Imagine waking up enveloped by the plush sheets of your cloud-like bed, finishing a refreshing cup of orange juice, and being transported to the magical world of imperial China during your early jog alongside Houhai.
Feel revitalized by each and every encounter with the cool morning breeze that flows through the willow branches and become mesmerized by the vivid green, red, and golden hued reflections on the crystal-clear blue lake. No, you are not inside one of Monet’s many polychromatic works, but rather, simply experiencing the ageless beauty of Old Beijing, one composed of traditional architecture, vast history, and a lingering sense of mystery.
The Shichahai Shadow Art Performance Hotel, located in the heart of the Capital, is nestled among Old Beijing’s lasting hutongs. As you walk outside the boutique hotel’s doorsteps, the rugged grey walls that merge to form the once narrow alleyways of the ancient city replace the towering skyscrapers that characterize this international megapolis. While casually meandering along these stone passageways, see firsthand where normal Beijiingers live and work while, at the same time, exploring some of the city’s most marvelous, yet unnoticed, treasures.
One night at the Shichahai Shadow Art Performance Hotel is not only culturally enriching, but also, luxurious. Tucked away inside the maze-like backstreets of Beijing’s age-old hutongs, this boutique hotel maintains a pleasant equilibrium between contemporary and traditional elements in terms of its simple, yet sophisticated, interior and exterior décor. As you step inside the wooden doors of this hidden gem, be prepared to become completely immersed in traditional Chinese culture. This hotel, with its exquisite modern twist on the original opera-house structure, is the first of its kind. The minimalist design elements of every room are balanced with their individual themes, all based on the various characters of traditional Chinese opera. In terms of its location, design, and the platform on which it was built, the Shichahai Shadow Art Performance Hotel provides each of its visitors with the opportunity to explore the cultural depth of Beijing’s rich history and experience firsthand the city’s age-old beauty.
So what sets Shichahai apart from other boutique hotels? Shadow art puppetry, an ornate form of traditional Chinese theatre, is a main component of the hotel’s overall polished design and modern structure. With complimentary performances twice a week, guests are provided with the opportunity to experience an ancient and unfortunately, dying, form of storytelling. The lively, yet elegant, movements of the silhouette figures, each skillfully manipulated by a professional puppeteer, captures the audience’s attention with their artful creation of a mirage of moving images on an illuminated screen. Because these performances do not involve dialogue, this art form is an ideal medium for sharing the expansive scope of authentic Chinese culture with an inquisitive audience of all ages and backgrounds. Fusing chic modernity with shadow art puppetry, the Shichahai Shadow Art Performance Hotel is helping to preserve this endangered tradition one performance at at time.
Similar to WildChina’s personal objective of providing each and every one of our clients with the opportunity to “Experience China differently,” the Shichahai Shadow Art Performance Hotel bestows upon its visitors a luxurious stay enriched with unblemished Chinese culture. With its optimal location and distinct blend of the contemporary and traditional, this one-of-a-kind gem hidden inside the Capital’s many hutongs is a must stay for any traveler who desires an exclusive experience, one that takes advantage of all that the vast and magnificent city of Beijing has to offer.
Courtesy WildChina Blog
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