The hotel industry in China is absolutely exploding right now. Starwood and IHG are both poised to nearly double their number of hotels in the next 18 months. That's a lot of hotels! But are any of them any good? Do they stack up to the best of the rest of the world? That's what we want to find out. So City Weekend has selected our 25 favorite hotels in China and we're reporting one per issue.
The list isn't reader-voted like Conde Nast Travelers, it's not based on reviews like TripAdvisor's. It's based on a lot of conversations we have had, formal and informal, with luxury travel agents, savvy travelers and industry insiders. Next on the list is the naked Stables Private Reserve.
Travel through lush greenery, past sprawling tea plantations and up Moganshan to naked Stables Private Reserve and you’ll hear a sound you’re hard-pressed to find in Shanghai: pure silence. This isn’t just a relaxing vacation, it’s the most private of getaways—making naked Stables an easy choice for our Top 25 List.
Set on the edge of Moganshan, 40 thatched-roof huts provide an escape from the clamor of the city, each one enveloped in trees, plants and leaves that snake around the floor-to-ceiling windows, acting as an additional buffer against any noise from the outside world. It’s less than three hours from Shanghai, but you’ll feel worlds away as you “get naked” with nature.
The naked concept was developed by South African Grant Horsfield—a “consummate dreamer,” according to General Manager Richard Johnston. Finding Shanghai to be painfully noisy, Horsfield envisioned developing an accessible retreat outside the city where people could slip out of the cosmopolitan lifestyle and restore a natural balance. naked Stables opened in October 2011 and is the second installment of the naked Retreats brand, providing a departure from the original naked Home Village in nearby Sanjiuwu village.
Unlike naked Home’s countryside feel, the Stables is defined by sustainable and private luxury, as evidenced by its five-star resort status and goal of platinum LEED certification.
“We use entirely eco-friendly products, recycle as much as possible and use natural materials like the fabrics on the chairs and use of bamboo in the rooms,” says Johnston. “We encourage a sustainable lifestyle.”