New Luxury Hotel, Opposite House, to Open in Beijing

Beijing will soon see a new cutting-edge luxury hotel featuring such eye-popping features as a stainless-steel swimming pool and an exterior of green glass. The Opposite House will open in summer 2008 as the first in a series of hotel properties from newly formed Swire Hotels. Opposite House is designed by the celebrated avant-garde architect Kengo Kuma from Japan and edgy Shanghai-based designers Lyndon Neri and Rossana Hu. Interior colors and textures at The Opposite House are a vivid mix of the modern and the traditional. Kuma describes the overall green color scheme as the calm of an "urban forest, for which one of the most important design elements is the play of natural and artificial light."

Guest rooms are open and simple with natural brushed oak floors, furniture and bathtubs, with subtle touches of Chinese décor.

The hotel has a Mediterranean restaurant Sureno, which features warm woods and blue olive grove patterns. At the heart of the restaurant is the wood-fired oven, with a surrounding counter enabling patrons to watch the chefs at work.

The Asian restaurant Bei features five white boxes, which house private dining rooms that are entered through large bronze doors and across water channels. Each room has its own character; in the largest, water streams down the walls.

Punk, the hotel’s late night bar and mini club, is a solitary transparent box wrapped by a rough, punched metal screen. Wooden church pew-like benches hug the walls and juxtaposed modular tables are scattered throughout.

The Opposite House in Beijing will be followed by the opening of a 117-room luxury hotel in Pacific Place, Hong Kong, in the summer of 2009 and a 100-room hotel in Taikoo Hui in Guangzhou in 2010. Swire Hotels will also manage EAST, a 343-room lifestyle business hotel to be opened at Island East, Hong Kong in 2009.

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