Summer in Shanghai can be glorious, but if it gets a tad too hot, there are luxurious escapes just hours away in the midst of mountains and lakes. Here are our top five recommendations.

1. Pullman Zhouzhuang

Classic gardens meet contemporary architecture at this new Pullman property. It features vibrantly modern rooms, a splendid indoor pool and a wonderful Chinese restaurant. The great summer retreat is just minutes away from the charming water village of Zhouzhuang.

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2. Naked Castle, Moganshan

High up the Moganshan peaks some two and a half hours by car from Shanghai is a castle built by a Scottish missionary in 1910. Subsequently abandoned, it was revamped by boutique hotelier Naked Retreats to include a spa, two restaurants and 95 luxurious rooms, many boasting gorgeous views of the stunning mountain range.

3. Fuchun Resort, Hangzhou

This beautiful retreat, designed by Jaya Ibrahim, is surrounded by hectares of tea terraces and boasts views right out of a shanshui painting. It was featured in Yuan dynasty artist Huang Gongwang’s epic painting, Fuchun Mountain Abode.

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4. Four Seasons Hangzhou

A precious gem set in an old city, Four Seasons Hangzhou offers excellent service, and the staff are amazingly dedicated. Attractions include a sensational spa and a fabulous Chinese restaurant often regarded as one of Hangzhou’s best. Don’t miss breakfast or tea on boats cruising along the private and scenic parts of West Lake.

5. Alila Anji, Huzhou

Nestled between a turquoise lake and jade green bamboo forests, Alila Anji captivates with magnificent views. The retreat provides a complete escape from the modern world. The villas are grand and lavish, offering ultimate seclusion and intimacy.

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