Until fairly recently, China’s upmarket hotel scene was dominated by the sleeker offerings in Hong Kong, Beijing, and Shanghai. Happily, adventurous hoteliers are teaming up with talented designers to shake things up.
Exhibit A is Shanghai-based X+Living’s work on the Wheat Youth Arts Hotel. Located on the seventh floor of a shopping mall in Hangzhou, the 80-room property is almost TARDIS-like in the way the small lobby opens up into spacious public spaces and guest rooms.
The latter are dominated by a glass bathroom, and kitted out with handsome customised furniture, graphic pop art screens by X+Living’s lead designer Li Xiang that slide aside to reveal flat screen TVs, geometric headboards and easels for afternoon doodles.
In the long black and white corridors, criss-crossing lines and circles borrowed from Chinese checkers adorn ceilings, while folded glass partitions and grand pianos on every floor all make for an unexpectedly quirky check-in.