Hangzhou: A business-owners guide
Here are the best places for owners to…
Have a power breakfast:
- The Hyatt Regency’s Café opens at 6am. Watch your omelette being made at the buffet (a handy visual diversion if conversation lags).
- The Friendship Hotel on Pinghai Road in Shangcheng District. The revolving views from the top (20th floor) provide a panorama of West Lake.
- For local flavour, head for the Wensan branch of Xinfeng Snack, which serves up the best stuffed bread buns (baozi) in town. Try them dipped in vinegar and chilli for an early-morning kick.
Meet potential clients and investors:
- Taking full benefit of its strategic location in the economic powerhouse of the Yangtze Delta and of its proximity to Shanghai, Hangzhou has became a major trade-show host city, with more than 100 shows, conferences and exhibitions on each year. The most important of them all is the annually held West Lake International Conference on Small & Medium Business, which aims to promote national products and encourage enterprises. This year’s event is October 16-18.
- You should also check out the International Industry Expo, held at the Hangzhou Peace International Conference & Exhibition Center each year.
Surf the web:
Most hotels offer free roaming broadband throughout for guests and visitors alike. Otherwise, head to any of the Starbucks or Costa Coffee chains strewn throughout the city. Failing that, try:
- The Qing Teng Teahouse on Nanshan Road in Yuanhua Plaza. Great Chinese tea, snacks and wi-fi in a quiet, pleasant locale.
Go for a post-work drink:
- The Bellevue at the Hyatt Regency on Hubin Road – a great place to start your evening.
- 7 Club 7 on Shuguang Road, Hangzhou’s very own bar street, boasting a chunky range of imported beers and the largest gin and tonics you’ve ever see
- Traveller, a venerable old institution with great live music.
- For hardcore night owls, try The Reggae Bar on Xueyuan Road. There’s live music, pool and darts – and it’s open from 6pm until the next morning.
Take suppliers for dinner:
- Lakefront family-run restaurant Lou Wai Lou on Gushan Road is a class place to bring your clients. Most Chinese presidents have eaten here at one point or another. Order the Beggar’s Chicken (an entire chicken cooked in a ball of mud) or the West Lake Vinegar Fish.
- If you’re seeking spice, go for The Liu Family’s Spice Restaurant on Baochu Road.
- For couture Chinese cuisine, look no further than Jin Sha Restaurant at the Four Seasons on Lingyin Road (try the steamed buns formed into the shape of a pig’s head).
Bed down for the night:
- The Hyatt Regency on Hu Bin Road has a decent “Business Plan” service offering broadband, breakfast, a range of newspapers, and one piece of pressed and washed laundry gratis as part of the room cost.
- Sofitel’s Hangzhou branch. Like the Hyatt, it’s located on the banks of West Lake itself, right at the heart of the city’s business and leisure district.
- Four Seasons. Surrounded by ponds, streams and lagoons, this hotel boasts some of the best fine dining in the city and a genuinely world-class spa.
- Tea Boutique Hotel on Shuguang Road. Competitive rates, the boutique touch, and it serves up some of the best tea and steamed crab in the country.
- Huachen International Hotel is in the Shangcheng District, close to West Lake. It has a business centre, small meeting rooms and free wi-fi in the public areas.
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