Hot List 2011

Yi House Art Hotel 798, Beijing 

Jiuxianqiao Lu, 2 Hao Yuan, 798 Yishu Qu, 706 Houjie 1 Hao

China 100015

Tel: 8610 6436 1818

Occupying a former crystal factory, this ultra-sleek 30-room hotel was the first to open among the galleries and cafés of the trendy Factory 798 Art District. Surreal photos of Peking Opera characters in nature (by contemporary artist Chi Peng) and funky furniture set the tone: Look for the Mies van der Rohe leather couch and the lime-green sofa in the lobby. At the hotel's Fennel restaurant, the mod-Ming aesthetic (dark brown furniture, chartreuse cushions, and oversized black-and-white photos of Buddhist monks) contrasts with the comforting Mediterranean dishes and hearty breakfasts (the scrumptious house muesli is a meal in itself). The guest rooms and hallways are also a visual treat: A departure from the muted corridors of most contemporary hotels, they're peacock blue, with tribal throw rugs and framed stills from the romantic films of Hong Kong director Wong Kar-Wai. The rooms themselves have light-wood floors; gray, yellow, and white laminate Ming-style closets.
Which room to book: Reserve a Deluxe Suite Double, for its dramatic yellow closet and Chi Peng photo of opera characters in a snowy Forbidden City.
Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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