Imperial Springs China – Kingdom of Luxury
Written by: Jovanka Ristich
Date: 7th April 2016
Opulent, magnificent, luxurious and indulgent, regenerating, calming and healing – these are just some of the words that easily roll off the tongue when describing Imperial Springs.
To stay here is to enter the land of Xanadu where all your needs are taken care of, something Imperial Springs achieves with great aplomb thanks in part to its 10:1 staff to guest ratio.
Built in the regal architectural style of the Tang Dynasty, a period (618-907) when China was the most powerful and prosperous country in the world, Imperial Springs sits in the protective lap of the Phoenix Mountains on a private estate larger in size than Monaco, 2.8 million square meters to be precise.
In fact, like Monaco, Imperial Springs is akin to a kingdom itself, a kingdom dedicated to luxury and style, one protected by verdant mountains as far as the eye can see and eternally rejuvinated by thermal springs.
Located in the Guangdong Province near Guangzhou, this is China’s cleanest, greenest region. Benefitting from the lack of heavy industry, the air is pure and the thermal waters warm with renowned healing properties. For centuries emperors from the Ming and Qing dynasties have been coming here precisely for this reason.
On arrival, perfection, quality and attention to detail are in evidence everywhere, whether it be in the choice of building materials and furnishings, the design finishes and selection of tasteful one off items of art that can be found throughout the property. And, whilst guests may be oblivious to it, the principles of feng shui are strictly adhered to. Everything is in its place for a reason.
In tandem with feng shui, state of the art technology has also been harnessed to great benefit, nowhere more so than on the championship golf course which lays claim to amazing driverless golf buggies found virtually nowhere else in the world.
Talking of which, I’m no golfer, but you don’t need to be an expert, or even a fan, to admire the fabulous Clubhouse building – surely there is no more beautiful Golf Clubhouse it the world? It provides an epic backdrop to the 27-hole course, the design of which was personally overseen by Colin Montgomerie. I am also reliably informed by those in the know, that this is a wonderfully challenging course, the visual beauty of which can easily be appreciated.
Today, a championship golf course, pampering spa, sublime cuisine, beautiful surroundings and flawless service – which in this case includes a personal golf buggy driving butler to take care of your every whim – are things discerning travellers come to expect from a luxury property. But how many can boast of having their own uniquely designed museum built to both preserve and reflect China’s awe inspiring cultural heritage? This is a museum, both in size and content, that would not feel out of place in any city in the world.
The unique design of the Kingold Museum was inspired by the shape of an ancient Chinese cool box. In the same way that a cool box preserves the food within it, so this museum was built to preserve centuries of Chinese artefacts, some of which were made 5,000 years BC. Beautifully curated in chronological order so as to explain China’s cultural evolution, there is pottery and jade, bronze and enamel, calligraphy and ceramics. Over 20,000 items are stored here, 400 of which are displayed over three floors and 7,319 square meters.
I am passionate about China’s cultural relics and am gratified to know that I have been able to make a small contribution in protecting, unearthing and propagating China’s historic culture.
These are the words of Dr Chau Chak Wing, the inspirational, pioneering businessman whose vision brought Imperial Springs and the Kingold Museum to life. An Australian/Chinese billionaire businessman and property developer, Dr Chau built Imperial Springs at a cost of £870 million.
But quite apart from creating a beautiful world class retreat, Dr Chau’s overarching vision is to bring together people from all walks of life so that they may exchange ideas and experiences inspired by beautiful surroundings, whether it be politicians attending on-site summits and conferences, or discerning travellers seeking refuge from the stresses of everyday life.
So, whether your primary motivation for travel is to quench a thirst for knowledge or more simply to recharge your batteries, Imperial Springs is there to grant any or all of your wishes.
How to get here:
Guangzhou can be accessed from Heathrow on direct flights with China Southern, via Dubai on Emirates or can be connected with through Hong Kong, Singapore or Bangkok with various airlines including Cathay Pacific, Singapore Airlines and Thai Airways. Direct flights take 12 hours.
Prices for Imperial Springs, a member of Small Luxury Hotels, start from £245 per night for a deluxe room and £425 per night for a suite. Prices are based on two people sharing on a bed and breakfast basis.