The Opposite House — Beijing, China
For its first project, Swire Hotels - the hospitality arm of the Hong Kong property developer - has aimed high, by appointing celebrated Japanese architect Kengo Kuma to oversee its masterplan.
The result is a slick emerald-hued glass cube that suitably fits the Sanlitun neighbourhood’s growing reputation from seedy expat hangout to hip fashion hub. Contrasting wooden antique entrance doors lead the way into a lofty atrium lobby, where a mix of traditional and modern artworks - from pieces by Chinese artist Li Xiaofeng to ceramics from Hong Kong-born Fiona Wong - are curated on a quarterly basis.
Upstairs, the guest rooms are simple and understated; decked out in natural wood, floor-to-ceiling windows - that look out onto the shopping district - flood an open plan sleeping, living and bathroom space with light.
The area’s newfound status as Beijing’s fashion epicentre means there is no shortage of shops, restaurants and bars to keep you busy, but we recommend booking a table at Jing Yaa Tang, one of hotel’s three restaurants, where the deliciously crispy Beijing roast duck - the city’s best-known specialty - wins hands down.