The 3 best luxury hotels in Chongqing

I’m used to hearing crickets when strangers ask me where I live. Who doesn’t know Beijing and Shanghai, China’s “famous cities”, but Chongqing often brings blank stares despite it being one of the world’s largest megacities, with an estimated 34 million residents.

Despite significant history and culture, the Southwest Chinese city is best know as the starting point for luxury cruise travellers on the Yangtze River. Referred to locally as one of the “Three Furnaces” of the Yangtze River, its summers are long and among the hottest and most humid in China, with highs of 34°C during July and August.

Chongqing

With Chinese banks writing blank cheques to developers, the city hosts some of the best valued and under-utilised luxury hotels on the planet. Here are the top 3.

The Westin Liberation Square

Opened in the last week of April 2014, the Westin instantly set the benchmark for luxury in Chongqing. Without a hint of Chinese architecture, the ultra modern design of the 336 room hotel begins on the 35 floor and oozes affordable luxury in a location that boasts every conceivable Western luxury branded store within a five minute walk from the front door, either stand alone along Pedestrian Street or housed in the Jiefangbei Times Square shopping complex.

With even the standard rooms boasting cloud like, Westin “Heavenly Beds”, large screen B&O televisions, Japanese style water jet and fan toilets, deep baths and expansive city, mountain or river views, who needs a suite?

On the 50th floor, the 360 degree view, multi cuisine buffet with open kitchens produce freshly made delights as guests and visitors look on. Or stay in your room for quite possibly the worlds best $15USD room service hamburger with trimmings.

The Hyatt Regency

Situated in Jiangbei, the Hyatt Regency, is another recent addition to the Chongqing 5 star hotel scene, that boasts great modern architecture, polished service, multiple in-house cuisines and a price that puts a smile on even the shortest arm luxury travellers face.

Located in the “new” CBD, nearby malls, such as the “Paradise Walk” can occupy the luxury shopper for days if so desired. Of course like all properties listed here, an array of spa, fitness and pool options cater to the needs of weary travellers, and as per world standards loyal guests, in this case Regency Club have access to higher floors, as well as complimentary cocktails and snacks.

All this five star luxury can be had for the price of your average 3 star hotel in other parts of the world, at just over $100USD per night.

The Sofitel Forbase

Ever wondered where the least expensive Sofitel in the world is? You’ve found it. Here rooms can be had for around $85USD a night.

While she does need to re-apply the lipstick, and the location is compromised, this 7 year old hotel still has all the charm of it’s French heritage with Hermes scarves displayed as art pieces on the wall in the rooms, and food that transports you back home after you have had your fill of rice and local hot-pot.

Restaurants in-house cover Western, Cantonese, Sichuan and Japanese while the newly appointed French General Manager is intent on ensuring guests receive the luxury service synonymous with the Sofitel brand. Helping him along is Sofitel’s own “MyBed”, and when your in the business of selling a good nights sleep, this luxurious bed absolutely hits the spot.

Image: Shutterstock

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