Wa­ter world

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Once an im­por­tant scenic stop along the old im­pe­rial Grand Canal, Wuzhen still draws day trip­pers from nearby Shang­hai and Hangzhou for its cin­e­matic tableaux of clas­sic tim­ber houses that are clus­tered around a labyrinth of canals linked by bi­joux stone bridges. An ideal set­ting, in other words, for the Alila group’s third and new­est China prop­erty. The 125-room re­sort is the work of Hangzhou-based prac­tice GOA Ar­chi­tects, which took in­spi­ra­tion from Wuzhen’s old town five min­utes away to cre­ate a low-rise se­quence of white, vaguely fu­tur­is­tic, glass and stone-clad pavil­ions that are joined by a se­ries of canals and a cen­tral pond. The rooms are mood-lit re­treats with spa­cious bath­rooms and fea­ture ei­ther pri­vate plunge pools or small court­yards. The pub­lic spa­ces, es­pe­cially the main din­ing room and sprawl­ing in­door lap pool, are sleek di­ver­sions, both of­fer­ing panoramic tree-lined lake views. Daven Wu 939 Ziye­dong Road, Wuzhen, Ji­ax­ing, Zhe­jiang, tel: 86.573 8871 2222, alila­ho­tels.com. Rates: from RMB4,000 ($587)

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