The DNA: On the northeastern edge of Beijing’s Forbidden City is the stunning PuXuan Hotel and Spa, a new sensory-driven property from operator Urban Resort Concept that explores the intersection between contemporary luxury design and timeless appeal. That’s fitting considering it is the brainchild of innovative German architect Ole Scheeren and sits on the upper levels of the Guardian Art Center, a hybrid development that houses a museum, gallery, and an auction house. “While it is clearly very contemporary, it is a building that embeds and resonates with a lot of Chinese historic meaning,” Scheeren says about the modern monolith.
Made of two stacked volumes, the top, which is home to the hotel, is a glass brick ring-like box built around a central courtyard. Meanwhile, “the bottom portion of the building is a series of tube-like pixels that are perforated with an abstracted filter of the Chinese landscape, so all of these circular openings introduce a softness to the otherwise very cubic volumes,” Scheeren explains. Inside, the streamlined interiors are a lesson in fluidity. “Each floor has its own unique quality and spatial feeling that is not understood from the exterior of the building or from floor to floor,” says Andy Hall, design director at Shanghai- and Hong Kong-based firm MQ Studio. Consider the fourth-floor lobby, which wraps the courtyard. Here “glimpses of the upper levels appear and then disappear from view” for an unexpected surprise, he points out.
One of the multiple F&B options, French restaurant Rive Gauche mixes Paris flea market finds with olive green seating and brass light fixtures that evoke a traditional Parisian bistro. Elsewhere, an impressive illuminated elevator ushers guests to either the tranquil spa (a masculine-informed space on levels five and seven that is formed by bent timbers, jet-black carbon fiber, aluminum, and leather) or the PuXuan Club located within the eighth-floor’s central courtyard. Divided into two spaces, the 24-hour area boasts a kitchen, stately library with floor-to-ceiling bookcases, commissioned artworks, fireplaces, and a handful of private meeting rooms. It’s an intimate apartment that feels just like home.
✅ free Wi-Fi • size matters: 116 rooms & suites (40-220m2) • hotel opened: February 2019 • architecture: Büro Ole Scheeren • interior design: MQ studio • parking possible on-site (charged) • no pets allowed • 24-hour front desk • wheelchair accessible