The new Sunrise Kempinski Hotel is an hour’s drive north of Beijing, where skyscrapers give way to the farmland surrounding Yanqi Lake. Despite the space-egg look, the hotel manages to feel both traditional and bucolic, with a ceremonial teahouse, Chinese massages, and views of the Yan Mountains from many rooms in the 21-story orb.
Play the day away by hiking the nearby Mutianyu section of the Great Wall or paddling on the lake, then return for a night stroll to see the hotel’s 10,000 exterior glass panels glow, lit by hydroelectric power. And, yes, this crazy design has a story. From the side, it’s a scallop (a symbol for fortune); from the front, a sun (emblematic of China’s growth). From $320
This appeared in the March/April 2015 issue.