With the amount of construction that’s going on in Beijing at the moment we’d probably do well to get used to this sort of thing. For years, nothing — and then, seemingly overnight, a design boutique hotel as contemporary and cutting-edge as any we’ve seen springs up right in the heart of the city. This is the Emperor Hotel, which, despite its traditional name (and its location overlooking the Forbidden City), is a vision straight out of the future.
It doesn’t get much more joyful than the Emperor’s palette of tangerine orange and lime green, a very welcome contrast in a city that can be a bit grey. And while there’s definitely more than a whiff of international minimalism about it, it’s far from locationless: subtle references to Chinese culture and design abound.
There’s obviously no shortage of visual stimulation — the restaurant’s glass floor, for example, looks down into the cellar, stocked with vintage Chinese rice wines. But the most impressive spaces are the ones you can use: the rooftop terrace bar is the Emperor’s star-lit social center, and the glass-walled rooftop spa makes the most of the hotel’s expansive skyline views — Forbidden City, construction cranes, and all.
The Emperor is (26 km) approximately a 45 minute drive from Beijing Capital International Airport.