Nestled some 75km northwest of Beijing and a stone’s throw away from one of the world’s most historic sites, it is no wonder that the Hyatt Regency Beijing Shiyuan has been deeply influenced by the rich landscape it sits on.
Recently completed earlier this year, the hotel is the brainchild of designer William Lim, founder of CL3 Architects, who looked to the property’s iconic landscape of Yanqing for inspiration when he was tapped to create its aesthetic.
Indeed, there were lots to draw from: home to the popular Badaling section of the Great Wall, the location is also rich in natural resources surrounded by mountains, rivers, parklands, wild flora and fauna – it is also set to be the host of the Winter Olympics in 2022.
All that, William and his team have translated seamlessly into the hotel’s design, which is apparent before one even steps foot into the hotel. Traditional upturned Chinese roof architecture, interweaved wooden beamed ceilings, oriental-style screens and manicured lawns frame the 15,625sqm property, which is lit up at twilight with carefully designed indirect lighting that conjures an immediate sense of calm.
Inside the lobby, the wondrous synergy between interiors and the environment becomes even starker. The whole space is designed to evoke the ebbs and flows of the surrounding rivers and mountains as well as the sinuous, grand nature of the Great Wall.
Layers of overlapping slabs of natural marble, with surfaces beautifully patterned and lit, form striking stone installations echoing surrounding mountains in the centre of the lobby. They sit against the reception area’s marble wall backdrop similarly depicting the silhouettes of nearby landscape. A large-scale contemporary copper metal sculpture glimmers as it floats atop the lobby in mid-air, serving as its centrepiece.
Framed by vertical wooden beams and overhead wooden panels, the space looks much like a winter chalet – the style extends to the nearby lobby lounge featuring a timber moon gate-framed lounging area and rugs that resemble grassland. Wood is also heavily employed throughout the hotel, including a striking staircase in the conference area that doubles as an artistic sculpture.
Away from the main areas, a lighter sensibility is found in the hotel’s indoor garden-themed dining area, where a huge flower-coloured mosaic wall makes guests feel like entering an ocean of flowers. Nature also defines the main Chinese restaurant; accents like birdcage style lamps and floral walls enliven the design inspired by the local mountain villages. An indoor swimming pool and wellness facilities including natural hot springs serve up more spaces for relaxation.
After experiencing the location’s landscape – both within and outside of the hotel – escape into the sanctuaries of calm and tranquillity that are the hotel’s 283 guestrooms and including 22 elegant suites. Nature is once again the muse for the soothing yet contemporary designs. Foliage decorates the guestroom corridors; in the rooms, carpets resembling the Kangxi grassland of Yanqing complement a warm colour scheme of beiges, browns and greens.
9 local endangered plants and flowers have also been handpicked to be interwoven into different rooms and suites, embellished on wall designs as feature artwork. All that, against the resplendent gardens and natural scenery that flow into the room via the expansive private balconies, lend to an idyllic stay that is all at once calming and rejuvenating.