The Ritz-Carlton Beijing, Financial Street
One of the Ritz-Carlton’s new-look hotels, this funky, modern Financial Street outpost bears no traces of the chain’s signature country-estate grandeur. Instead, an airy, clean-lined aesthetic prevails, lending the 253 guest rooms and suites an almost W-esque feel, with muted color schemes of cream and dove gray, angular light fixtures, bold black-and-white wall photographs, and gleaming marble-and-chrome baths. Clever design touches abound: the Chinese character for “comfort” is embroidered on the crisp white duvets; remote-controls for the flat-screen TV’s are housed inside miniature cheongsam-style dresses; and each room’s entryway is decorated with glass animal sculptures—bats, horses, ducks, and the mythical bixies—to ensure good feng shui. The hotel’s common areas are equally cool; in the lobby lounge, walls are adorned with 60,000 sculpted resin bamboo leaves, as well as a specially commissioned painting by famous local artist Bo Yun. And the enormous indoor pool (part of a 15,000-square-foot spa complex) has a giant movie screen at one end where classic black-and-white movies are shown.