Tongli [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]
After a whole day exploring Suzhou’s enchanting gardens, romantic canals and ancient architecture, people can rest at a cozy hotel. From budget to luxury, local to global, a bevy of accommodations are sprinkled over Suzhou’s districts, lakeside communities and charming water towns. Here is a breakdown of unique overnight offerings in the ancient city.
Most of the best hotels, modern amenities and luxury accommodations in Suzhou dot the city’s booming Industrial Park (SIP) district. Modern-day comforts, views of the lake and skyline, and proximity to nightlife, shopping and dining are available at recognized hotels like Crowne Plaza, InterContinental, Shangri-La, Hyatt and more.
Formally the Pingjiang, Canglang and Jinchang districts, the old town district of Gusu is known for its thousand-year-old temples, authentic cuisine and enriching museums. Stay in well-known names like Sheraton and Marriott, or opt for local, four-star facilities like the Suzhou Garden Hotel, Scholars Hotel and Chillon Castle Hotel. Hotels in this category start around $100 to $200 per night.
For those seeking culture and comfort at a reasonable rate, Suzhou has a plentiful collection of mid-range hotels. At approximately $25 to $50 per night, it’s no surprise Suzhou’s mid-range hotels book up quickly — especially on weekends and during holidays and festivals — so be sure to make your reservation in advance.
In Suzhou, it’s not hard to find accommodations that are both affordable and centrally located — the real challenge is narrowing down your search. Consider which attractions are on your itinerary. If you want to see the legendary Master of the Nets Garden and well-preserved architecture from the Ming and Qing dynasties, look for hotels near Shiquan Street. If you’d like to wake up to storybook views of bright pink plum blossoms reflecting off Taihu Lake in the spring, the Wuzhong and Wujiang districts will be good choices. Staying near the ancient water towns of Zhouzhuang, Tongli or Luzhi can make for a romantic, peaceful retreat.
If it’s authentic Suzhou you want, look no further than Suzhou’s collection of intimate boutique hotels. An eclectic mix of modern and traditional accommodations ranging anywhere from $30 to $200 per night can be found from the city center to Suzhou’s pastoral outskirts.
Special touches include lush gardens, koi-stocked ponds and suites ornately decorated in genuine Chinese décor and minimalist landscaping, contemporary design and state-of-the-art niceties. Like mid-range hotels, the best advice for selecting a boutique hotel is deciding what you want to see or where you want to be.
Suzhou’s hostels are a favorite choice among first-time and seasoned travelers alike. Famous for their wallet-friendly rates starting at $6 per night, central locations and opportunities to meet fellow travelers, Suzhou’s hostels are often touted as one of the best ways to experience this graceful city.
Stay in a 200-year-old complex with 18 distinct rooms, or opt for a more modern hostel close to local shops, attractions and nightlife. Whether you're backpacking by yourself or touring as a group or family, seeking a private room or just a dorm bed with shared facilities, you will undoubtedly find what you’re looking for in Suzhou.