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Once through the majestic wooden doors and ancient courtyard of The Temple House, there was no turning back to reality. An immediate feeling of Zen washed over me as I swapped the hectic traffic of Chengdu, one of China’s largest cities, for the calming
interiors of this much-heralded hotel (named for nearby Daci Temple).
Bespoke artwork throughout drew my immediate attention, especially the gold-wire, boat-shaped sculpture that serves as the reception desk.
With a staff-to-guestroom ratio of nearly four to one, the hotel strives for perfection, much like its siblings: The Opposite House in Beijing, The Upper House in Hong Kong and the soon-to-open The Middle House in Shanghai, all operated by Swire Hotels
Despite the historic facade, this 100-room hotel is modern, with sculpture-lined lawns between modern glass buildings (one exclusively houses 42 additional serviced apartments).
After a long flight, I made a beeline for my Temple Suite where calming hues of beige and white were instant stress relievers. The understated living room and bedroom looked more like a swanky Manhattan residence than a traditional luxury hotel in China.
Designers traded the usual trussed-up drapery and gilt-framed paintings for electric window shades and platform beds with side tables that opened to reveal USB ports. The bamboo pattern that ran the length of the floor-to-ceiling windows was a nice touch
Guestrooms at The Temple House in Chengdu, China, are modern and luxurious.Credit: 2018 The Temple House
The design of the spa is meant to maximize tranquility.Credit: 2018 The Temple House
The on-site Teahouse restaurant offers vegetarian dishes.Credit: 2018 The Temple House
The hotel’s Jing Bar offers a great spot to relax.Credit: 2018 The Temple House
The property combines the classic with the modern.Credit: 2018 The Temple House
A sliding bathroom door revealed a stone vanity so large I quickly ran out of things to put there. The television embedded in the mirror and a cloth amenity bag stuffed with luxury toiletries to take home were notable highlights.
While I could have raided my “maxibar” (the name given to the comped minibar) for candy and soda, the Dan Dan noodles and spicy congee at The Temple Cafe were calling my name.
While there was also plenty to taste in the neighboring Sino-Ocean Taikoo Li luxury shopping complex (jointly operated by Swire), nothing could compete with Teahouse, the hotel’s vegetarian restaurant. There I dipped handmade noodles, veggies and more
mushroom varietals than I could count in the bubbling hot pot to celebrate my return to the Szechuan province where spice is king. The hotel’s herb garden was responsible for many of the fragrant flavors that I still remember weeks after my visit.
The art of Zen and appreciation of Chinese tradition are just as much a focus as service and hospitality at The Temple House.
During my visit, I participated in a Chinese calligraphy lesson for guests (not one of my strong suits, as it turns out), as well as tai chi and yoga classes.
Luckily, meditation in the serene spa courtyard — as well as fresh pizza from Tivano’s wood-burning oven, another of the property’s restaurants — brought me back to a state of happiness. It soon became clear there is no rival for the understated luxury
of The Temple House.
The Details:The Temple Housewww.thetemplehousehotel.com