The Ming Dynasty is widely known as China’s golden era – a high point of culture, music and art, where nations across the Orient’s mystical Silk Road intermixed in pure harmony.
Taking this cosmopolitan kingdom as an inspiration, NUO hotel has flawlessly blended old and new to create a modern palace of time-old elegance, calling their style ‘Modern Ming’. Located right next to Beijing’s modern art district, 798, NUO Hotel’s design team spent months researching the lives of Ming scholars and sourcing famous Chinese art pieces with an inimitable collection from artist Zeng Fanzhi, one of China’s most famous and valuable contemporary artists, including a four-ton bronze sculpture of a mountain greeting new arrivals in the lobby.
The complete grandeur can be felt upon your first steps: greeted by high ceilings and white marble, the lobby’s clean-cut lines are heaven to those who, like me, feel their stomach twist whenever their stationary moves out of place.
Perfectly complementing this celestial geometry however, are the inviting, soft edges of velvety sofas and delicate mountain-landscapes on oversized Ming-style vases. It’s impossible not to stop for a while, to absorb this stylish, serene atmosphere and get that perfect Instagram shot!
The hotel’s over 438 guest rooms and suites are no less impressive. Plush bedding will make sure that no part of your beauty sleep is compromised, whilst a large walk-in closet will take very good care of your suitcases. From the room’s large bathroom, you can either melt away under a blissful rain-shower or admire the city’s impressive skyline from the bathtub. It is clear that no detail was left out: from the delicious Pu’er scented beauty products and silk-pouch vanity kit (containing quite literally anything you may need), to the room’s traditional tea-drinking set, which entertained me for a significant part of my evening.
From a food and beverage perspective, NUO exceeds expectations. The hotel bar and brunch are already a favourite amongst Beijing’s expats and its large breakfast buffet even includes an impressive selection of gluten-free foods (inclusive of croissants!) that will make the heart of complicated travellers like myself, beat faster.
Furthermore, another pillar of the NUO hotel is sustainability, and all ingredients in the hotel’s six restaurants are locally sourced from trusted farmers. Despite not being located in a typical tourist-area, NUO hotel’s version of modern Chinese luxury with historical roots will undoubtedly blow the minds of any luxury-loving traveller. For a unique sensual experience, NUO hotel should 100% be on any CF traveller’s list!
Not to be missed?
The tea ceremony available at Yuan Tea House, carefully watched over by tea experts that have collected the best teas from across the country. If you really want to surprise your senses however, you have to try out the whiskey and tea pairing at O’Bar and lobby bar – it will take both tea and alcohol, to a whole new level.
Importantly, the entire hotel is protected from Beijing’s pollution by high-quality air filters. Other facilities include a well-equipped gym, a 25-metre indoor swimming pool, and a 9 treatment-room spa which uses NUO Spa’s own essential oils and bespoke fragrances (all of which were quite honestly amazing) whilst treatments are inspired by traditional Chinese physicians and ancient knowledge (although unfortunately I was too busy drinking tea to try these out).