Story and photos by Sharon King Hoge

Hilton Guangzhou Tianhe entrance facade[1]

215 Linhe West Cross Road,
Tianhe, Guangzhou,
Guangdong, China

There are urban resorts along the river and international hotel towers in the emerging commercial center, but travelers to Gaungzhou whose priority  is location, location, location head toward Tianhe, the central business district and check into the soothing and elegant Hilton Guangzhou  Tianhe. Withing walking distance from the major Guangzhou East Railway  Station and Metro stops and surrounded by familiar outlets -- IKEA,  H&M, Pizza Hut, Uniquo it's a convenient up market refuge in the  heart of town. Situated behind a reflecting pool stretching nearly the  length of its facade -- lit bright blue at night, the Hilton is not only beautifully situated, but beautifully designed with a full range of  amenities and services.

Hilton Guangzhou Tianhe Undulating lobby wall

At the west end of the expansive multi-story marble lobby efficient  receptionists check you in and send you up to rooms that are excellent  examples of Hilton's characteristic sense of layout, providing every  comfort in a compact space. A club chair and table perch beside the  floor-to-ceiling cityscape windows beside the king size bed and  convenient desk. Plush silvery curtains can be pulled open or closed  for darkness.  

Hilton Guangzhou Tianhe Guest room

A translucent wall partially separates the bedroom from the marble  bathroom stocked with Peter Thomas Roth signature amenities, a lighted  mirror and floor scale.  Notable are the contemporary plumbing fixtures, squarely geometric chrome with fully six nozzles in the shower.  A  black enamel box holds toothbrushes, combs, and cotton swabs in a slide  out drawer. Accessories can be placed on top so it doesn't diminish the counter space. 

When it's time to eat, room service is available 24 hours a day, but there  are several venues for those who prefer to dine out.  With a full array  of juices, cereals and pancakes, cheeses and cold cuts, Chinese and  Japanese options, Executive Chef Francesco Rizzo's breakfast buffet  stretches so far through Cafe at 2 that we teased you'd work up an  appetite just making your way from one end to the other. If that's not enough, each day the Cafe serves an additional special "passed" treat  -- on Monday and Tuesday it's blends of healthy juices -- carrot and  ginger, celery and honey; Wednesday and Thursday guests are offered  baked goods (I had a delicious custard roll - a Chinese bun filled with  creamy custard); and on weekends they serve poached eggs on muffins. 

Hilton Guangzhou Tianhe Breakfast choices

For lunch and dinner, Sui Xuan serves dim sum and Cantonese specialties,  and includes 13 private dining suites and while Italian fare is served  up from the open kitchen at Il Ponte. There's causal snacking in the  lobby T Lounge and Bar with tea and coffee, pastries and sweets.  Outside on the terrace, diners sample tapas and snacks under the  umbrellas at Alfresco, and after dark guests congregate in Bar One off  the lobby to enjoy cocktails and live entertainment.

Cardiovascular and strength training devices are by Precor.  The gym overlooks the  famous Tianhe sports arena where you can pedal or pump away on PRECOR  cardiovascular and strength training devices while watching morning  football practice and matches in the stadium across the street.

Hilton Guangzhou Tianhe Urban views at the outdoor pool

But the piece de resistance is the outdoor (!) pool -- overlooking the  nearby skyscrapers with lounge chairs, tables, and umbrellas for those  who want to sun bask in the city unaware of the frenetic commercial  activity outside.

The signature eforea:spa is a haven on the sixth floor with an ice fountain, Vichy shower room,  Swiss shower jets, and reflexology treatments. Its Thermal Lounge  provides a range of hot and cold therapies. Next door to eforea, the  Momo salon by Hergert Ng can be booked for perms, touch-ups, eyelash  extensions.

Every half hour a free shuttle bus takes guests on ventures to other parts of the city. A rare and valuable amenity is the hotel's concierge desk  where Andy, Jack, and their colleagues are not only familiar with the  locality but unusually fluent in English and translation, happy to book  dinner cruises on the Pearl River, visits to Zaha Hadid's monumental riverfront opera house, tours to the former Colonial outpost at Shamian  Island and other nearby local sites.

Twice a year in April and October Guangzhou hosts the two mammoth Canton  Trade Fairs. Tourists may want to avoid that time in the city or at any rate, book ahead. At any time advance rates may be considerably lower  and rooms at the Hilton may be found in the $100-$150 range.




© August 2015 LuxuryWeb Magazine. All rights reserved.


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