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Global hangout: Homa Chateau, Guilin

This tiny slice of contemporary design in the middle of China's most celebrated landscape is a true artist's retreat

  • Homa Chateau, Guilin
    Why not take a Tai Chi lesson in the grounds of Homa Chateau.Image Credit: Supplied picture
  • Homa Chateau, Guilin
    Dine in a cave.Image Credit: Supplied picture
  • Homa Chateau, Guilin
    The building both stands out and blends in.Image Credit: Supplied picture
  • Homa Chateau, Guilin
    Melbourne's Match Bar & Grill.Image Credit: Supplied picture
  • Homa Chateau, Guilin
    Robert Restaurant in New York.Image Credit: Supplied picture

Nestled in the hills of Guilin, a UNESCO World Heritage Site famous for its rolling green landscape and stunning spiky cave formations, boutique hotel Homa Chateau, in its contemporary grass-covered form, looks like a striking UFO that has settled into the landscape in this rural Chinese village.

The 46 personalised rooms in the HOMA (Hotel of Modern Art) Chateau were designed by a prominent artist - and while they're all unique, they do all boast a signature modernist and slick look - think luxe fittings and glossy surfaces. There is also a high-end restaurant and even in-cave dining, a fantastic spa with famously excellent massages and cave exploration sessions and art classes.

In fact, the Taiwanese owner of the hotel is clearly art mad; he also owns the surrounding 1,320 acre sculpture park that boasts some of the most beautiful contemporary art sculptures in the world, most of which were built while the artists were on a "retreat" in the hotel. Too cool.

Inside info

The area around Guilin is widely considered to be the most romantic spot in China, so why not book the two-night Romantic Escape? You'll be picked up from the airport, given a Tai Chi lesson, all meals - including one in a famous Karst cave, a spa treatment for two, a bike tour and sculpture park tour. It costs Dh3,700 for the pair of you (cheap at twice the price when you get to dine in your own UNESCO heritage cave!) 


Dabu Town, Yanshan District, Guilin
Call +86 773 386 7888

More global hangouts

Match Bar & Grill,  Melbourne, Australia
This wasn't voted Australia's Bar of the Year 2011 for nothing; it's all about fine wine, fresh, seasonal food and great music. The space is decked out in wood and leather - with a dash of street art - and the chef was trained in a Michelin-starred restaurant, which means his grills, seafood and sharing plate dishes are truly second-to-none (the duck prosciutto is A-grade delicious). The city of Melbourne is all about food and drink, so for this to be voted the top in its class is no mean feat.
Call +61 396 546 522 or visit

Robert Restaurant, New York, USA
This modern, pink-hued restaurant within the Museum of Arts and Design is the kind of place you'll find yourself perched on a couch while sipping a brightly coloured cocktail and listening to the pianist cut a fine tune on a baby grand. Boasting - from its ninth-floor location - the best view of Central Park and Broadway that you'll find over food in New York, this (actually very reasonably priced restaurant) is a fave of New York socialites and celebs - although they won't spill on who. Next time we find ourselves in the Big Apple we're going to bite into the Grilled golden snapper with braised fennel and saffron.
Call +212 299 7730 or visit