A head-spinning hotel arrival is part of the superpower’s next level aesthetic shift.
Despite the Starbucks in mountain-studded Yangshuo County, historic buildings dominate here. And, along with its dramatic, looming karst hills, its fish-guzzling cormorant birds, and the bamboo-raft-ridden Li River cutting through it, the town of Guilin feels a bit like the crowd-pleasing Catskills of China. But that’s not to say there isn’t room for innovation.
Architects across the country are toying with different styles, preserving the expected (as seen at Wuyuan Skywells hotel in Jiangxi), riffing on original materials in a turbo-modern way (at Tsingpu Yangzhou Retreat), or, here, flipping everything on its head. The Other Place Guilin Litopia opened in November with an eye to challenging convention.
None of the 10 rooms is the same; in the pastel-pink creation called Dream, Chinese firm Studio 10 celebrates the physics-snubbing designs and trippy illusion prints of 20th-century Dutch artist M. C. Escher. The gravity-defying stairs to nowhere give this space a mind-bending element. While many designers feel compelled to embed traditional details into contemporary projects, this hotel is doing something completely different with its art-installation rooms, creating the sense that you might tumble down the rabbit hole at any minute.
From: Conde Nast Traveler
✅ free Wi-Fi • size matters: 10 rooms • hotel opened: November 2018 • interior design: Studio 10 (Shenzhen) ✅ free on-site parking ✅ pet friendly, no charges • 24-hour front desk