Above: The hotel is around a half an hour’s drive from the Forbidden City.
High style and original art abound at the newly opened Four Seasons Beijing (48 Liang Ma Qiao Rd., 100125 Chaoyang District; fourseasons.com/Beijing; 86-10/5695-8859; doubles from US$320), which offers 247 guest rooms and 66 suites close to the Third Diplomatic Precinct in the central Liangmahe district. On entering the hotel, guests come face-to-face with Qin Feng’s calligraphic piece Landscape of Desires, one of several artworks displayed throughout the hotel. At the sixth-floor Tea Room, look out for an installationâ€”specially commissioned by Four Seasonsâ€”by Australian artist Jayne Dyer. Hundreds of butterflies reach skyward along the atrium wall, inspired by the Chinese legendÂ Butterfly Loversâ€”also known as Lhang Zhuâ€”a tragedy in the mold of Romeo and Juliet. Away from the lobby, Opus Lounge offers afternoon tea, while the first of two signature restaurants can be found up the stairs. Cai Yi Xuan serves Cantonese cuisine with a Tony Lu-designed menu focusing on dim sum from the Shanghai masterâ€™s home turf. The restaurantâ€™s formal dining room overlooks the street below and has eight private dining rooms, while Â Mio serves Italian fare under the direction of Â Marco Calenzo, formerly of Michelin-starred Apsleys in London’s Lanesborough hotel. The Four Seasons’ spa is run by Fay Sirisopaâ€”who carries a good deal of experience in the regionâ€”and includes 11 treatment rooms complemented by sun-lit pool and 24-hour fitness center. Rich tones in mahogany and gold characterize the guest rooms, while the bathrooms, which offer sunken tubs, are a more neutral and lustrous affair.