Welcome to an oasis of calm only steps away from Beijing’s uber ritzy posh district of luxe retail, Aston Martins and home to the world’s most valuable liquor company, the hair curling baijiu Moutai.
In under a 10 minute walk you can have all that.
But once you knock on an ancient wooden door that leads to a sprawling secret garden the urge to splurge just might go away. Amid a stoned wall away from the din of this moving metropolis you’re more likely to catch guests sipping organic teas and visiting the onsite Buddhist temple for some deep contemplation. It’s a modern take on the traditional Chinese five elements culture.
The 31-room Dasein Youlan Hotel is a new hotel experience in the heart of busy Beijing. The concept is simple. Sleep in accommodations that fit the mold of an ancient Chinese dwelling, the kind that looks like a traditional courtyard home from a popular Chinese bio-drama flick. At this two-level hotel, there’s a pond, a spa, a Buddhist Temple, and a quaint dining area that looks more like you’re staying at someone’s home. Furnishings, fresh florals and art pieces are artfully displayed throughout.
Beijing Dasein Youlan Hotel Highlights
This 5-star hotel is the only boutique hotel in the city center. A Buddhist temple and spa provide good solace for relaxation, contemplation and allows guests to enjoy a moment of peace. The spa offers various ancient Chinese and traditional Japanese massages.
The Suite Pluses
Space is a premium in this neighborhood so expect compact-sized rooms. The rooms mirror a tribute to classic Chinese design with contemporary amenities. There’s a fancy state-of-the-art hi-tech self-flush toilet controlled by a computer screen in the shape of a cellphone. The heated seat and built-in bidet is very James Bond-ish. The electrical bidet swivel pops up after you hit a button on the remote wall-hanging key pad. Rooms have welcome slippers at the door. There is a shower, deep bathtub, hair dryer and a built-in mirrored light.
My double bed room had a low-lying queen-sized bed with natural fibre linen and matching his and her Chinese robes at the foot of the bed. An orchid represents one of the symbols of the hotel. The other symbol is a comic logo evident at the hotel entrance. Rooms have either a patio or a balcony with some rooms having a garden view.
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This property is located in Dongcheng District in one of the city’s ancient hutongs. Transportation is convenient with a public transit station nearby. Take the Metro Line 5 Dengshikou Station to venture to acclaimed places like the Summer Palace and Tiananmen Square. Guests staying have 24-hour butler service.
Dining: Guests enjoy a free breakfast which includes a selection of hot and cold food items, a selection of teas but no coffee. It’s a simple Chinese style breakfast.
Diversions: Amble over to nearby Wangfujing Street, Beijing’s famous pedestrian shopping street. Suss out luxury along Jinbao Street. Visit the Forbidden City which is under a mile from the hotel.
Overall impression: Unlike the large luxury hotels up the street (think The Peninsula, The Regent Beijing, and the Waldorf Astoria), this new urban hotel is small and caters nicely to travelers interested in experiencing Old China with modern amenities.
You can make your reservations at the Beijing Dasein Youlan Hotel website
Room rates for double occupancy are from $145.
Photography: Dasein Youlan Hotel