Explore China’s Garden City from Suzhou Marriott

Located west of Shanghai in the southern Jiangsu Province, my next stop on our itinerary known as the Garden City of China, with a stay at the Suzhou Marriott Hotel. Although this is also a very populated city, Suzhou is very different from Shanghai, an ancient city grounded in its history, known for its canals, bridges and classical gardens. A stay at the Marriott provides a familiar home base with expansive views of the Suzhou skyline.



Our Mandarin Journey host bused us from the Grand Kempinski Hotel in Shanghai to Suzhou,. Although in mileage (107 km), it should only take 1.5 hours, the traffic congestion doubled this ride.  (The train would’ve been about an hour, but of course, we would’ve had to lug our suitcases.)  Still, the road trip allowed us to sit back and enjoy the scenery.

The modern Suzhou Marriott is in the heart of downtown, wedged between the old and new sides of the city in the Gusu District.

The lobby is a massive marble lined walkway stretching from the front to the back of the hotel.  Uniformed staff lined the walkway, welcoming and at the ready to direct and answer questions.

SuzhouMarriottLobby from Elevator

Side “alcoves” included the lobby bar to the right and the reception desk to the left. Water features and foliage minimized the marble starkness.



Check-in was smooth as Chinese silk, and the bell staff escorted me to my room.



Ahhhh, the coolness of the room after the heat and mugginess of the Chinese sun in April. Rooms at a Marriott never disappoint, and this one is no different. Modern and comfortable, I had no problem falling asleep here. The work area was roomy, and the WiFi strong (but additional charge).



The surprise was in the luxurious bathroom, although I wish I had time to sink into the bathtub!

SuzhouMarriott Guest Bathroom


The Suzhou Marriott is a business hotel, with an excess amount of meeting space, but also caters to the leisure guest. Like many hotels, the executive floor offers a place to wind down, connect and catch up on emails, featuring views of the city. (But the views of the city from my deluxe room were pretty spectacular too.)

Each morning we enjoyed a delightful breakfast buffet with combination of traditional Western-style dishes and Chinese cuisine at the Asia Bistro, just off the lobby. SuzhouMarriottBreakfast

On our first night, we were wined and dined in a private room near the Italian restaurant,  Alto Vino, with a view of their impressive wine cellar.  I sipped an impressive Australian wine, Jacob’s Creek Chardonnay and was wowed by the presentation and taste of the steak dish.

SuzhouMarriott Steak

Other restaurants include light refreshments and drinks at the Lounge and local traditional cuisine at Man Ho Chinese Restaurant.

A full-service spa and fitness center round out the amenities offered at Suzhou Restaurant.


After spending 3 days in China, the Suzhou Marriott Hotel was a welcome and familiar stop while exploring this Asian country.  The staff never failed to accommodate, literally at nearly every corner, yet not intrusive. The Suzhou Marriott featured enough small local touches (foliage, water features, statues) to feel like you were in China, with the familiar brand experience.


You can make your reservations directly with the Marriott or you can compare rates and make reservations through Expedia.

Mandarin Journeys and the Suzhou Marriott provided accommodations for my review; opinions expressed are my own. Photos courtesy of Suzhou Marriott and Diana Rowe.

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