The Opposite House
Building 1, No. 11 Sanlitun Rd., Beijing
Designed by renowned Japanese architect Kengo Kuma, the Opposite House is part work of art (the pixilated green-glass exterior looks more like an installation from the outside), part boutique hotel. Known for its minimalist style, the rooms are rather spacious–a rarity for most of the city's hotels, and feature minimal decor mixed with traditional Chinese elements including an authentic oak soaking tub in each bathroom. The staff is incredibly efficient and will arrange for taxis to avoid hailing one on the street (a subtle luxury here). Pro tip: While this can be a great place to escape the city's frenetic pace, the first few floors can get noisy given the proximity to the bars and nightclubs–so it's best to ask for a quiet room on a higher floor.
Capella Shanghai Jian Ye Li
Jian Ye Li 480 W. Jianguo Rd., Xuhui District
Located in the former French Concession neighborhood–a quiet, residential spot with tree-lined brick walkways–this boutique villa hotel is excellent if you're looking for a quieter stay in the city. The grounds are both historic and impressive: the buildings, all of which were built in the 1930's, are of the Shikumen-style architecture distinctive to Shanghai and include elaborate stone gates and brick detailing. Each room is technically a two-story home in which there's at least one bedroom, two baths, and a private patio. The service here is impeccable: a personal assistant contacts you prior to arrival to tailor your stay (say, for gluten-free meals or site-seeing plans), and the staff offers grocery shopping services for longer visits. Given its proximity to the city's stellar food scene, you may want to venture out for dinner, but it's worth booking at least one meal at Le Comptoir de Pierre Gagnaire, the hotel's in-house restaurant serving incredible authentic French food.
The Peninsula Shanghai
32 Zhongshan Dong Yi Rd., Waitan Residential District
This classic hotel hails from a hospitality family we've loved forever—and its Shanghai outpost offers all the amenities you've come to expect—solid service, clean design, an over-the-top ESPA spa, complimentary Rolls Royce or BMW airport transfers—plus, drop-dead views of the Pudong skyline. It's the first building to be constructed on the historic bund in Shanghai in the last seventy years, a fact that makes it an attraction in its own right. Each of the 235 rooms feature a tranquil neutral-and-blue color scheme, lacquer cabinetry, leather headboard, and, best yet, a walk-in dressing room. For hungry guests, the restaurants Sir Elly's and Yi Long Court are both Michelin-star gems.
Salisbury Rd., Tsim Sha Tsui
Perched on the harbor in Kowloon near the famed Star Ferry Terminal, this Deco-era hotel (not only is it Hong Kong’s oldest, but the location gives the entire hotel group its name) got a tech-y upgrade a few years ago with state-of-the-art TVs and touch-screen in-room lighting systems. Ask for a harbor suite for prime views of brightly lit Hong Kong Island. Bonus: if you book your airport transfer through the hotel, you’ll be picked up in a tricked-out Mini Cooper, Rolls Royce, or if you're lucky, one of the fourteen Rolls Royce Phantoms. While they whisk you into the city, you can pre-order your room service upon arrival—no guarantees it will stave off jet-lag, but the lobster bisque soothes after a long flight. Keep an eye out for the Chinese lions and door gods painted on the doors at the entrance: According to Chinese tradition, they guard against evil spirits.
8 Peking Rd., Tsim Sha Tsui
Service is the name of the game at so many of Hong Kong’s hotels and the Langham is no different. Plus, each of the 498 rooms are light-filled and modern with copper-trimmed furnishings and tufted headboards. Much like its glossy sister property in London, afternoon tea in the Palm Court is not to be missed and includes an almost-too-pretty-to-eat pastry selection.
74 Queen’s Rd., Central
The Pottinger, a 68-room boutique hotel tucked into the Central neighborhood, aims to infuse a bit of modernity into a storied part of town. Guest rooms are on the smaller side (you are in a densely packed metropolis, after all) but the tasteful, Chinoiserie touches makes you feel like you’re in a private residence. Don’t miss the gallery walls of black-and-white photographs by filmmaker Fan Ho, whose imagery tells a deeply personal story of the history of Hong Kong and Central.
16 Tsing Fung St., Causeway Bay
This minimalist boutique hotel, with its elevated, Scandinavian vibe, was created by Hong Kong interior team, Design Systems. Outfitted from stem to stern in grey monochrome marble, concrete, and natural timber, it’s got an immaculately clean, refined appearance throughout, making it the sort of place you'll be pretty happy to call home: The bathrooms, decked with oxidized brass fixtures, are stocked with luxury products; the lighting is perfectly ambient at all times; and it’s well-located, too, with the MTR, Causeway Bay, Victoria Park, and Tai Hang all close-by. In fact, it’s so well-integrated into a happening (but not-too-happening) part of town that, along with its inviting yet no-frills atmosphere, it is the perfect place to stay for an authentic experience of the city without skimping on luxury.
18 S. Sifo Rd., Wuzhen
This 84-room hotel spans over three timber houses and sits on the banks of a river in Wuzhen, China—a unique little water town steeped in history and charm. The Heal Town building is home to a spa which specializes in deep healing and relaxation, as well as a wellness-centric restaurant (each of the three houses has a unique eatery on premises). Once you’ve gotten your fill of traversing the picturesque bridges and windy canals of the city, take part in an on-site Tai Chi class or try your hand at traditional Chinese pottery, calligraphy, and silk painting.
The Four Seasons Hong Kong
8 Finance St., Central
The Four Seasons which is located right on the water’s edge with amazing views of Kowloon and houses three three-Star Michelin restaurants, including the Caprice, a French restaurant, if you’re in the mood for something different. Like FS locations worldwide, the rooms here are subtle but well-appointed and the service impeccable. This specific outpost is especially convenient, being right inside of the International Finance Center mall which houses all the good shops, like our personal favorite, Lane Crawford.
5 Connaught Rd., Central
The suites here have an elegant and modern Chinese look to them, with huge windows that open up onto a balcony that wraps around the entire space. The views from all the way up there are incredible. The massive bathrooms have both a huge jacuzzi and a steam room. Non-suite guestrooms are all similarly decorated with Chinese antiques and modern furniture. And while you may not want to leave the confines of your room, there are ten restaurants and bars in the Mandarin Hotel to work your way through, including the M Bar, which is one of the more trendy places to go out.
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