Lost Villa — Zhongwei, China
Ningxia may not loom large on most people’s itineraries, but the region, knifed through by the Huanghe river in China’s central north, features some of the country’s most spectacular countryside. All of which makes the bucolic 15-room Lost Villa a convenient base from which to make exploratory strikes to the surrounding loess plains and desert.
Here, on a patch of land flanked by the riverbank and forest, Shanghai-based studio DAS Lab has fashioned a village of villas, their squat but pleasingly symmetrical cement profiles treated to resemble the rammed earth of local architecture.
Oversized vitrine windows are oriented to catch the winter sun, the light warming the shaded minimalist interiors lined with concrete walls, deep sofas, and narrow clerestories.
The diversions are mostly off-property – sand-skiing is de rigueur – but it pays to be back in time for sunset cocktails and grilled local lamb accompanied by sautéed wild Mongolian onions. §