Welcome to the first series of blog posts dedicated to the best hotels I visit during my city adventures. I name this series “Urban Hotels” and I’m happy to start from one of the biggest urban centres in the world, Beijing, the capital of China. Among many hotels, The Opposite House stands out with its unique luxurious boutique style. I stayed there for 3 nights during my transit in Beijing en route to North Korea.
Hotel: The Opposite House, Beijing, China
Presentation of The Opposite House
The Opposite House defines itself as a luxurious urban hotel mixing old and new with a design that guests would have never seen before. It is part of a small hotel chain owned by giant group Swire Properties. Although it’s a chain, each hotel has its own unique features. The design is mixing serenity and calmness inspired by Chinese wood lattice as chosen by Japanese architect, Kengo Kuma. The hotel is also a prime location for art in Beijing as it hosts temporary art installations which are curated every 3 months. Moreover, the hotel prides itself for offering a personalised guest experience.This is why my stay at The Opposite House was unique.
The Opposite House is very well located in Beijing. It’s in Sanlitun and is literally at the heart of a shopping complex Taikoo Li, owned by the same group Swire. It is therefore an excellent location buzzing with many shops, bars and restaurants. On the other hand, it is surrounded by embassies from around the world as Sanlitun is also host of many international diplomatic missions. In fact, the Moroccan Embassy was right in front of the hotel! The hotel is only 35 minutes away from Beijing Capital International Airport and the closest subway station is 10 minutes walk away.
Room – Studio 70
The room where I stayed was Studio 70 featuring a minimalist design with floor to ceiling windows offering a view over the surroundings. My view was over the shopping area of Taikoo Li and some green areas of Sanlitun. Inside the room, the modern luxury is dominating. From mood lighting system to a state of the art entertainment system, plus, there is an iPad available to use while staying in the room!
My highlight at the room was surely the wooden styled floor and bathroom. The oak bathtub is very original, it was very inviting to try so I did have a bath. With the bath salt provided by The Opposite House, I definitely relaxed more! As a 70 sqm room, I had all the space needed and the minimalist design made the room feel cosy and warm. Beijing was very hot already but the A/C offers the right indoor climate to feel fresh and relaxed.
I did suffer from a jetlag during my stay as I just arrived to Beijing from London but I enjoyed the bed and how relaxing it was too! I did use the overnight in-room dining service. Traditionally, in all hotels it is only possible to make orders by phone. But at The Opposite House, the Smart TV can be used to place food orders. I ordered food directly from the TV and I timed it, I made the order in less than 15 seconds and the order arrived within less than 15 minutes. It is impressive! From the comfort of my bed, I could do so much with just a TV remote!
The room comes with complimentary wifi plus a complimentary mini-bar. I have never had a fully packed mini-bar as a complimentary, it includes soft drinks, water, beers and snacks. The mini-bar was refilled daily as part of the cleaning services.
The hotel has a fully functional modern gym with Technogym equipment. Plus, there is a swimming pool with stainless steel spanning over 22 meters. I particularly loved the lights at the pool which reflect over the water and adds a great experience.
I had breakfast included in my room. The breakfast takes place at Village Café, one of the three dining and drinking options at the hotel. The morning breakfast includes a buffet but also à la carte menu which is very diverse as it has international and Asian food. I particularly loved the smoothies, the chocolate muffins and the fruits at the buffet.
I also enjoyed a quick trip to the Mesh Bar to watch the World Cup. It has been reshaped to host a hot summer of football, the atmosphere was on fire even though China was not even in the 2018 World Cup. I watched rapidly Germany vs Mexico and I could notice how relaxed the bar is, very easy going and friendly.
I enjoyed in-room dining by trying Salmon Teriyaki one night and Thai Green Curry Chicken the other night. Both were fine. However, the finest food was 7 floors below me at the Lower Ground Floor. It was at Jing Yaa Tang, one of the best Chinese restaurants in Beijing. The menu is inspired from the famous Beijing roast duck and dishes from across the country. The restaurant is very popular even with people not staying at the hotel!
I was lucky to witness the Beijing roast duck under preparation and try some of the best food in town. Obviously, I tried the roast duck, it was served with pancakes which I professionally rolled into a wrap with the duck, some vegetables and a sauce that adds up a very sweet flavour! It was an ecstatic culinary experience! I actually read about the best roast duck in Beijing while preparing for my trip, Jing Yaa Tang was one of the most recommended restaurants in the city. I am glad it was right in my hotel!
The details I will remember
The mini-bar is definitely a highlight. It’s such a simple strategy and yet not many hotels offer this. It definitely makes The Opposite House stand out from the crowd. No need to worry about the mini-bar bill at the check-out, it is all included! Moreover, the soft drinks, snacks and beers were practically unlimited as the mini-bar gets refilled every day, so I never ran out dry!
The personalised experience
I felt quite welcome at The Opposite House. I was greeted by very friendly staff and by Kylie who is Director of Guest Experience. She was very friendly and I noticed how busy she was making sure every guest has the best experience. I also received some little extras in my room. Everyday, I would get a message that definitely made me smile. After a day long visit to the Great Wall of China, I got a face mask with a note saying that I must have had an exhausting day and that the mask would help me relax. It definitely worked and I really love these small details that made my experience different from other experiences!
The prime location
I really loved the location of the hotel at Taikoo Li shopping complex. It was perfect as I did some last minute shopping there before my trip to North Korea. The hotel is also easy access to other parts of the city. I used the subway to get around, it was very simple.
Overall, I think that The Opposite House does have some unique features that made me feel special! Regarding the design, it is quite impressive but at the same time it is not a style that I have never seen before. The food at the breakfast was good and the lunch at Jing Yaa Tang was absolutely divine! I recommend The Opposite House for any stay in Beijing, either for a short transit or for a longer stay, the hotel and its staff will definitely succeed in providing a unique stay for every guest. You can book your stay here.
Disclaimer: The Opposite House offered me a complimentary stay with a lunch at Jing Yaa Tang. However, all opinions on this blog post are strictly my own.