Recently, I was asked to stay with the Opposite House in Beijing, here’s my honest review of my experience there.
Within seconds of being offered a stay at the Opposite House, my mind immediately flew into the clouds about what it would be like to meet David Beckham; a frequenter of the Opposite House.
We’d obviously fall in love. What he would do with his wife and kids is beyond me, but you make sacrifices for your one true love. Obviously.
So when reviewing hotels, I always like to consider the 6 F’s:
The Opposite House is designed like an art museum… if a museum had style. All of the installations are replaced every few months so you’ll always see something new.
The floor-to-ceiling windows create an airy vibe and you’ll rarely find a fully divided room because it would suffocate the creativity that the palace inspires… I mean hotel. But seriously, it looks like a palace.
Here Are The Keys To The Palace
My room was posh and minimalist. My German boyfriend thought it was incredibly exciting (he would) and we both appreciated the no-nonsense furniture and decorations.
The blankets and pillows felt like dreams and the bath products smelled like my next paycheck. I’m a total addict when it comes to lemongrass-scented anything so I immediately followed up with management about where I could buy these bath products.
One issue that I had with the room is the fact that it echoes like crazy! Maybe it’s because of the hardwood floors, but my whispers carried to the other side of the room immediately and potentially through the door.
However, this is perfect for yelling at your significant other to stop watching soccer and to pay more attention to the important things you need to show him or her on Instagram.
The bathroom was a DREAM and I took full advantage of the tub with the complimentary bath salts provided. Recently, I’ve been working 70 hours a week and I took an hour to enjoy the complimentary bath salts and this luxurious bathtub while music hummed throughout the room.
Don’t bother me… I’m busy relaxing.
When we came back to the room after dinner, there were two facial masks next to the bed that read, “Been a long day?”… I’m assuming someone was listening to us the entire time (because of the echoes) and I’m not even mad about it.
I’m rarely impressed by service in China. Everyone is constantly busy on his or her phones, the language barrier makes it difficult to communicate your needs, and what is or isn’t “rude” is judged by completely different standards.
As in there are no standards. But at the Opposite House, everyone had a smile. Everyone looked me directly in the eye. And EVERYONE spoke some degree of English, if not several different languages.
But I would EXPECT a fabulous star boutique hotel to have these things. So I put the staff to the test.
So I had a 问题 or “problem” that I confronted the staff with. I needed a bullet train or flight that left in 3 or 4 days, with two seats available, and I was on a serious budget.
Where it was going didn’t matter because I was going to take a second train from there, but it needed to be outside of Beijing and heading south. An employee named “Kate” went above and beyond the call of duty.
She checked nearly every listing imaginable for me! Hard sleepers, soft sleepers, bullet trains, flights, hard seats, soft seats, and even by donkey (I’m assuming). She spent a good HOUR trying to help me and eventually we found something that worked and she booked it for me.
Things like this don’t just happen. When I was in Qingdao, their staff just told me “good luck” and to go to the train station myself. Thanks for nothing.
The next day, a male employee named “Brook” booked the second train with a huge smile on his face, while he chatted me up about my life in Beijing.
It was clear that he enjoyed working with people and that doing his job well wasn’t an inconvenience for him. I cannot stress enough how rare it is to see this type of service in China!
Something that was a total surprise to me was all of the cables, gadgets, and doodads (a scientific term) that the OH provided! There was a whole drawer of cables and plugs for weary travelers who forget a few things back at home now and again.
No converters were necessary! The Opposite House also provides its patrons with an iPad for easy Internet accessibility (how considerate) AND you can hook up your music to mystical speakers that are hidden in the walls. This was, by far, the most high-tech boutique hotel I’ve ever been to.
Opposite House’s fitness facilities were extremely posh and well designed for most traveling athletes… but it’s no CrossFit box. All snobbery aside, I’m head-over-heels in love with their pool facilities!!! The water is so clear, I thought the pool was empty for the first few minutes!
It was heated and the temperature was perfect for losing yourself mentally and long swims. The gym facility has all the normal bells and whistles: treadmills, machines, lightweights, long mirrors for gym selfies, etc.
But the most dramatic difference between these facilities and others is the cleanliness! You can’t put a price on hygiene in China… but if you could, someone should give the maintenance staff a bonus immediately.
The only thing I love more than CrossFit is free stuff. The OH was kind enough to provide a bag filled with goodies, information about Beijing, a CD of something I have yet to listen to, and a neat little box of chocolates that I devoured immediately with the ferocity of a chubby child.
They were gourmet… and then they were gone. As I mentioned briefly, someone also broke into our suite and left us two facial masks, two bottles of water, and a handwritten note; it’s the details that really make the difference.
NOTICE: the mini-bar is completely FREE and filled with things that I would actually want to eat! Normally hotels either give you one of two packages:
A) An open mini-bar filled with weird foreign goodies with names you can’t pronounce
B) An over-priced mini-bar with yummy snacks that drunk people fall victim to after the kitchen closes
The Opposite House had the best of both worlds. As a frequent traveler, I think it’s the little things that count the most. Why nickel and dime your guests over a Snickers bar or two?
If you provide the best customer service possible, your patrons will rave to all their friends about how fabulous your business is.
So this is me raving.
If you go to the Village Café, go for the brunch spread. The brunch spread was amazing and had everything from green smoothies to fresh honeycomb! In addition to this, there was quinoa, cold cuts, fresh smoked salmon, and a variety of dairy products that I couldn’t enjoy because I’m lactose intolerant…
The Opposite House is a good choice for you if:
- you like luxury
- you’re on business
- you’re on a romantic weekend
- you love art or technology
- you really want to meet David Beckham
Maybe skip the Opposite House if:
- you want to be near the Great Wall
- you want to be away from the city of Beijing
- you are on a budget
- you hate relaxation
- you really hate David Beckham
Let me know about your experiences in the Opposite House in the comment section.