The Nuo Hotels brand was launched in September 2012 at an official ceremony at the Temple of Heaven in Beijing, following a brand unveiling back in February 2008. Deriving its name from the Chinese characters ??, (Nuo Jin) meaning “the golden promise”, it is China’s first homegrown five-star brand, and draws its inspiration from the country’s rich history and heritage, adding a contemporary emphasis and a green conscience. Nuo Hotel Beijing is the brand’s first offering and aims to be the benchmark from which expansions in China and throughout the world will progress. Nuo Hotels is owned by Beijing Tourism Group (BTG) and Nuo Hotel Beijing had its soft opening this June.
WHAT’S IT LIKE?
The emphasis on art and culture are quite overwhelming upon entry into the hotel’s enormous lobby, adorned with two works from Zeng Fanzhi, one of China’s most acclaimed artists, a silver and bronze sculpture called Le Shan, and a centre piece oil on canvas called Landscape 2014. His works are flanked by gigantic blue and white painted porcelain vases, while five massive moon gates complete a larger than life effect. Elegant and stunning works from artists both unknown and world renowned feature throughout the hotel and the overall theme – inspired by the Ming dynasty’s golden age – is a constant feast for the eyes.
WHERE IS IT?
The hotel is in the NUO Centre, an upscale office tower and mixed-use complex owned by BTG, in Beijing’s Chaoyang district. Close by is Beijing’s Art Zone 798 and the Third Embassy area. The international airport is less than half an hour away, about a RMB60 (US$9) cab ride, with the inner city likewise around 30 minutes away. The hotel has a fleet of limousines for guests, while for the less ostentatious, taxis are a five to 10-minute wait. Beijing Metro’s soon-to-open Gaojiayuan station is adjacent.
There are 438 rooms in all including 55 suites, all with floor-to-ceiling views and designed by Hirsch Bedner Associates. My room was one of the Park View Studios, which are sized between 59-64 sqm. It is impressively and elegantly appointed, with dark woods contrasting nicely with formal green tones and neutrals for the walls and floors. A large and comfy bed at the room’s centre and facing the floor-to-ceiling window view is flanked by generous sitting space on either side and behind to the left a sizeable marble-topped work desk.
Behind the bed itself is partitioned to leave the coffee, tea and fridge facilities, walk-in wardrobe and entrance areas, and ensuite laundry and valet delivery cabinets out of sight.
To the right of the bed as you face the window, a large and well-equipped bathroom features elegant marbles with white ceramics, large mirrors and tub, with separate and spacious shower and toilet.
Tea-infused accessories are by NUO Pu’er, developed exclusively by Shanghai’s Ba Yan Ka La. Look carefully for calligraphy depicting Ming-era poet Wen Zhengming etched into the walls. All rooms feature complimentary broadband and wireless internet access.
RESTAURANTS AND BARS
NUO has seven restaurants and bars. Jia offers the best in refined Chinese dining, while NUO’Ki gives those with a liking for contemporary Japanese cuisine a venue. N’Joy is an all-day buffet style experience of offerings from around the world by acclaimed chefs. U’Deli serves the sweet tooth, the Lobby Lounge is the spot for afternoon tea and coffee, while wine and cocktails at O’Bar complete the F&B mix. Of note also is Yuan Tea House with premium and bespoke teas made especially for NUO.
BUSINESS AND MEETING FACILITIES
A total of 2,500 sqm of space has been dedicated to meetings and events via 14 multi-function rooms and the 1,600 sqm Yongle Grand Ballroom, which can be split into four for smaller gatherings. Intelligent lighting and LED display systems couple with giant 75 sqm screens for the big events, while the direct access lifts boast enough room for a car (for automotive shows). The hotel can also provide a dedicated events manager.
NUO Spa has eight treatment rooms and a traditional Chinese medicine centre, mixing the attributes of wellness with essential oils and fragrances custom-made for the hotel. NUO Fitness provides a well equipped gym and a 25-metre heated indoor pool. Other facilities include an Executive Club and a dedicated art gallery showcasing a critically acclaimed collection.
Full marks for this pioneer of an exciting new brand that will expand internationally. NUO is bound to be a marvellous ambassador for China with its mix of contemporary comfort and style with rich history and culture.
- HOW MANY ROOMS? There are 438 rooms: 97 Deluxe King Rooms, 70 Deluxe Twin Rooms, seven NUO Studios, 103 Premier King Rooms, 72 Premier Twin Rooms, seven Park View Studios, 33 NUO Club King Rooms, eight NUO Club Twin Rooms, 30 NUO Club Studios, two Grand Club Suites, one Parkview Club Suite, five Residence Club Suites, two Chairman Suites, and one Presidential Suite.
- HIGHLIGHTS Art and design work truly admirable. Service is excellent.
- PRICE Internet rates for a NUO Deluxe King room in mid-December start from RMB1,600(US$250) per night.
- CONTACT NUO Hotel Beijing, 2A Jiangtai Rd, Chaoyang District; tel: +86 10 5926 8888; nuohotel.com