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Design Capital

Beijing's Most Cutting-edge Hotels
  • Eclat Beijing

    Éclat Beijing

  • Eclat Beijing

    Éclat Beijing

  • The Opposite House

    The Opposite House

  • EAST, Beijing

    EAST, Beijing

  • Hotel G

    Hotel G

  • Grace Beijing

    Grace Beijing

  • Sofitel Wanda Beijing

    Sofitel Wanda Beijing

August, 2013

Somewhere someone is slapping their forehead in disbelief — Beijing, a design capital? Despite its ascendant art scene and a skyline dotted with striking new works of architecture, Beijing still hasn’t quite shaken its square reputation. For years, the drab business hotels that dominated the hospitality scene weren’t helping matters. Fortunately things have changed in that depertment, with a new generation of boldly designed hotels opening around town. Here we gather a few of the very best.

1.

Éclat Beijing
Encased in a glass pyramid, Éclat Beijing is perhaps the highest-tech hotel in a city where hotels bring the spirit of an arms race to their switches and screens. Every room comes with an enormous 3D LCD TV with Blu-Ray, a second LCD TV in the bathroom, a Bang & Olufsen audio system and a Panasonic massage chair. But what really sets it apart is the art and design, with spaces that look more like futuristic art galleries than halls and lounges.
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2.

The Opposite House
This green glass–clad cube by Japanese architect Kengo Kuma is a masterpiece in rich colors and geometric forms. The structure is unapologetically modern in style, but the materials inside are largely natural, as in the odd rectangular bathtubs carved from deeply grained wood.
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3.

EAST, Beijing
Time was, a shouting all-caps name would have been enough to set a Beijing hotel apart. Today, it takes a little more, like the stairway at EAST that looks like an Escher contraption come to life, or a pool that’s one part place to swim, two parts light show. Technically it’s geared toward travelers in town for work, but it’s clearly a whole other world from the sort of place that the words “Beijing business hotel” used to suggest.
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4.

Hotel G
Inside and out, Hotel G pops with color. Its blocky facade is dotted with windows glowing red, green and blue, while the interior lighting ranges from ephemeral purple curtains of light to floating copper orbs above the dining-room tables.
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5.

Grace Beijing
Located in a converted crystal factory in the 798 Art District, the center of Beijing’s white-hot contemporary art scene, Grace Beijing is equal parts classic Deco and contemporary Chinese. No surprise, it’s got a bit of an industrial edge, though it’s softened by a luxe-residential makeover and a gallery’s worth of art.
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6.

Sofitel Wanda Beijing
It’s a chain hotel, sure, but when it’s the Sofitel chain we’re talking about — and their Asian flagship, no less — that’s no knock on its design cred. The interiors of the strikingly modern hotel are done in Sofitel’s signature Sino-French hybrid style, with a pool that looks positively cosmic.
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