MOST hotels are just somewhere to stay for the night. But for those of you who are looking for the fun to continue even after the amusement park closes, these themed hotels are guaranteed to provide an experience unlike the rest. Mace Blank explores.
Yinrun Jinjiang Castle Hotel
Is the prospect of going all the way to Japan to enjoy the charm of Hello Kitty a bit out-of-reach? For those of you nodding your heads, the Yinrun Jinjiang Castle Hotel in Hello Kitty Park in Anji County of northwestern Zhejiang Province might be up your alley.
Together with the Japanese parent company Sanrio, whch owns the Hello Kitty franchise, the Shanghai Insight Holdings (Group) Co opened the Hello Kitty Park and its associated hotel, which opened in January of 2015.
It is the first Hello Kitty Park outside Japan.
Managed by Jinjiang International Hotel Management Co, the hotel is as much a spectacle as it is pink. And it’s really pink.
Located in the famous bamboo township of China, Anji, this hotel affords breathtaking views of the region’s mountains and forests.
With an area of 26,000 square meters, classic European-style architecture and first-rate landscaping, the exterior of the hotel leaves nothing to the imagination. It has 386 guestrooms, including 43 Hello Kitty themed rooms. The hotel is also meeting and event-friendly, containing multi-function ballrooms for up to 350 people, fully equipped with high-tech speaker systems, projectors and lights, and a full-time catering team.
The hotel has Chinese and Western restaurants, so guests will never go hungry.
Whether looking to take the kids somewhere for the weekend, hold a business event or throw a Hello Kitty themed blowout, the Yinrun Jinjiang Castle Hotel is worth a visit.
Address: 8 Tianshi Ave, Anji County, Zhejiang Province
Tel: (0572) 5522-888
Marco Polo Changzhou
The Marco Polo Changzhou is a must for those traveling with kids.
Located in Xinbei District less than 10 minutes’ walk from China Dinosaur Park, which is called the “Eastern Jurassic Park,” and close to variety of other attractions for adults and kids alike.
Surrounded by 7,8000 square meters of lush garden overlooking the Zaojiang River, the hotel offers spectacular views.
It is a 10-minute drive from Changzhou Railway Station, and a 30-minute drive from Changzhou Airport, with free shuttle buses to the railway station, as well as China Dinosaur Park, Global Harbor and Wanda Plaza.
Guests can enjoy an indoor swimming pool, fitness center, outdoor tennis court and a chess room.
But it’s the activities for the kids that really make the hotel stand out.
The Piccolo Kids Club features a games room, tours and other supervised activities.
There is also a giant bouncy castle. On weekends, the hotel chefs organize do-it-yourself activities, including free cooking classes for kids 3-12 years old. Cribs and rollaway beds are available for all room types, and special kids’ concierge services are also offered.
This is an ideal getaway for parents who want to bring their kids, but also want some time to themselves.
Address: 88 Hehai Rd E., Changzhou, Jiangsu Province
Tel: (0519) 8168-8888
Shanghai Disneyland Hotel
As magical as it is luxurious, the Shanghai Disney Resort offers visitors the unforgettable experience that is synonymous with the world-famous brand. For those looking to make a weekend trip and stay near the resort, Shanghai Disneyland Hotel is undoubtedly the most convenient.
And the most spectacular.
Upon entering the hotel, the lobby pianist can be heard playing live selections, offering a pleasant way to relax after a long day.
The hotel also offers distinctive dining experiences, including Character Dining — a family-style buffet where popular Disney characters stop by to say hello and pose for pictures.
If you’ve always dreamed of a fairy tale wedding, the hotel can host it with facilities like the Cinderella Ballroom or the beautifully landscaped Rose Garden.
There are plenty of ways for kids to have fun, too, with the indoor King Triton Pool, the Hakuna Matata Oasis — an African savanna-themed water play area and hedge maze — and the Mickey Mouse Playhouse, an activity center that features toys, games and puzzles, as well as arts and crafts.
Address: 1009 Shendi Rd W., Shanghai
Tel: (021) 2099-8002
Interlaken OCT Hotel Shenzhen
Located in Shenzhen’s OCT East resort complex, the hotel is quite possibly the most luxurious stay on today’s list. From the gorgeous bedrooms and the gourmet cuisine to the breathtaking views, no effort was spared in designing this world-class hotel.
With Swiss-style architecture, the hotel’s main building, villas, presidential suite and nearby apartments evoke the quaint charm of an Alpine village.
The hotel’s imposing lobby is as green as it is marbled, with ivy flowing from the ceiling and even the chandeliers.
The 55-square-meter bedrooms exude comfort, with soft lights and warm tones. Gourmet restaurants ensure that guests’ refined tastes will not be disappointed. Stepping outside the hotel to take a stroll to the town gives one the feeling they are stuck in an oil painting.
Simply put, if you want to feel like you are stepping out of China for the weekend without actually leaving the country, consider the Interlaken.
Address: Eastern Dameisha, Shenzhen (near Tea Valley), Guangdong Province
Toy Story Hotel
Toy Story Hotel is one of two hotels located within the Shanghai Disney Resort, which opened in June last year, and is the first hotel to be entirely “Toy Story” themed.
The hotel’s blue-sky-and-puffy-cloud painted exterior is unmistakably reminiscent of Andy’s room from the classic Disney/Pixar film. Its colorful lobby is decked with images of “Toy Story” characters Woody, Buzz, Jessie and Bullseye.
Floors are designed like gameboards and Etch-a-Sketch signs. But the bright colors and friendly images of your favorite “Toy Story” characters are not the only things that will make you smile, as the hotel staff are as enthusiastic and welcoming as they are abundant. The rooms have themed wallpaper, carpeting, bedding and nightstands, and the flat-screen TVs in each room have free streaming Disney movies. The hotel also has a playroom for kids.
If you or your kids are fans of “Toy Story,” or if you just want a comfortable, affordable stay at Shanghai Disney Resort, Toy Story Hotel is well worth checking out.
Address: 360 Shendi W., Shanghai
Tel: (021) 2099-8003
This hotel is a must for dinosaur lovers, just 4.2 kilometers from the China Dinosaur Park. This themed hotel in itself is something of a spectacle. Guests looking to escape for a weekend into the wonders of the Jurassic period should look no further.
One of the coolest things about staying at this hotel is that you have an option of six different room types: T-rex cave, pterosaur nest, archaeology tent, dino-people tribe, explorer’s residence and capsule.
Since each room type has its own unique sub-theme, every time you book here you will have a different experience.
It goes without saying that this place is great for kids.
Complete with a “magical forest,” animated oil paintings and electronic dino puzzles, the Dino Hotel has lots of things to keep the little rascals busy.
The hotel also features Mr D Museum, the largest interactive dinosaur exhibit in the country. The museum contains full-scale dinosaur skeletons, fossils and displays of archaeological tools.
Whether you’re traveling with kids, or are a fan of dinos yourself, the hotel is a must-visit.
Address: Bldg 22-23, 60 Hehai Rd E., Xinbei District, Changzhou, Jiangsu Province
Tel: (0519) 8518-6688