THE MIDDLE HOUSE, SHANGHAI
The fourth hotel in Swire’s The House Collective is quite the brooding minx. Located slap-bang beside Shanghai’s Nanjing West Road and surrounded by shopping and dining options galore, The Middle House basks in urban glamour given its own refreshing spin. The culturally provocative design by Milan-based maestro Piero Lissoni is evident as soon as you enter the intimate lobby, where bamboo-ribboned walls of jade-green porcelain and contemporary Chinese artworks surround a low-slung 3,760-piece Venetian chandelier. Spacious guest rooms decorated with dark-wood floors and streamlined Italian furnishings make you grin with playful touches: pops of canary-yellow and indigo, a complimentary “Maxi Bar,” and the giant bedside tassel that triggers the master switch. Cheeky all-glass bathrooms border on promiscuous. Filled with urban buzz, Café Gray Deluxe covers the entire third floor, while Sui Tang Li in the neighboring residential tower serves up modern Shanghainese and Cantonese cuisine, including excellent dim sum and “five elements”–inspired cocktails. Equally impressive is Mi Xun, a vast subterranean space that is home to a swimming pool, 24hour gym, juice bar, HYPOXI studio, and a spa using products by Cha Ling, LVMH’s new China-tea skincare brand. — 86-21/3216-8199; themiddlehousehotel.com; doubles from US$335
Above: The tents at Capella Ubud are centered on big four-poster beds.Right: The lobby of The Middle House in Shanghai. Opposite: Shook!, the breezy buffet restaurant at the Ritz-Carlton on Koh Samui.