Designed by Chinese architect Zhu Pei, who was responsible for the Digital Beijing center at the Olympic Park, the Hotel Kapok opened in 2006 to much fanfare. One of the first boutique hotels in the city, it contrasts a sleek modern façade with its location next to the Forbidden City. The structure is focused on a central courtyard, like a typical Beijing sìhéyuàn, and is covered with modernized latticework so that at night the hotel resembles a giant lantern. There are 89 guestrooms and suites that have huge Jacuzzi-style bathtubs. The Courtyard room has, unsurprisingly, its own courtyard where you can take your breakfast amidst serene bamboo stalks. The voluminous Fashion Suite and Kapok Suite have enviable views over the Forbidden City. There is also a stylish Library Bar on the lobby level complete with Kartell chairs as well as a gym, sauna and business center.