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The Opposite House 4.5

Beijing, Beijing Region, China

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Review Summary

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Pros

  • In upmarket Sanlitun area, near plenty of shops, restaurants, and embassies
  • Design hotel with interiors and exterior by famed architect Kengo Kuma
  • Contemporary, minimalist rooms with free minibars, some with balconies
  • Bathrooms have walk-in rainfall showers and separate oak soaking tubs
  • Fitness center with modern cardio equipment plus free weights
  • Indoor stainless steel lap pool 
  • Three restaurants serving Chinese, Italian, and international fare
  • Bar with wide selection of imported spirits and huge cocktail menu
  • Room service available around the clock
  • Meeting/event room for up to 200 guests
  • Free on-site parking and free Wi-Fi throughout

Cons

  • Limited business facilities

Bottom Line

The Opposite House is an artsy luxury boutique hotel with ultra-modern appeal that's located in the Taikoo Li Sanlitun commercial area, amid shops and restaurants. Designed by Kengo Kuma, this hotel's 99 minimalistic rooms are done almost entirely in luxe hardwood, right down to the oak soaking tubs in the sleek, contemporary bathrooms. Amenities include a sharp indoor lap pool, a modern fitness center, a bar, and three restaurants serving Chinese and international cuisine. A limited amount of vegetarian food is available and the all-day Village Cafe even has a kids' menu. Wi-Fi is free throughout the property, but there's only one meeting room. Business travelers looking for more event space may be better off staying at the larger and better-equipped Fairmont instead.

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Scene

Ultra-modern design hotel by acclaimed architect Kengo Kuma that's best for leisure travelers

Designed by renowned Japanese architect and interior designer Kengo Kuma, The Opposite house just might be the definition of contemporary minimalism, with enough style to feel timeless and fresh. The facade is dominated by square glass paneling in various shades of green that make the building look like an ode to Tetris, though the heavy wood door leading has a more classic appeal. It's this kind of push and pull between traditional materials and contemporary lines that define the aesthetic here, and lend the hotel its playful, sexy, and even romantic vibe. The bright lobby is done in gray floors, off-white cubicle sofas, and light-wood furniture, while edgy contemporary art installations and shimmering wall panels add a bit of edge. Though this boutique property is located near embassies, its lack of solid business facilities and funky interiors means that it's better suited for vacationing couples than business travelers.

Location

Inside the Taikoo Li Sanlitun commercial complex, near embassies, shopping, and the metro 

The Opposite House is located in Taikoo Li Sanlitun, a 19-building shopping center in Beijing's Chaoyang District. It's near the city's main embassy area and both the Italian and Danish embassies are within a few minutes' walk of the hotel. The Tuanjiehu Metro station takes just over 10 minutes to reach on foot. It's a 20-minute drive to Panjiayuan Market, a flea market known for handicrafts and Mao-era propaganda posters. Tiananmen Square is a little over 20 minutes away by car or cab, as is Wangfujing Street. The Palace Museum inside the Forbidden City and the Temple of Heaven both take around 25 minutes to reach by car. Beijing International Airport is around a 35-minute drive from the hotel, traffic permitting, or just over an hour by metro.

Rooms

Modern, minimalist rooms with oak soaking tubs, some with furnished balconies

The Opposite House offers four types of room, each of which is named for the number of square meters in their floor plans, plus The Penthouse, which measures 390 square meters (4,200 square feet). Rooms share a consistent decor scheme, and are modern, bright, and minimalistic, with light-wood floors and low matching furniture, dark- and light-wood paneled walls, white ceilings, and modern off-white sofas and beds. There is nary an accent pillow or art piece to add color to the spaces, though despite the austere design ethos, the look is cabin-chic and even a bit cozy.

The same decor scheme carries on in the bathrooms, which add slate walls on one side and are separated from common areas by glass partitions with wispy drapery that does little to create a sense of privacy. Bathrooms have walk-in rainfall showers, separate toilet cubicles, and deep soaking tubs made of oak. Appelles Apothecary-brand toiletries are provided.

Entry-level Studio 45s and the larger Studio 70s aren't much different, though Studio 70s do add daybeds. Studio 95s add separate living and sleeping areas plus furnished balconies, while Studio 115s feature whirlpool hot tubs and dining areas. The Penthouse is spread out over two floors and features a pantry kitchen, a rooftop terrace, ad even reflecting pools. All rooms are equipped with flat-screen TVs, kettles and French presses or capsule coffeemakers for making coffee, electronic safes, and free minibars. 

Features

Three restaurants and a bar, chic indoor pool, modern fitness center, and free Wi-Fi

Though there are plenty of bars and restaurants in the area around The Opposite House, the hotel offers four options of its own. Jing Yaa Tang is the spot for those wanting to try Beijing's famous Peking Duck, while Sureno offers Italian fare, much of it cooked up on a wood-fire grill. The Village Cafe is the most eclectic of the lot, with sandwiches, soups, curries, and steaks along with a decent kids' menu with everything from minestrone to mac-and-cheese. The bar, Mesh, offers a huge menu of cocktails and serves light mediterranean snack food.

It's perhaps no surprise that even the wellness amenities here embrace the sleek, minimalist decor utilized in other parts of the hotel. The fitness center -- while dark -- has a good assortment of modern Technogym-brand cardio equipment as well as free weights and resistance training machines. It looks out over the 22-meter-long stainless steel indoor lap pool, housed in a contemporary space with a couple of padded lounge chairs for poolside relaxation.

The hotel doesn't offer a lot in terms of meeting space, though The Penthouse can be rented out for private events and there's a meeting and banquet room -- Bei Space -- that can host up to 200 people. Wi-Fi is free throughout the property. 

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Address

Building 1, No.11 Sanlitun Road, Beijing 100027, China

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