The Luxe List 2014

  • Abode, Mumbai, India

    Abode, Mumbai, India

  • Amano'i, Vinh Hy Bay, Vietnam

    Amano'i, Vinh Hy Bay, Vietnam

  • Cheval Blanc Randheli, Noonu Atoll, Maldives

    Cheval Blanc Randheli, Noonu Atoll, Maldives

  • Dwarika's Resort, Dhulikhel, Nepal

    Dwarika's Resort, Dhulikhel, Nepal

  • Gangtey Goenpa Lodge, Phobjikha Valley, Bhutan

    Gangtey Goenpa Lodge, Phobjikha Valley, Bhutan

  • Hotel Hotel, Canberra, Australia

    Hotel Hotel, Canberra, Australia

  • Hotel Indigo Lijiang Ancient Town, Lijiang, China

    Hotel Indigo Lijiang Ancient Town, Lijiang, China

  • Iniala, Phang-Nga, Thailand

    Iniala, Phang-Nga, Thailand

  • Jetwing Yala, Yala National Park, Sri Lanka

    Jetwing Yala, Yala National Park, Sri Lanka

  • Kata Rocks, Phuket, Thailand

    Kata Rocks, Phuket, Thailand

  • One&Only Hayman Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia

    One&Only Hayman Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia

  • Point Yamu by COMO, Phuket, Thailand

    Point Yamu by COMO, Phuket, Thailand

  • Ritz-Carlton, Kyoto, Japan

    Ritz-Carlton, Kyoto, Japan

  • Sala Lodges, Siem Reap, Cambodia

    Sala Lodges, Siem Reap, Cambodia

  • Sofitel So Singapore

    Sofitel So Singapore

  • Temple Hotel, Beijing, China

    Temple Hotel, Beijing, China

  • Velaa Private Island, Noonu Atoll, Maldives

    Velaa Private Island, Noonu Atoll, Maldives

  • Waldorf Astoria, Beijing, China

    Waldorf Astoria, Beijing, China

  • Mira Moon, Hong Kong, China

    Mira Moon, Hong Kong, China

  • Mira Moon, Hong Kong, China

    Mira Moon, Hong Kong, China

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The Luxe List 2014: The Temple Hotel, Beijing, China

It was on a cycling jaunt through Beijing’s hutong alleys that Belgian entrepreneur Juan van Wassenhove stumbled upon a decaying Qing-era temple complex. That was in 2005. Eight years of intensive work by van Wassenhove and his team have since restored the Zhizhusi Temple into an elegant eight-room inn so carefully renovated that it earned a UNESCO award for heritage conservation. Modern design now intermingles with nods to the site’s past, with rooms in the former monks quarters featuring polished concrete floors along with one-of-a-kind hand-carved wooden furniture. An elaborate opium bed takes center stage in the Peony room, while seating in the two-floor suites in an adjoining building comes in the form of crimson-lacquered scholars’ chairs positioned next to side tables from Hermès- backed Chinese brand Shang Xia. There is art throughout—the gallery-worthy collection includes Gathered Sky, James Turrell’s only installation in China—while the adjacent Temple Restaurant has earned extensive praise for its European cuisine from former Maison Boulud chef Ignace Lecleir.

23 Shatan Beijie; 86-10/ 8401-5680 ext. 8000; The Temple Hotel; doubles from US$325

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