Dusit International has signed an agreement to manage its first hotel in China’s Anhui province. The Dusit Thani Hot Springs Resort Wanfo Lake is scheduled to open in late 2019. It is the latest property in the Thai-based hotel group’s growing collection of Chinese resort hotels.
Located approximately one hour’s high-speed train ride from Hefei, Anhui's provincial capital, Wanfo Lake is situated in Shucheng country, which currently has only a handful of hotels. TripAdvisor lists 19 hotels in Shuching county, and none of them appear to be up to international standards.
The Dusit Thani Hot Springs Resort Wanfo Lake will be the first international standard five-star resort hotel in the county. It will have 150 rooms and suites.
A key feature of the property will be a full service wellness centre, which will will include natural outdoor hot spring pools and a Devarana Spa with four treatment rooms and a full menu of. Thai-inspired spa treatments.
Other facilities will include an all-day dining Chinese restaurant, an indoor swimming pool, a gym, conference facilities, and a kids’ club.
Dusit International currently has 29 hotels in eight countries, including five hotels in the following Chinese cities: Changzhou, Jiangsu; Dongtai, Jiangsu; Guangzhou, Guangdong; and Panzhihua, Sichuan.
The Thai-based hotel group’s portfolio will more than double over the next three to four years to 70 hotels and resorts worldwide, including 20 properties in China.
Location, Location, Location
Anhui is a landlocked province in Eastern China. Hefei, the provincial capital, is 403 kilometres, or 250 miles, west of Shanghai.
Owing to its location, Anhui has tremendous tourism potential as a weekend getaway for city dwellers in Greater Shanghai.
Tourist attractions include several old towns and ancient villages, including Hongcu, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. There are also several famous mountains in the province, including Huangshan, another world heritage site.
Taiji Cave is the longest karsts save in Eastern China. Zhenfeng Pagoda in the city of Anqing dates back to the Ming Dynasty (1368 – 1644).
Wanfo Lake, a.k.a. Longhekou Reservoir, is an artificial lake, which was built in 1958. It covers 50 square kilometers, with a water retention capacity of 900 million cubic meters.
The reservoir forms part of the Pishihang Irrigation District, which government hopes to develop into an important zone for eco-tourism.
There are many historical sites around the lake, including Longhekou, Meifudong Cave, Diaoyutai Island, and the Tomb of Zhouyu, who was an official of the Eastern Zhou Dynasty (770-256 BC).
Other important tourist attractions include islands, stone forests, and thermal springs.
Conventional and high-speed trains link the district with Hefei, and Hefei Xinqiao International Airport is the nearest airport. The air field his served by more than 20 airlines.
There is scheduled airline service to major Chinese cities such as Beijing, Guangzhou, Shanghai, and Shenzhen as well as numerous second and third tier cities throughout the country.
There is also non-stop air service to such nearby travel destinations as Bangkok, Thailand; Nagoya, Japan; Osaka, Japan; Seoul, Korea; Singapore; and Taipei, Taiwan.
International air carriers serving the airport include China Airlines, Korean Air, Far Eastern Air Transport, New Gen, and Nok Air.
But Anhui has more to offer than convenience, topography, and heritage. The province is also home to one of China’s Eight Great Cuisines.
Hui Cai (徽菜), as it is known in Mandarin, is noted for its rich and subtle flavours, thanks to the careful use to hams and sugared candies to enrich and deepen flavours.
Wild herbs – from both the land and the sea – are frequently used in the preparation of Anhui dishes.
Anhui cuisine is similar in style to Jiangsu cuisine, which is often referred to as Shanghainese cuisine outside China.