Located in Beijing's trendy Sanlitun district, the Opposite House marries art and design with fantastic food and cocktails and the result is awesome!
Beijing is definitely an eclectic city, filled with interesting juxtaposition of old and new. You have the Hutong alleys with give a glimpse into old Beijing and then a skyline of impeccable large skyscrapers surrounding.. The environment is culturally rich, diverse and very cosmopolitan. It’s no wonder it’s becoming a popular destination for tourists looking to experience something different and delicious. So if you’re looking to be in the center of it all, in a space that take design and comfort very seriously, the Opposite House is the perfect hotel to book.
Nestled in one of the trendiest neighborhoods, Sanlitun, the Opposite House is a very bright showstopper. Variations of green glass wrap around the facade and as the sun sets, the entire building glows. Around the area is a mini-city full of premium shopping malls (Kenzo and Dior are right next door), fancy bars, divey restaurants and plenty of photographers looking to capture street-style stars roam around.
It’s a place where Blake Lively does press calls, Justin Bieber skates around and brands like Diptyque and Lanvin are anxious to collaborate. Even with all the media and glitzy attention the Opposite House receives, the core is comfort and cool. You can expect privacy and fantastic service, all in a modern environment that celebrates Beijing in one of the most artistic ways I’ve seen.
If you value art, modern architecture and history, you’ll want to stay here. This uniquely designed property (just look at the lobby) offers a truly one-of-a-kind blend of old and new with rotating art displayed all around. We found a dress and mens suit hanging in the window made of recycled China from the Ming dynasty, a glass kimono swayed in the lobby and a flowy sheet of mesh steel cascaded from the ceiling.
As soon as you enter the property you’ll notice the elaborate floor to ceiling plexiglass cabinet, designed to look like a Chinese medicine cabinet (obviously modernized) and the lack of reception desks. The team keeps an open floor plan and an approachable vibe, so that you can be comfortable and feel a bit like a rockstar at the same time.
After a quick check-in we were led to our studio, where a bright plate of freshly made macaroons were waiting for us and a nice welcome note from the team - I love details like this, it just makes you feel taken care of :) Our studio was a nice size with a view of the square below, courtesy of the huge, floor to ceiling windows. The rooms were very bright with tons of natural light flooding the space.
The open floorpan and desk area were perfect to catch up on work and we both had plenty of space to stretch out in. The decor was very minimalistic and white and wood accents gave it a very calming effect. We kept saying how much the studio reminded us of our apartment in San Francisco. Everything was modern yet simple and comfortable….we felt like home!
The bathroom didn’t offer much separation from the room, so if you’re sharing a room, make sure it’s with someone you like, as only a glass wall and strategically placed frosted glass hides your modesty. The bathtub is carved from wood, yet another testament of the hotel favoring design over more practical solutions and the toiletries are great from the Australia brand Appelles - they’re fantastic!
The hotel itself has 98 suites, which also includes a massive penthouse, complete with private rooftop terrace and a few suites. No matter what room type your in, you can expect modern design with all the classic comforts and a layout that is conducive to maximizing space.
Dining at the Opposite House
If you’re going to have roast duck in Beijing (which you absolutely should), the best place to have it is at Jing Yaa Tang, the elegant and classic Chinese restaurant inside the Opposite House. Before we even landed in Beijing, rumors of how great the duck was, reached us across the globe, so we knew we had to try it. The restaurant itself is a beautiful modern interpretation of how a classic Chinese restaurant should be. It’s elegant, there are private areas for more intimacy and most importantly, the focus is on the food.
The restaurant offers classic Chinese dishes like crispy chicken stir fried with dried Szechuan peppercorns, chili soft shell crab with basil and an abundance of veggie and tofu dishes. However my recommendations are do go with the roasted duck. You’ll most likely will never have anything like it and it’s so good, it will even turn the non-duck-lover (like me) into a fan. You can order a full size duck or half and you will be served all the accoutrements like rice paper pancakes and different sauces. But you don’t stop there, my other favorites are the crispy chicken (the numbing effect of the Szechuan peppercorns is amazing), the pork belly tower, a mixture of veggies and of course the house fried rice.
This is not Chinese food, like us Americans know it to be. It’s refined, healthy (maybe not the pork belly) and wonderful! I’ve also heard they have an all you can eat dim sum lunch that’s delicious too, but sadly we were always too full from the night before to check it out.
Everything You Could Need, and More
Besides interesting common space, complete with a classy vibe and historical fascination, the hotel also offers the plenty of modern comforts, including the nicest gym I’ve ever been to, where you have views of the magical pool and of plenty of other restaurants and bars to choose from. Our mornings were spent doing a quick workout, followed by a healthy breakfast at the village cafe - the hotels casual restaurant. We would spend the day wandering around the city and come back to the hotel for dinner and drinks.
Although we were surrounded by plenty of bars and restaurants, we never felt the need to venture out at night and instead enjoyed the hotels other restaurants and nightly cocktails at Mesh bar. If you’re looking for craft cocktails, in a relaxing yet trendy atmosphere, Mesh is the place to be!
Around the Area
If you do want to get some sightseeing in or check out some other restaurants, the concierge team has you covered! They are brilliant at assessing your likes and dislikes and coming up with a great itinerary. During our stay, we hoped in a cab and headed over to the Hutong alleys. From there we walked to the Bell and Drum tower and to Houhai Lake. The concierge team gave us a great route to take and recommended several places to stop for lunch. Getting around Beijing is done by taxi, (the city is huge and the metro is way to crowded) so be prepared to spend a lot of time in traffic getting from point A to B.
For more information about the Opposite House, visit their website: