Back in April, I was in Shanghai for couple of week and decided that it probably would make sense to spend one weekend somewhere else. The brand new Park Hyatt Ningbo had just opened and was only three hour ride away from Shanghai.[nggallery id=58]
The hotel is outside of the Ningbo city by Don Qian lake. There is an airport in Ningbo, but I would imagine that most of the guests are arriving from Shanghai.
There is really nothing in the immediate proximity of the hotel. You need a car to get around as there are no taxis close to the Park Hyatt. If you want one, they need to order one from the city center and you have to pay an inflated rate of 100 CNY.
From Shanghai you have several options getting to Ningbo:
1. You can take a train but it will go via Hangzhou. I wasn’t going to spend any time there so I decided against this option.
2. You can take a bus that drops you off at the Ningbo bus station from where you have to take a cab to the hotel.
3. You can rent a car and drive to the hotel.
I chose the bus option and took a taxi to one of the bus stations in Shanghai. My hotel concierge printed out the bus schedule and instructed the cab driver where to take me. I did manage to buy the bus ticket without too much of a hassle. The price of the bus fare was about 100 CNY ($16). I was bit lost about where the bus was actually leaving. Luckily, there were Chinese whose English was rather good and they were able to help me out.
The bus trip to the Ningbo took almost three hours. We had a stop for 20 to 30 minutes just before crossing the long bridge.
The bus terminal in Ningbo is in the city center. There is a taxi rank after exciting the terminal. I had to wait no more than 10 minutes for a taxi, although the line looked long at first. There were some taxi touts offering services at the fixed fare. The fare from the center of Ningbo to the Park Hyatt using a meter was 60 CNY.
The check in area was totally deserted when I arrived. We went through back and worth few times regarding a Diamond upgrade. We decided to use one of the suite upgrades that I had to get me a suite. The hotel was completely deserted during my stay. Of course the hotel doesn’t have to upgrade you beyond what is the absolute minimum required by the Gold Passport, but if you have suites available, why not.
This was a proper suite with a separate living room and a bed room. The bedroom and bathroom weren’t really divided.
It had a full size refrigerator that is bit weird for a hotel if it designed as a hotel from the getco. I liked the Nespresso that you can find at most modern hotels in Asia and Middle East.
It had a full wet bar with a Chinese tea set.
The bathroom’s shower area was enclosed and you could turn it to a steam room.
Diamond amenity was a bottle of red wine and a note.
Was exactly what one would expect from a brand new hotel. I loved the fact that they had wireless headphones for the cardio machines.
There was an indoor pool that was lighted during the evening.
You also had a ping pong and pool tables.
When I was there back in April, the weather wasn’t really perfect. It was rather chilly and windy at times. The hotel grounds are very tastefully done.
There are two separate villa sections that weren’t ready back in April. I am not sure if these are going to be part of hotel or if they are sold separately.
This hotel probably mainly caters to Chinese clientele from the nearby cities. I was the only Caucasian guest that I saw on the property. The food and beverage options and the design reflect this fact.
The full breakfast is obviously complimentary for the Diamond guests. They had some bakery items out but for cold cuts you had to request.
They also had a menu for hot items that you could order from. I decided to have a salad and pan cakes.
No problems with the check out.
I think that this is a fine Park Hyatt that is catered to the Chinese clientele. The suite as well as the common areas were done very tastefully.
The location of the hotel requires you to have a car unless you are planning to spend the entire time at the property.
Would I travel to Ningbo just to stay at the Park Hyatt? Probably no. I don’t think that there was anything special to do in the area. It is perfect weekend getaway for those living in Shanghai, but I don’t see it being a destination to where you would travel from abroad.