Marco Polo once said, “The Sky has heaven, and Earth has Suzhou and Hangzhou”. Fuchun Resort in hangzhou might not have been around when the great explorer said that, but the accommodation is indeed heaven on earth.
Fuchun Resort Hangzhou
Nestled in Fuyang village, an hour’s drive from the city centre of Hangzhou, Fuchun Resort is a refuge for many affluent locals from the hustle and bustle of the city.
It’s not difficult to see why; tucked in the middle of picturesque mountains, the resort has an 18-hole golf course, tea plantations, and a man-made lake. All offering guests plenty of leisure activities to choose from.
Fuchun Resort was built as a homage to Huang Gong Wang’s painting ‘The Dwelling in the Fuchun Mountains,’ which showcases the scenery along the Fuchunjiang River.
Located on the very site of the famed Yuan Dynasty painter’s cottage, guests can see breathtaking mountain vistas from the resort.
Designed by Jean-Michel Gathy, the man behind a few notable Aman resorts, one knows what to expect from this luxurious hideaway. The exteriors are wonderfully conceptualized and the interiors are just as stunning.
Our “Superior Lake View” suite, as expected, was very spacious. There is a living-cum-dining room, double-sink vanity in the bathroom, and the highlight – a bathtub and daybed by the windows overlooking the lake and tea plantation.
What makes the room stand out from many other luxurious accommodations is its homey atmosphere.
Maybe it’s the extensive use of wood in the interiors, the warm earthy tones, or perhaps the Chinese-style round dining table with a bowl of fresh fruits to savour. Whatever it is, we instantly felt we were in our dream house.
Beside the suites, there are also 12 hotel villas close to the main building, outfitted with pantry, private balcony and outdoor jacuzzi.
The resort is also home to the Fuchun Villa, the most luxurious of the lot, located within terraced tea plantations with a private pool, three bedrooms, full kitchen, and more.
Wake up early for breakfast, one of the best time-spenders in the resort. Served in the Lake Lounge, we sampled both Western and Asian menus.
From the pork dumplings in noodle soup to the tomato omelette burger, one thing is certain, the lounge provides a picture-perfect setting for a freshly-made meal.
A full plate on one side, a view to die for on the other side while the sun rises; it’s the ultimate energy kicker to start the day.
Burn a few calories with a workout in the gym or tee off in one of the most lauded golf courses in the region. Designed by Daniel J. Obermeyer, it’s the only hillside golf course themed within a tea garden in China.
With an amazing landscape coupled with advanced technology, golf players will get to show off their best game.
Not being an avid golfer, I was personally impressed with the indoor pool, nicknamed ‘the waveless pool’ because of the dark-tiled floor creating an illusion as if there was no water inside.
Right after swimming, we relaxed by dipping in the jacuzzi by the pool, accompanied by a garden view.
Naturally, we didn’t want to miss the spa, which is Fuchun’s most prominent. We tried its signature treatment, Hangzhou’s Silk Cocoon, a two-hour treatment that started with a sweet osmanthus flower footbath.
While being massaged, the therapist also scrubbed my body with a jasmine and pearl scrub and drenched me in arrowroot powder.
The best part was of course when I was wrapped in Hangzhou silk like a cocoon while my face was cleansed and gently massaged with rose water.
All good things must come to an end, and the soothing rose hibiscus milk bath provided the perfect finale. If this was from the movies, this treatment should be coined the grand and unforgettable Lord of the Rings.
The other great thing about Fuchun is the food. There are at least three outlets to choose from: the Lake Lounge, open all day for casual dining; Club 8 which serves mainly Western cuisine; and Asian Corner for – what else – Asian flavours.
It’s amazing how you cannot go wrong with any of the food items in the menu.
In the Asian Corner, for instance, we ordered Hangzhou specialties, like stir-fried shrimp with long jing tea leaves, fried crispy eel, Fuchun “dongpo” pork and I’m not exaggerating when I say that it was probably the best Chinese cuisine I’ve ever had.
Everything tasted so fresh and flavoursome, we were severely tempted to literally lick our plates clean. Don’t miss their homemade green tea ice cream, a light-but-so-good dessert to end the sublime dinner.
The Boat Service
Those who like to see the resort from the water can do so on the slow boat service that crosses the lake from two sides of the resort. It’s free, fun and if you prefer a lavish version of it, there’s an afternoon tea on a boat at RMB 700 (107USD) for two people.
With Fuchun homemade snacks, Long Jing tea and other beverages, bookers will be serenaded with a live flute performance on board for around 40 minutes. Romance ahoy.
Only 40 minutes away from Shanghai by bullet train, Hangzhou offers serenity and natural views that Shanghai lacks. And Fuchun Resort is undoubtedly the city’s best destination to sleep, eat and relax. If Marco Polo were alive today, he’d say Earth just got a little better than heaven.
Check out our article about kid-friendly places in Asia.