The Luxe List 2009, China: Jing’s Residence, Pingyao

A World Heritage Site and one of China’s few remaining walled cities, Pingyao’s old town offers a wealth of well-preserved Ming and Qing dynasty relics. With the opening of Jing’s Residence, there’s one more on the list. Occupying four gray-brick siheyuan courtyard complexes, the 19-room property takes its design queues from Zhang Yimou’s award-winning 1991 film Raise the Red Lantern—not a coincidence, as the movie was shot on the outskirts of town. Rooms feature antique window frames, bamboo flooring, and rice- paper ceilings, while pieces on loan from Beijing’s cutting-edge Ullens Center will appeal to modern-art lovers. The concierge can arrange bespoke tours of Pingyao’s atmospheric laneways, but perhaps an even better place to witness the street life is a window-side table at the hotel’s small restaurant, where specialties include steamed oat noodles with beef and yam (16 Dong Jie; 86-354/584-1000;; doubles from US$129).

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