcoming, and is akin to visiting a luxury African safari lodge. The resort has only recently opened and they have many other exciting projects in the pipeline – they do not do things by half measures and it is hard not to be impressed.
Where did we stay?
If you are not familiar with the naked group, they have global reputation which begun in 2007 with the naked Home in Moganshan. The idea came out of a desire to provide an accessible beauty spot near Shanghai. “I was surprised that if you don’t play golf, there was nothing you could do to take you out of the city,” said Horsfield. It is the South African atmosphere that prevails in all of their resorts, from the stews served in the main restaurant to the cow hides that line the wood floors and sofas of the clubhouse. It’s a theme that attracts both wealthy Chinese locals looking for a novelty experience and expat families hungry for something more familiar. After the initial success, naked expanded the idea of sustainable lifestyle and resort experience into Moganshan’s naked Stables (2011) and naked Castle (2017), also naked Water in Suzhou (2020), naked Valley (2021) in Zhengzhou’s Fuxi Mountain, and the naked Hill in Nanjing (2022) which we were fortunate to experience.
The great thing about the Nanjing resort is that it is especially designed for families and there is a Little Shoots Kids Club with a stylish ball pit for younger kids to play and a wide range of activities and crafts for all children to partake with the optional instruction of the resort staff. My son chose to make a candle which took a great amount of patience from his instructor but the end result was most splendid.
The whole luxurious resort is inspired by nature, managed with sustainability, and designed with quality. Such dedication and promise grant naked numerous recognition by families China-wide. My only regret is that I did not rent out a bicycle as the trails looked phenomenal. When the autumn tiger cools then this place will offer a perfect option for family hiking and biking. We aim to come back in October (if our school allows).
When you get hot in the heat of the summer, you can take a dip in the vast pool, there was a pool party arranged at night and it is also a good place to socialise and have a glass of wine. This is the place to cure a child’s nature deficiency by reconnecting with all things green and retreating into your villa with private pools for your child to take a snooze and recharge in time for dinner.
There is also a large farm with a range of animals and they can be fed by the children. There are two ponies which are sociable and can be hand fed carrots as well as sheep, rabbits, and goats. And next to the farm there is a vast play area – which is right in the centre of the forest. Which really intertwines well with the ethos of all of the nature resorts in that it is all about enjoying yourself outside and exploring the great outdoors.
The rooms are the epitome of leisure of luxury, surrounded by the lush forest and the majestic mountains. naked Hill features the beauty that Nanjing has to offer by combining a special blend of nature, leisure and history. The rooms vary in cost and if you wished to rent a villa with your own pool and a neighbouring guest house. Or you may prefer a more reasonably priced villa with your own garden but no pool but allows plenty of room for the whole family.
Family-friendly with a focus on the outdoors — it’s all about getting back to nature, but always with a touch of luxury. The room styles are spacious and you get a mountain cabin feel. Each room has its own garden and they were a couple of 2 metre beds in the room allowing plenty of space. We stayed in the smaller room but it was still extremely spacious but if you wished to push the boat out for a birthday party for just over 10 thousand – you can rent out a villa with a private swimming pool and kitchen. This would be big enough for three famillies and up to nine children. If shared it equates to a similar price.
We visited, thankfully off season but in October this place, I would imagine would be popular. The cuisine here is great and we were certainly hungry with all of our outdoor exertions. It is a fusion style cuisine that prepares fresh in-season local ingredients with western cooking. They also cater especially for children and are extremely accommodating to families.
Food & Drink
Dining options include Ling Shang Ge is the Chinese restaurant for fine-dining in naked Hill. It contains 8 distinctively styled private rooms for intimate groups, and they are all named after locally related stories, cultures, and histories, such as Xinghuacun, Shitoucheng, Wuyixiang, Changqianli, Baixiating, Taoyedu, Bailuzhou and Fenghuangtai. The restaurant seeks to have culture embedded in the palettes, along with the outstanding nature, to present a luxurious dining experience.
Naked Bite for all-day dining with an Italian influence. Both utilise fresh, seasonal ingredients grown on-site from the naked Farm. Ling Shang Ge, located with a roof top 360 degree terrace that faces the setting sun and the forest below, is ideal for romantic sunset dinners, while Naked Bite is great during the day and is more of a buffet style. naked Bite provides all-day dining service to naked Hill guests. The uniquely designed restaurant building sits on a bridge that crosses a stream. The interior design is modern and cozy. naked Bite’s exquisite location grants it an impressive view of the resort’s landscape of the fields and of flowing water. naked Bite prepares its delicious fusion of Beijing and Suzhou-nese flavours and the western culinary taste with organic and locally sourced ingredients, combined with selective imports.
We actually did not want to go back and stayed in the forest for a further few days and found some other families who had done the same. It is not so challenging to do the journey as we had anticipated. Once you arrive all of your stresses dissipate away as it is an environment designed to de-stress you.
“It’s not like a city hotel, as they don’t need to share elevators or corridors (with hotel employees or other guests), so you’re kind of in your own house, just in the mountains,” naked group CEO Mr. Mehta said.
All in all it is a (three hour) stone’s throw from where we live, it gave us a pleasant change from our Shanghai surroundings. We did some family activities together like hiking, swimming and candle making. There is also a play area next to the dining area so children under eight can have an outlet to let off some steam as they wait for their dinner. These little touches, make families very comfortable here and we will certainly come back for the autumn barbecues and bike rides in the forest.
Read MORE: https://www.nakedretreats.cn/zh-CN/
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