My F&W
quick save (...)

Commune by the Great Wall Hotel

Great Wall Exit No.53 , Shuiguan G6 Jingzang Hwy.
Beijing , China

One of the most aesthetically dramatic properties in China, the Commune by the Great Wall has lodgings created by some of Asia’s best contemporary architects—set right alongside the most stupendous building project of the ancient world. A dozen different architects were invited to design their “dream” villas here in 2001, on a hillside right near the base of the Badaling section of the Great Wall; the results were 11 different stand-alone residences that are as wildly different as they are imaginative. Most incorporate swooping, angular structures and walls of floor-to-ceiling glass; some, like Gary Chang’s elongated, wooden Suitcase House, are elevated on struts, the better for seeing out over the wall and surrounding countryside. All have interiors decorated with varying degrees of minimalism: while Shigeru Ban’s Furniture House is a study in clean-lined white (molded fiberglass chairs, stark floor tiles), Kengo Kuma’s Bamboo Wall house has walls covered in fluffy down mats, and slatted bamboo shutters that let in stripes of afternoon light. Each villa—which guests book in its entirety—has a kitchen, expansive common areas, and a dedicated housekeeper. In 2006, the property added another 31 buildings with 236 more rooms and suites—all sleek and immaculate, though not as stunning as the original structures—and the opulent Anantara Spa. An outdoor swimming pool will be unveiled in late 2008.

Tip: Bring the family. Kids under 12 stay free.

Room to Book: Antonio Ochoa’s Cantilever House, which has staggering Great Wall views from its terraces and roof deck.

The Dish
Receive delicious recipes and smart wine advice 4x per week in this e-newsletter.
The Wine List Weekly pairing plus best bottles to buy.
F&W Daily One sensational dish served fresh every day.
American Express Publishing ("AEP") may use your email address to send you account updates and offers that may interest you. To learn more about the ways we may use your email address and about your privacy choices, read the AEP Privacy Statement.
How we use your email address
Congratulations to Nicholas Elmi, winner of Top Chef: New Orleans, the 11th season of Bravo's Emmy-Award winning, hit reality series.

Already looking forward to next year (June 19-21, 2015)? Relive your favorite moments from the culinary world's most sensational weekend in the Rocky Mountains.