Temple of Renewal
Chengdu has evolved from provincial panda-viewing stopover into a cosmopolitan destination. Its newest hotel, The Temple House, puts culture and indulgence centre stage, Rik Glauert discovers
s the first blush of dawn colours the Sichuan sky a shade of milky caramel, I check out and cross the historic courtyard that serves as the entrance to Chengdu’s newest landmark of indulgence. I take a final look back across the 100-year-old wooden columns, ornate bamboo fretwork and green tiles. The only anomalies in this Qing Dynasty vision are two leaf sculptures by local artist Wu Haiying that reflect the delicate architecture and wutong trees in their polished steel.
The Temple House is the latest launch by Swire Hotels’ The House Collective. Beyond the walls of the traditional courtyard house at its entrance, modern steel-and-glass buildings house 100 guest rooms around a central area of dramatically landscaped grass, sandstone sculptures and subterranean courtyards.
A grand staircase leads from the reception area underground to a network of facilities,