Once a center of agriculture in China, Changsha, located on the Xiang River, was known as an important commercial city in the first millennium BC. Yet after the Sino-Japanese War and 1938 fire, the town was destroyed and captured by the Japanese in 1944. In the years following, the city was rebuilt and its population nearly tripled by the 1980s. Today, it is a major port for rice, cotton, timber and livestock and is once again an energetic city with magnolia-lined streets and a hub for the arts.
As a nod to its rebirth, one of its newest residents is the Luxury Collection’s Meixi Lake Hotel with opened today. Located in a 52-story landmark tower in the Meixi Lake Zone—a new area for business, retail and entertainment—the hotel is home to 310 guestrooms and an expansive, 3,000-square-foot Presidential Suite. Inspired by the poem Journey to the Immortal Peach Garden by Tao Yuanming, the property’s design captures the spirit of the utopian literature through artistic elements and a secret-garden aesthetic.
Its interior spaces were created by HBA while its exterior architecture was overseen by Callison RTKL. All dining and event venues were designed by Rockwell Group Madrid and bring to life Tao's garden utopia. Among its amenities are a heated indoor swimming pool, luxury spa with 14 treatment rooms, fitness center, four F&B venues and 33,000 square feet of event space. A farm-to-table concept, The Peach Garden utilizes the region’s local bounties to create innovative Hunan and Cantonese specialties. At the Lobby Lounge guests can participate in authentic afternoon tea sessions or sip on signature cocktails in one of four private dining rooms.
The hotel is also located to some of the city’s best sights including the Zaha Hadid-designed Meixi Lake International Culture & Arts Center, The Mall of Splendors and 3,000-year-old historical sites. From the property, guests can take a walk or cable car ride to the top of Yuelu Mountain where they can view temples, tombs, ponds and a bird sanctuary.
Rates begin at around USD $100 a night on weekdays.