Shenzhen. From a fishing village, it’s morphed into a city of 12 million that’s now one of China’s industrial engines, while attracting entrepreneurs and investors from all over the world just like Shanghai and Beijing. Far from being just an economic powerhouse, however, it’s also home to various noteworthy attractions that a visitor should consider going to. In collaboration with Singapore Airlines, we’ve sussed out the best properties, restaurants, and activities that this modern metropolis has to offer, and compiled them into the definitive Shenzhen travel guide.

Accommodations: Hui Hotel
Hui Hotel in Shenzhen, China
Exterior of Hui Hotel.

In the Huaqiangbei area of Shenzhen lies Hui Hotel, a five-star property. Overall, the building is an architectural beauty and offers a curious sight for passersby with its white surfaces and random cube-like protrusions. Inside the building, it has 85 spacious rooms designed with earthy tones and minimalist furnishings.

Address: 3015 Hongli Road, Huaqiang North, Futian District, Shenzhen, China

Accommodations: Ritz Carlton Shenzhen
Shenzhen Travel Guide: Interior of Ritz Carlton Shenzhen
Interior of Ritz Carlton Shenzhen.

The 280-room Ritz Carlton Shenzhen is located right in the heart of Futian district. The property offers several dining options. For instance, Xingli and its Chiu Chow dishes or Paletto and its Italian cuisines. What’s more, the property also offers spa treatments with Chinese ingredients. Should there be a need to travel to Hong Kong for an adventure, the hotel is also right by Shenzhen’s new metro system which connects the city to the Hong Kong border.

Address: 116 Fuhua San Rd, , Futian District, Shenzhen, Guangdong, China

Accommodations: OCT Bay Breeze Hotel
The balcony area of Oct Bay Breeze Hotel in Shenzhen, China
The balcony area of Oct Bay Breeze Hotel.

Besides being situated near Shenzhen’s Window of the World, Happy Valley, and Exhibition Center, Oct Bay Breeze Hotel is also labeled as one of the best-designed boutique hotels in South China. Located in the Nanshan neighbourhood, the five-star establishment has contemporary designed rooms with wood finishings and warm lighting which exudes a homely vibe.

Address: No. 9 Haiyuan 2nd Road, Nanshan District, Shenzhen, China

Accommodations: Muji Hotel
Interior of Muji Hotel
Interior of Muji Hotel.

Those who’ve always lived by Muji’s ethos of living minimally can now fully immerse themselves in this philosophy at Shenzhen’s Futian district. From the hotel’s lobby to its 79 rooms, it has a stylish and cosy-zen aesthetic all around. Residents will also revel in the fact that the country’s largest Muji store is integrated into the hotel, alongside a restaurant and a library filled with literature on interior design and architecture.

Address: UpperHills, No. 5001 Huanggang Road, Futian District, Shenzhen, China

Accommodations: The St Regis Shenzhen
The relaxing area of St Regis Shenzhen
Credit: Marriott.

Located on the 75th to 100th floor of the KK100 building, the St. Regis Shenzhen has earned a spot on in this Shenzhen travel guide for offering of the most impressive views in Shenzhen for its residents. All rooms are well-appointed with luxurious finishings, a spacious marbled bathroom, and a Bang & Olufsen sound system. For some proper downtime, it also has a spa, Iridium Spa, that offers relaxing treatments with Aromatherapy Associate products.

Address: No. 5016 Shennan Road East, Luohu District, Shenzhen, China

Indulgence: Ensue
Shenzhen Travel Guide: The sweet treats at Ensue.
Credit: Ensue.

Ensue, led by California-based chef Christopher Kostow, offers five- or nine-course dinner menus. Kostow might employ Californian culinary techniques here in his dishes, but he ensures local flavours are kept and only local produce are used in his restaurant. On that note, expect his dishes to be accompanied with river eels from Guangdong and abalones from Dalian.

Address: 40F Futian Shangri-La Hotel, 4088, Yitian Rd, Futian District,, Shenzhen, China

indulgence: leyuan street
Shenzhen Travel Guide: One of the seafood dishes at Leyuan Food Street.
Credit: Travel Foodie

Since Shenzhen is located by the Pearl River Delta, the city has access to a vast amount of high-quality seafood. This allowed Leyuan Street in Louhu to offer freshly caught seafood dishes at a reasonable price. The hot favourites are the salt and pepper mantis prawns and steamed Turbot fish.

Address: Leyuan Road, Luohu District, Shenzhen, China

Indulgence: Jade Garden
A dish from Jade Garden Restaurant
Credit: Zanghellini Holt Associates.

While Jade Garden promises an extensive menu filled with baskets of dim sum, dumplings, buns, and lotus leaf-wrapped glutinous rice, be sure to keep an eye on a flaky pastry dessert that sees a fresh cream and fruit sandwich for a decadent end to your meal.

Address: 9028 Shennan Ave, Hua Qiao Cheng, Nanshan, Shenzhen, China

Indulgence: Shark
Shenzhen Travel Guide: The exterior of Shark restaurant
Credit: Shark.

Shark is a staple in any Shenzhen travel guide. The restaurant has a tank, filled with live baby sharks, suspended above the entrance to match its name. Novelty aside, patrons can look forward to its quality wines handpicked by international sommeliers and food that makes it a popular spot for both locals and expats to spend the evening at.

Address: Shop 133, Block B, Coco Park, Fuhua Lu, by Yitian Lu, Shenzhen, China

Activities: Nanhai E-Cool
The street view of Nanhai E-Cool
Credit: Dichandang.

Should there be a need for some quietness from the bustling atmosphere in Shenzhen, Nanhai E-Cool offers just that. The industrial-park-turned-hipster-enclave is located at the intersection of Shekou Industrial 3rd Road and Taizi Road. The area, filled with quaint alleys and ivy-covered buildings, has over 50 restaurants, bars, cafes, and specialty boutiques, which collectively earned it a spot in this Shenzhen travel guide.

Address: 6 Xinghua Rd, Shekou, Nanshan District, Shenzhen, China

Activities: Missions Hills Golf Club
Shenzhen Travel Guide: Birds' eye view of Mission Hills Golf Club
Credit: Mission Hills Golf Club.

Shenzhen is more than a haven for tech geeks – it’s also a haven for avid golfers. In 2004, Missions Hills Golf Club was certified by the Guinness World Records for being the world’s largest golf facility. Currently, it has 11 championship courses and three 18-hole par courses each designed by a famous golf personalities like Jack Nicklaus, Ernie Els, and Vijay Singh. If golf doesn’t interest you, Mission Hills also has a five-star resort, a spa, and a country club incorporated into its premises. The latter also features Asia’s largest tennis centre with 51 courts on its compound.

Address: 1 Guanlan Gaoerfu Avenue, Longhua District, Shenzhen, China

Activities: Huizhou
One of the views in Huizhou.
Credit: China Discovery.

Similar to Nanhai E-Cool, Huizhou is another venue for those who crave tranquility. Amidst its scenic spots, verdant hills, and calming waterways, the city’s best tourist attraction is the West Lake which pays homage to Song Dynasty scholar Su Dongpo with sculptures engraved with his poems.

Activities: KK100
Exterior of KK100
Credit: Carsten Schael.

Standing at 442 metres tall, the KK100 skyscraper is the world’s 15th tallest building and a quintessential part of Shenzhen’s skyline. The KK100 is also designed by Terry Farrell, the architect responsible for the MI6 building in London. Its curved form and parabolic arch evoke the image of a fountain, a Chinese symbol of wealth and prosperity.

Address: No. 5016 Shennan Road East, Luohu District, Shenzhen, China

This article was first published in Lifestyle Asia.

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