Journey to the West


Do you ever feel like something should feel familiar but in reality feels even more alien?  That’s exactly how I felt when I recently went to China.  Although I grew up in London all my life and spending almost half my 20s in South Korea I still have Chinese blood running through my veins, so I would’ve expected to have a sense of familiarity when I touched down the mystical city of Hangzhou.  But nuuuuh I was literally a complete tourist.

Aside from the clear identity issues I was thrilled to be invited by Sheraton Hotels to attend Sheraton Grand Hangzhou Binjiang Hotel’s #sheratongrandtour, which involved the 3 unique travel solutions – Paired, PackPoint Packing App and Sheraton 1-Hour Gems.  Located in the world’s most sought-after destinations, Sheraton Grand hotels are marked by sophisticated design, iconic restaurant concepts, elevated finishes and superior service.

The “Paired” China menu was inspired by 8 distinguished China regional cuisines and each is selectively partenered with premium wines to create “East meets West” in an unexpected way.

The ‘PackPoint Packing App’ where the application prepares you for the optimum travel experience, and the ‘one hour gems’ programme was where guests can experience a hidden gem within an hour proximity of the hotel.  Being a design and architectural fan myself, the obvious choice was to visit the stunning Zhongshuge Bookstore situated in the city center.

The stay was a real authentic experience.  I loved how the hotel was specially designed according to Hangzhou’s traditional culture and beliefs for example the giant chandelier in the lobby was inspired from a poet about raindrops.  As expected from a 5 star hotel the room was traditionally modern, immaculate and have a fantastic view of the Qiantang River.  It was so relaxing that I honestly wanted to just swim through my bed sheets all day.


Deepest thanks to the Sheraton Grand Hotel Binjiang for the wonderful hospitality and opportunity.