A hundred yards or so from the east wall of the Forbidden City on a leafy street dotted with mysterious government buildings and restored hutong alleys. It’s a short walk southwest to Wangfujing; north to Jingshan Park.
Hospital-white rooms have a swipe of orange or green wrapping around the room and into cushions lining curvy seating built into the walls. Dark wooden floors are the only evidence you’re not on the set of a TV sci-fi series. I love the sunken mini-bars set into the foot of the beds (and the fact that the drinks are free). Standard rooms – on the small side – are good value for the location, kitted out with rainforest showers and LCD TVs with international channels. Junior Suites have big tubs and glass skylights, some with partial Forbidden City views.
The small lobby is a visual slap around the chops, if a tad antiseptic. The roof terrace is a nice spot to read a book during the day. There’s a lantern lighting ceremony each evening in spring and summer to mark the opening of the bar terrace.
Eating and drinking
Yin Bar on the roof is a trendy cocktail stop in spring and summer, though I’ve yet to witness the party spill into the hot tub (200 RMB per hour per person). Shi Restaurant serves Imperial style Chinese food and some western dishes with the emphasis on arty presentation.
Yue Spa in the basement has some fancy treatment rooms and an adjoining fitness studio.
Good if a little formal, lots of English spoken.
Who stays there
Higher-end tourists, Chinese media types.
Breakfast and WiFi included. Mini-bar has free beers and soft drinks.
- Fitness Centre
- High-Speed Internet
- Room Service
- Culture vultures
- Families with teenagers
- Design and architecture
Pros & Cons
- Modernist room design
- Right beside the Forbidden City
- Not remotely traditional
- Can be tricky to hail a taxi