Once the capital of the northern Song emperors, Kaifeng in China’s Henan province looms large once again, this time distilled through the lens of the 186-room Pullman.

What was once a wetland park now houses the two-storey building designed by H2 Architecture Design Group. The interiors by the Singapore-based LTW channel the city’s imperial past, particularly in the use of sloping white roofs, chrysanthemum motifs, ornate lattice dividers, and giant murals with stylized renditions of ancient buildings and urban landscapes.

High windows pull in views of lake and landscaped gardens, an evocative tableau probably best enjoyed while soaking in capacious Ofuro-styled marble bathtubs scented with C.O. Bigelow’s herbal toiletries, savouring teas brewed in a special tea ceremony at Xi Bar, or while tucking into a feisty menu prepped by executive chef Ken Sun. The latter’s Cantonese menu at the hotel’s in-house diner Lu Hua, which includes baked oatmeal sea urchin and lobster infused with duck egg yolks, is ably paired with Kaifeng standards such as mutton soup, and pork dumplings that spill open with hot broth.

Meanwhile, the hotel’s spa is swathed in soft natural limestone and stocked with traditional Chinese therapies, alongside a heated indoor swimming pool, a particular boon during Kaifeng’s snowy winters.