Immerse yourself in Chengdu’s traditional architecture at one these hotels
Chengdu is by no means an unfamiliar name for tourists. This city is famous for two things: The adorable pandas and its fiery cuisine that’s proving popular across the world. But beyond these two well-loved facets, its unique architectural DNA is just as much worth experiencing.
Here’s a primer: In ancient times, Chengdu was the capital of Emperor Liu Bei’s kingdom and his flourishing reign reflected in the construction of lavish courtyard houses, known locally as siheyuan. These form the architectural language of Chengdu, built with elements like timber and stone bricks that reflect the region’s national landscape.
Today, the courtyard houses are beautifully preserved and tourists wanting to experience a slice of this heritage can even stay in them, courtesy of the many boutique hotels that now occupy these spaces.
There’s certainly no better way to experience Chengdu than staying in one of these historic properties. Here are the city’s best hotels to experience this heritage for a night or two.
The Temple House is a tastefully renovated space that preserves its historic features with all the bells and whistles of modernity. Guests enter through a Qing dynasty courtyard and are led to two L-shaped buildings that house 100 guestrooms, 42 serviced apartments and five restaurants and bars. A sanctuary of wellness awaits at the hotel’s very own day spa, Mi Xun. Guests can enjoy bespoke treatments in any of the spa’s nine luxurious suites for a sense of ultimate serenity. Complete the experience of being in an urban oasis in the 25-metre indoor pool lit by sculptural skylights that reflect the starry landscape.
Address: 81 Bitieshi Street, Jinjiang District, Chengdu
Website: Website here
Diaoyutai Boutique Hotel
(Image credit: Diaoyutai Boutique Hotel)
Diaoyutai Boutique Hotel is a soothing oasis for any busy traveller, despite being situated in the bustling streets of 300-year old Kuanzhai Alley. The hotel was designed by French designer Bruno Moinard who preserved its Chinese elements while incorporating modern touches. The hotel features two restored courtyards and 45 spacious guest rooms, as well as three restaurants that serve up both international and traditional Chinese cuisine.
Chengdu Old Congde Alley is a design-centric stay for guests seeking a taste of local life without sacrificing on the little luxuries. The original building was built in 1925 and has since been refurbished into a boutique hotel that doubles as a venue for local artists to meet and host parties. Rather than your typical amenities that comprise a gym and swimming pool, Chengdu Old Congde Alley engages guests with its traditional art and architecture, bringing them back in time to the rusticity of the early 90s.
Shangri-La Chengdu is housed in a sweeping skyscraper, but that does not mean the property is bereft of tradition. The 5-star establishment boasts a beautiful lobby lounge modelled after a traditional courtyard home, complete with elegant burgundy lacquer panels and chandeliers inspired by Chinese lanterns. All its 593 rooms and suites come with exquisite views of the Jinjiang River and the city. Guests who seek a little more indulgence during their stay are welcome to bask in relaxation at CHI, The Spa. It offers 11 deluxe private suites, coupled with spa baths, herbal steam facilities, and treatments that are influenced by traditional Asian therapies – all for the ultimate retreat.