Nestled in the heart of a tightly-packed neighbourhood of Ming Dynasty homes in Nanxun, a picturesque village crisscrossed by canals, Blossom Hill’s latest hotel is a labyrinth of passageways, warm spaces and courtyard gardens that unfolds in a series of soft reveals, progressively removing visitors from the bustle of the outside world.
Outwardly unassuming, the sumptuous interiors, with their effortless blend of the contemporary and the traditional, belong firmly to the school of Asian minimalism and are the work of Shanghai-based Dariel Studio, a boutique interior design firm developing a reputation for its thoughtful but playful melding of different eras and styles.
Perhaps inspired by President Xi Jinping’s declaration of the era of Fu Xing, Dariel’s approach to the bijou 20-room property has been as much rejuvenation as remake. Its intervention brings the former family compound firmly into the modern era without effacing its past, thus the craftsmanship of yesterday is complemented by artistry of today. Low-lit and atmospheric, Qiu Shu Li’s wooden screens and carefully placed windows, which look in as much as out, present a selective reading of its surroundings, the result is an oasis of serenity, hidden in plain sight.