One of the fastest-growing cities in China, Xiamen – equidistant from Shanghai and Hong Kong – is also emerging as one of the nation’s most sophisticated metropolises. From a flourishing art scene – the Jimei x Arles International Photo Festival is currently in its fourth year – to a new metro system and the world’s longest elevated cycling path, designed by Danish firm Dissing + Weitling, its urban cool, along with a relaxed coastal setting, colonial treasures and favourable climate have created a winning combination that has made it a must-visit destination.
Tucked away on the north-east coastline of the Xiamen Island, the PuShang Hotel and Spa follows the much-applauded PuLi Hotel in Shanghai, as the second property from local group Urban Resort Concepts. Australian firm Layan Design Group took its cues from Fujian Tulou, the traditional rural dwellings in the region, to create a series of buildings that are arranged around landscaped courtyards which, together, create a private sanctuary that brings the outside in.
The 188 rooms and suites, in particular, are spacious cocoons – each with their own balconies that look out onto the marina and the ocean beyond – that feature a quiet mood of local granite and rust stone, which are highlighted with paintings by acclaimed artist Lu Fu Sheng and ceramic detailing that reflects the clay screens used in traditional Chinese buildings.
The in-house Chinese restaurant, XIA is characterised by miniature red bricks walls that are a nod to the old surrounding villages, while the Long Bar, which stretches 30-metres across the first floor reception, salon and tea library is the best vantage point from which to enjoy the hotel's low-key architecture while sipping on a post dinner tipple.
Due to open soon is the hotel's standout UR Spa, which will include a hydro circuit with numerous pool and water experiences as well as therapy rooms offering treatments that combine Chinese ancient healing methodology and modern science.§
277 Penang Road
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Yoko Choy is the China editor at Wallpaper* magazine, where she has contributed for over a decade. Her work has also been featured in numerous Chinese and international publications. As a creative and communications consultant, Yoko has worked with renowned institutions such as Art Basel and Beijing Design Week, as well as brands such as Hermès and Assouline. With dual bases in Hong Kong and Amsterdam, Yoko is an active participant in design awards judging panels and conferences, where she shares her mission of promoting cross-cultural exchange and translating insights from both the Eastern and Western worlds into a common creative language. Yoko is currently working on several exciting projects, including a sustainable lifestyle concept and a book on Chinese contemporary design.
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