A few months ago while surveying a site in Beijing for a project I was overseeing for Neri & Hu, I took a detour and visited an old interior project completed by the office in 2012. Marketed under the banner ‘a business hotel with a life’, the East Hotel brand was created by Swire Hotels Group. Following the success of their Opposite House in Sanlitun designed by Kengo Kuma and the first East Hotel in Hong Kong, East Beijing caters to travellers looking for a place with convenient transportation links to the periphery without sacrificing a feel for downtown cool.
Neri & Hu designed a collection of interior spaces including a smart Japanese restaurant (Hagaki), a multi-level bar (Xian), and an all-day dining space: Feast (Food by East). The open layout of Feast’s dining area reflects the variety of international cuisine on offer. A long continuous counter fronted by blackboard menus contains different serving stations while restrained oak furniture is laid out beneath a playful array of custom pendant lights. The menu is eclectic showcasing dishes from European and Asian cuisines prepared in an unpretentious and timely fashion. Dishes can be ordered to share or for yourself, and the semi-buffet concept means you can select at your table or go and explore the different show kitchens. If you ever find yourself en route to your flight but have missed the chance to dine in central Beijing, I'd recommend forgetting the dire options at Beijing airport and swinging by here instead.