Linden Centre Wuxi FAQ

What can you tell me about Wuxi?  

Wuxi is a city with over three thousand years of history. Sun Tzu, the legendary writer of “The Art of War”, came from Wuxi, as have many other famous scholars and artists such as Xu Beihong, Xu Xiake, and Rong Desheng. Wuxi was one of China’s four major rice markets. The Grand Canal, the world’s longest man-made river, passes through Wuxi’s central district and is now surrounded by tasteful boutiques and cafes. Modern Wuxi is a city of lakes and parks, of innovative urban planning. We have benefited by the government’s foresight in preserving the old village of Xuntang. Our Wuxi Centre is an elegant retreat from which guests can experience both the new and old of China.

 

Where is it located?

Wuxi is located 80 miles west of Shanghai in the heart of the Jiangnan region (which is the region immediately South from the Yangtze River, which includes parts of Jiangsu, Jiangxi, Anhui, and Zhejiang provinces and better known cities such as Shanghai, Nanjing, Ningbo, Hangzhou, Suzhou, Changzhou, and Shaoxing). By train, it takes roughly 40 minutes to reach Wuxi Station from Shanghai, 15 minutes from Suzhou, and less than one hour from Nanjing.   Wuxi is also accessed by high speed trains to Beijing (5 hours), Wuhan (4-5 hours) and Hangzhou (2 hours). Driving time between Shanghai and our Centre is less than 2 hours door to door.  Wuxi’s airport, only twenty minutes by car from our Centre, offers numerous national and international flights.  Shanghai’s airport is only 40 minutes by train.

 

What is the project?

The Linden Centre has been selected by the Wuxi government to restore a former silk trading enclave in their new wetlands park. The area is bordered on all sides by small rivers that lead to the storied Lake Tai. The project will include a hotel and conference center in the style of our Yunnan Centre and a series of restaurants, galleries and learning spaces.  The Linden Centre was chosen because of our focus on restoration and cultural programming.

 

Who is involved? What is the role of the Linden Centre?

We are cooperating with the Wuxi government on this project. Given our unique concept and approach, the government has entrusted us with directing all aspects of this project, especially incorporating Linden Centre design and management style.  The goal is to closely replicate our Yunnan model in this pristine traditional enclave.

 

Why is Wuxi an appropriate location for the Linden Centre?

Originally created as a retreat for cultural exchange and intellectual discourse, set in the heart of the Jiangnan region, Wuxi is an ideal location for guests to further share culture and conversation. The Xizhou Centre has provided opportunities for guests to interact with Yunnan and local culture differently than the average hotel experience allows. Given the scale of the complex in Xuntang, aside from a carefully restored historical complex and cultural activities, our Wuxi Centre will also accommodate a series of restaurants, galleries, and conference center.

 

What does it look like?

Our Wuxi Centre consists of a 19th century silk factory, trading shops and a series of old row houses.  The style of building is indigenous to the Jiangnan region, and our complex represents one of China’s only remaining intact enclaves surrounded by a thriving urban environment.  The government of Wuxi has designated our surrounding lands as a wetland park, and our guests can get lost in the miles of walking, biking and kayaking options just outside their room.

If you prefer, the video is also available on Youtube.

How will it be different from the Linden Centre in Xizhou?

Our new Centre will take advantage of its proximity to the major urban areas of China to design more short-term learning programs.  We will have weekend classes in subjects such as Writing, Painting, Calligraphy, Pottery, Cooking, Tea Culture, Antiques, and Photography.  We will be bringing in a constant flow of scholars who will give lectures on a variety of topics.  Our goal for Yunnan has always been educational interaction and cultural learning.  The Wuxi site will allow us to experiment with more innovative programs and tap into the wealth of intellectual resources in China’s coastal cities.

The new site will also include conference and meeting rooms, as well as a large multi-function room.  The facility will be designed to accommodate conferences of up to 100 people.  Our self-contained island is the perfect destination for company retreats and meetings.  We will be able to offer special packages for such events.  Please book early as space will be limited.

 

Why did we decide to expand now?

After nearly four years of refining our model, we feel that we are ready to take on the challenges of a new site.  We have been praised for our consistent commitment to cultural interaction and preservation.  We welcome the challenges posed by a new urban site.

 

Why did we first expand into Wuxi vs. focus exclusively on developing in Yunnan?

While we remain committed to Yunnan and expect to grow our model there, Wuxi presented us with a very attractive opportunity: a timeless village and a world-class wetland park enveloped by one of China’s most affluent and livable cities.  Our Yunnan Centre has been very successful in incorporating village life into the daily activities of our guests.  We hope to be able to create an urban equivalent that will allow visitors to experience the life of this beautiful city while staying on an island filled with elegant 19th century architecture.  We believe that a successful model of sustainable tourism development should strike a balance between old and new.  We will not be knocking down structures to rebuild in the old style, which has become a common model in China. It is especially difficult to incorporate modern comforts into older buildings.  We took on that challenge in Yunnan when many advised us against it.  We now feel it is time to take the knowledge we have gained and apply it to Wuxi.

 

I have more questions about the Wuxi project, who should I contact?

Please direct all inquiries via email to wuxi@linden-centre.com.