luxe - DuGe Courtyard Boutique Hotel

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The DuGe Courtyard Hotel is hidden behind bold red-and-blue doors in a traditional courtyard house in the centre of Beijing’s trendy Nan Luogu Xiang, providing an excellent jumping off point to visit the city’s fast-disappearing traditional hutongs, or ancient narrow residential alleyways.

A stay at this small boutique hotel, designed by the Belgian-Chinese husband and wife team Jehanne de Biolley and Harrison Liu, allows visitors to experience life as it was lived in Imperial China. The courtyard dates back to 1860 during the Qing dynasty when it was the garden residence of Ming Shan, a minister of the Imperial household.

Each of the ten rooms follows a different design theme and includes antiques collected by the owner, modern art, and contemporary furniture designed by Mr. Liu, a well-known actor. The most colourful room is the retro-looking Peony Pavilion, in which red-lacquered furniture contrasts with lime-green upholstery and a glass screen bathroom divider covered with bright-painted red peonies and green leaves. Also interesting is the Bamboo Room, with a 150-year-old carved moon gate, and The Imperial, which features gold-painted four-poster beds and a small atrium sitting room.

The lime-lacquered Reflections dining room, with its Baccarat chandeliers, faces the small White Russian bar, where the back-lit liquor shelves are contrasted by dark lacquered Chinese doors. The garden courtyard in between is a great place for a drink or meal during the warmer months.

Nan Luogu Xiang

This long and narrow 700-year-old street lined with interesting Republican-era architecture is fast becoming a new drinking, dining, and premier shopping destination in Beijing. The quaint shops set up in these old buildings with their skylights and large windows are a magnet for Chinese and foreigners seeking an authentic place to hang out. With its long history, Nan Luogu Xiang, or South Gong and Bell Lane, is also a great place for exploring the surrounding alleyways. The Drum and Bell Towers and the Rear Lakes are just a 15-minute walk from here.

Beijing, China
Distance: 6,164 km
Flight Time: 7 hours, 35 minutes
Frequency: Daily

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