Gracie Art Hotel is not particularly close to any of the traditional sights of Beijing, but it’s a great choice for those who've already seen the main attractions. This boutique hotel is located near the funky 798 Art Zone. The graffiti-festooned, Bauhaus-influenced factory zone became an artist enclave for the likes of Ai Weiwei and other modern Chinese artists. New galleries are still pushing the creative frontiers of the Chinese art scene. Gracie Art Hotel is a renovated former crystal factory, with stark red bricks dominating the front. The interior, however, is eclectic and modern, filled with abstract artwork and stunning design. A stay in any of the guest rooms will put guests in a creative mindset.
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Some may say that the 798 Art Zone is too commercialized. But good galleries are still here; they are just a bit harder to find. Grace Hotel concierge is a wonderful resource for those wanting to appreciate modern Chinese art but just don't know where to start.
Need to Know
Rooms: 23 rooms, 3 suites, 4 artist studios. From $183. Check-in: 2 p.m.; check-out: noon. Dining options: Yi Bistro is a classy hotel restaurant specializing in Mediterranean food. Great restaurants also exist within 798. And Timezone Sushi, a collaboration between Hatsune (a locally popular California-style sushi chain) and Timezone 8 (one of the first Western-style restaurants in the area) is recommended. Spa and gym details: There is a rather cramped gym in the hotel.
Who's it for: Design junkies and modern art fans. This is the China that influences youth culture and is the very definition of urban chic with Chinese characteristics. Our favorite rooms: The artist studios, decorated with abstract works, will put guests in a creative mindset. Dine outdoors: Have champagne brunch out on the terrace—it's a private area with urban art on the cement barrier.