Diaoyu­tai Bou­tique Chengdu

DestinAsian - - GOOD TO GO ROOM REPORT - 38-39 Kuan Al­ley, Qingyang Dis­trict; 86-28/6625- 9999; dytchengdu.com; dou­bles from US$333

This gem of a ho­tel is tied with the St. Regis for the largest guest quar­ters in town (en­try-level rooms at both start at 65 square me­ters). But the similarities end there. The third prop­erty to be opened by a joint ven­ture be­tween Bei­jing’s his­toric Diaoyu­tai State Guest­house and MGM Re­sorts In­ter­na­tional, it in­hab­its two re­stored Qing-era court­yard build­ings in the at­mo­spheric Kuanzhai area. Gray-brick ex­te­ri­ors give way to in­te­ri­ors by French designer Bruno Moinard, with silk wall­pa­per, mod­ish fur­nish­ings, gold and jade ob­jets d’art, and a sooth­ing, earthy pal­ette en­livened by pops of color. The Diaoyu­tai’s 45 rooms come in 16 dif­fer­ent con­fig­u­ra­tions, all with richly grained wooden floors and big bath­rooms out­fit­ted with bronze sinks. Equally invit­ing is the Royal Court restau­rant, which painstak­ingly repli­cates many of the haute Chi­nese dishes that chefs at the Diaoyu­tai State Guest­house have pre­sented to vis­it­ing dig­ni­taries over the decades—things like mat­su­take mush­room con­sommé and braised pork meat­balls sim­mered in a clay pot, which was the best I’ve ever tasted in China. The ver­dict? While the Diaoyu­tai may be a ways off from achiev­ing the ser­vice stan­dards of the St. Regis, it’s a be­guil­ingly orig­i­nal prop­erty that could get by on looks (and taste) alone.

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