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West Lake State Guesthouse
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Reviewed 21 April 2016

best location, breathtaking lake view and ver lovely service! it is the best hotel i ever stayed! recommadation: the ziwei restaurant in villa 7 is a vert good place to tast the local dishes, the lakeside teahouse is very special

Stayed: April 2016, traveled with family
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
西湖国宾馆, 客户关系经理 at West Lake State Guesthouse, responded to this reviewResponded 14 May 2016

Respected guest:thank you for choosing our hotel as your destination. West Lake State Guesthosue is located on the west of Hangzhou and laid just by the side of west lake.Thank you very much for giving us your good comments and we will keep on doing our best to build a more peaceful and luxury hotel. We are looking forward to seeing you again!

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 4 June 2015

*Disclaimer, this is a review for the hotel restaurant (Zi Wei Restaurant), not the hotel rooms.

Dining at the guesthouse is an utter privilege. Though, whether staying or eating, I recommend taking a taxi in. The armed guards would like you to stay a certain distance back, and it's hard yelling across several meters that you're here for food and not to make trouble.

Once in though, it's utter paradise compared to the herds of people on west lake. There are routine guards patrolling, which isn't anything strange in China if you've been around Beijing. There are very few people, glorious pavilions and hallways, perfectly manicured gardens, your private view of west lake (and the people all lined up on the bridges across the lake) and perfect quiet solitude.

The food is a different matter. Maybe the Hangbang style of food just doesn't sit right with me. Drinks are great, and service is very attentive, even by Western standards. I enjoyed the chrysanthemum tea, and I definitely enjoyed the big window side seat that looked over the little pond and into the garden.

The Longjing shrimp was okay, tasty enough but far too much for two people. Dong po rou was very good. Xihu vinegar carp was tender, but far too many bones for someone not used to eating whole fishes. Their hot and sour soup is more hot than sour, but nonetheless tasty. Stir fried bean sprouts were actually the best part of the meal. I would say it's passable, but not at the price of more than $100 CND. There are better food for cheaper, even around west lake, but it's more the private access to the garden that you're paying for, I think.

Stayed: May 2015, traveled as a couple
1  Thank SisiGee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 28 December 2014 via mobile

This is our fifth, and worst, five-star hotel that we stayed at in our five-city China trip. No doubt, the grounds of the hotel are the most beautiful and best maintained, and the location couldn't be better with a prime view of the beautiful west lake. This state-run former Mao resident turned hotel, however, has an unhelpful and unfriendly staff and stinking old smoking rooms. We switched rooms three times to one that was tolerable only to smell the smoke from adjacent rooms later in the night. It was awful. The room we stayed at was one with inner lake view and it was small, old and not particularly clean, not to mention it had a clogged sink, toilet and a leaky shower head. Yes, the view of the west lake was priceless, but not enough to make us want to stay here ever again.

  • Stayed: December 2014
    • Value
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4  Thank artzero
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 26 November 2014

It was the best place we stayed at all trip! The grounds are stunning. It's a great example of a high end Chinese hotel. Different types of rooms are housed in different buildings and the buildings spread across the grounds. We got up early to walk the grounds and caught the sunrise coming up over the Leifeng Pagoda!

The location was great. We had the concierge take us by golf cart to the entrance and then it was just a 10 minute walk to the Fish Viewing Pond Park (花港观鱼). We had no problems with taxis since they all knew where the hotel was located and it was funny to see them kind of nervous to go past the guards at the main gate.

We booked through Hotels.com and ended up staying in Building 8. Breakfast was included in our room rate and came to about $250. They have two restaurants at the hotel, one Western and one Eastern. I'm a lover of street food and don't usually eat at hotel restaurants but both of their restaurants were fantastic.

I had noticed that room rates do fluctuate a lot depending on what is going on at the hotel. When I looked in June for a November stay on their website, prices were only at $110 but then jumped to $250 in July. So definitely book as early as possible.

Stayed: November 2014, traveled with family
Thank C C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 17 November 2014

Don't get me wrong..... I consider Hangzhou to be safe city...but whee else can a tourist stay in Hangzhou where they have armed Chinese guard protecting you. I chose to stay at the Xihu State Guest house primarily for the historic nature of the place...it supposedly was Mao's favorite retreat.... And the location right on the West Lake is perhaps another most notable reason to stay here.

Upon entering the grounds you are greeted by a Chinese soldier who puts out a hand and tells you to halt...once you show your hotel room card you're allowed to pass....at one point during my stay one soldier even saluted me as I was exiting the compound to walk around west lake.

I was put in building 6, I believe....the room I selected was a standard room and it looked it...although the price was a premium price by Chinese standards. The room was clean but the furnishings were clearly dated. The beds were twins and thus not to my liking but still OK......the bathroom was clean, no tub but a good shower and again poor lighting over the mirror.....

In general the room was just so so......offsetting the average rooms are a number of positives :

1. The location....although I did not walk around west lake completely the side that the hotel was on is magnificent...BUT you need to explore a bit..... I spent my mornings walking along paths on the shore line that were hidden..and provided marvelous photographic opportunities .... What is becoming a growing issue in China are the large number of tour groups with tour guides blaring away on their megaphones.....the way to get around this is to try and avoid the most popular tourist spots......once you have passed beyond these you are transformed back to some very tranquil always leading through various small parks along the lake.
About a 15 min walk toward from the guest house to the Four Seasons Hotel brings you to the fabulous botanical garden .....which on my visit nobody seems to be aware of since it was virtually empty. Or maybe because I visited on a weekday morning.....it also has a magnificent bonsai collection.
Lastly, you can walk to the Impression Show from the guest house...a 30-40 min walk.....a show well worth attending. But, note.....I tried to get a taxi back to the guest house after the show and 3 taxis refused to take me....the thinking was that it was too short a ride and not enough money to be made. So I walked back from the show around 9 PM....fortunately it was a straight walk back and I felt safe running into other pest rains along the way.

The staff at the Guest House are very accommodating..especially the manager who assisted me with a number of issues from getting me a bus ticket to Huangshan scenic area, to ordering me a taxi to dealing with a food request. By the way....the formal Chinese restaurant at the hotel is outstanding.

Because the local residents don't have free access to the grounds.....you also have substantial gardens to relax in without the noise of a tour group.

Lastly......the guest house is undergoing a major renovation of one large building of guest rooms.....from what I could tell the improvements should be substantial.....and hopefully effect the price I paid for my room which was fairly high by Chinese standards.

Room Tip: Check to see if the newly renovated building is available...not sure if it is served for government officials or if the public has access to the rooms their.
  • Stayed: November 2014, traveled solo
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4  Thank SwissPinkPanther
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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