#dnahotels #authentic #inspirational - for people who care where they stay, looking for an experience beyond just accommodation
The DNA: Jiangnan House is an adaptive re-use of a former apartment building. Inspired by the vibrant milieu of the alleyways in Nantou City, the project seeks to reflect on the cultural heritage of the mundane. Scenes of the everyday—people, objects and their settings—are the primary source material for design.
Year opened: 2021. The DNA: Located above Tang Mountain, the Banyan Tree is a sustainably designed hotel by Cheng Chung that aims to restore the long abandoned quarry it calls home. The lobby's minimalist design seamlessly merges with the mountain range via floor-to-ceiling windows, while the curving lines of the architecture make the space in harmony with the natural landscape.
The DNA: This new complex in Xitang Ancient Town takes its cues from its context. Set within a historic water town in the Jiangnan region of southern China, the project, called Villa, is a hotel conceived by design studio Nature Times Art Design Co, embraces local vernacular architecture to create a low, elegant, domestic-feeling space centred on a green and serene central courtyard. The venue hopes to blend old and new, while being embedded in nature and a new, yet seamless landscape.
Year opened: 2022. Design: HBA Singapore. The DNA: The hotel’s interior integrates the traditional aesthetics of the region with high-end modern touches. From the arrival lobby, guests are transported by lift to the 35th-floor Sky Lobby, which celebrates elements from Changsha's historic architecture with soothing natural palettes and a quiet design language that finds expression in simple architectural lines.
A refreshing take on Beijing architecture, constructed within the remnants of an abandoned 20th-century industrial building, taking advantage of the reimagined urban landscapes and industrial ruins created by China’s economic reforms of the 1990s. The Main Building is enveloped in an elaborate glass façade that acts as a ‘transparent skin’. It wraps around the original industrial components, such as concrete walls and steel roof trusses, which are left exposed in all their utilitarian glory.
The DNA: Made for taking in the infinite blues of the ocean and skies, this all-white, minimalist haven is an exciting boutique opening on the island of Hainan. Exteriors mimic the ocean waves rising and falling along the shore. Interiors frame ocean waves using multiple arches. Downstairs an open-plan area incorporates the reception, seating, photography, high tea and infinity pool while the roof top has a hot springs bath, also taking in the verdant green hills in the distance.
The DNA: Occupying three interconnected buildings, the luxury hotel is a nexus of tradition and innovation. The site itself, close to the city centre, was once home to porcelain factories and is now rethought as a mixed-use quarter. Each space interprets and celebrates different ceramic characteristics and techniques, from the green celadon glazing in the lobby to the calm clay tones of the bedrooms.
The luxury hotel, located near freshwater Jinji Lake in the heart of Suzhou Industrial Park, was designed by New York architectural firm, Kohn Pedersen Fox, and features interiors by Hirsch Bedner Associates. It features 178 rooms and suites range from 50 to 173m2 "inspired by the sleeping chambers of Ancient Suzhou mansions". There are three restaurants and bars, a fitness centre, a spa and a swimming pool.
The Sifang Hotel Nanjing offers a unique stay experience in the green sanctuary of Lao Shan National Forest Park, which is a destination in itself. Architecture and art lovers will be able to visit the Sifang Art Museum and appreciate the architectural collection of uniquely designed villas that bear the artistic hallmarks of 24 world-renowned and local architects, including Arata Isozaki, Steven Holl, Kazuyo Sejima, Ettore Sottsass, and Wang Shu, the first Chinese winner of the Pritzker Prize.
The hotel is located in the eastern suburbs of Nanjing at the foot of Zijin Mountain. Here the skull of “Nanjing ape man” dating back to about 600,000 years was found in the early 1990s. The Nanjing Homo Erectus Relic Museum has been built to tell the fascinating story of the ape man and forms one complex with the 39-room hotel.
The sensitive refurbishment makes the most of the Art Deco masterpiece originally called The Cathay, built in 1929. While the corridors still snake away at length, gone is the Communist era faded glory: in its place are generously sized rooms with gold and blue silk upholstery, marble bathrooms with Le Labo toiletries, and truly glorious public spaces. The nation-themed suites are spacious and beautifully capture a 1930s imagining among others of Britain, America, Japan, and India.
Year opened: 1928 (tower 1994). The Rolls-Royces (in signature Peninsula Green) on the forecourt and the page boys (in white) on the door set the tone. This is carefully nurtured old-school luxury overlaid with a lively air of metropolitan glamour. It’s best exemplified by the giant traditional Fu dog in the lobby, sculpted – in keeping with the hotel’s desire to embrace old and new – by American Pop artist Jim Dine.
The Mandarin Oriental has been at the heart of Hong Kong, both socially and geographically, since 1963. With its faultless service, fantastic location, effervescent atmosphere, superb spa and some of the most gorgeous dining rooms in Asia, it channels the city's glamorous past and present like no other.
The hotel is bedecked in a period French style befitting its origins as the 1917 Grand Hotel de Pekin’. This means lofty French windows and drapes in the lovely Writer's Bar, the setting for NUO’s signature afternoon tea with vanilla scones, accompanied by Chinese guzheng performances. It’s said that Chairman Mao took a turn on the polished 1920s wooden dance floor beneath the tables. The Drawing Room on the second floor exudes old-world charm.