Fodor's Expert Review Temple Hotel Beijing

23 Shatan Beilu, Beijing, Beijing, 100009, China Fodor's Choice

Five hundred years in the making, this beguiling combination of boutique luxury and heritage architecture is one of Beijing's most romantic hotel experiences. The eight guest rooms here are housed in a once-forgotten Tibetan Buddhist Temple, painstakingly restored and strewn with thoughtful art, custom furniture pieces, and major creature comforts. The temple, called Zhizusi, or The Temple of Wisdom, was commissioned by the Kangxi Emperor in the 1600s and was one of a trio of Beijing temples designed to print Buddhist religious texts. Later it became a private residence to a prominent Tibetan Buddhist religious leader. The Dragon Phoenix room, the largest, is in a cavernous former prayer hall with tall ceilings and polished beams (and, most important, cozy under-floor heating). More modern rooms are housed in stylishly restored 1960 annexes, built when the complex was a television factory—Mao slogans inciting workers are still visible hanging from the main temple wall. The hotel is also the home of Gathered Sky, the first permanent light installation by artist James Turrell in China. Guests can attend "Sunset Session" viewings for free, and anyone can go along at sunset every Sunday to view it. Breakfast is served in-room in custom designed "bento" boxes; the Temple Restaurant Beijing shares the complex and is open for lunch and dinner.

PROS

  • historic buildings in hutong location
  • great for art lovers
  • exceptional

CONS

  • no gym, pool, or spa
  • expensive
  • bad location for business travelers

QUICK FACTS

Hotel
Historical, New, Romantic
Quiet
Central
$$$$

HOTEL INFO

Phones: 010-8401–5680

HOTEL DETAILS

8 rooms
Rate Includes: No meals

What’s Nearby