China: HOMA Chateau for Art Lovers

Tourism Review News Desk - Aug 30, 2010
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For the lover of extraordinary escapes, a truly unique experience awaits in the heart of what many consider to be China’s most incredible natural landscape. HOMA Chateau is one of Asia’s most premier design hotels, surrounded by the famous karst mountains of Guilin and hidden amidst the variety of sculptures and architectural wonders of Yuzi (Fool’s) Paradise art park. More than just a hotel, HOMA Chateau provides a getaway for the tranquility-seeker that is unparalleled anywhere in the world. From the structure’s own innovative architecture and design to the uniquely personalized Host service, this is a destination not to be missed.

Part of the magic of HOMA Chateau comes from its enticingly multidimensional location. Most importantly, guests can enjoy hundreds of sculptures and paintings while exploring the grounds of Yuzi Paradise art park. But the art park proper is only a small part of HOMA Chateau’s vast 1300-acre property, most of which is left untouched for guests to discover. The breathtaking natural beauty of the area’s karst mountains and cave formations has been recognized by artists and adventurers for centuries. The hotel even facilitates local travel for guests to discover all of the region’s many treasures, including the Li and Yulong rivers, Elephant Trunk Hill, Reed Flute Cave, the rice terraces of Longji, and the Impression Sanjie Liu lightshow in Yangshuo.

In many ways, Yuzi Paradise is a creative reflection of the beauty of Guilin. Most of the artwork in the park was created on site by visiting artists who drew inspiration from the landscape and infused it into their masterpieces. Even the architecture of the buildings – HOMA Chateau included – was inspired by the surrounding landscape. Designed by a Taiwanese sculptor, the pyramid-style architecture of HOMA Chateau is a fascinating artistic innovation reminiscent of Guilin’s karst mountains. Smoked glass windows, sloping roofs covered in grass, HOMA Chateau rises from the earth like a monolithic sculpture.

But the unusual does not end there. The owner and visionary of Yuzi Paradise and HOMA, Tsao Rhy-Chang, is an avid lover of nature and refused to unnecessarily damage the property’s existing plant life during the development of the park. Rather than planting trees around the construction, the construction was often built around the trees that already lived there. It is therefore common at Yuzi Paradise to find trees growing in the middle of terraces, pavilions, and staircases. In addition, the roof of HOMA Chateau is completely covered in grass as a testament to the owner’s love of Guilin’s natural landscape.

The aura of creativity continues inside HOMA Chateau. In the lobby, natural tones draw you to the hotel’s heart – a quiet Zen garden featuring several sculptures, where a special ceiling system allows water to drip down into the garden’s bed of white pebbles each time it rains.

HOMA’s rooms are equally intriguing, particularly the cave-themed rooms, inspired by the local karst cave formations. But it is difficult to choose a favorite when no two rooms are alike. The reason for this is the pyramid shape of the hotel’s architecture, which gives every room a different floor plan. This required each room to be designed individually, yielding 46 carefully crafted works of art.

Adding yet another creative dimension, each room showcases its own collection of art pieces by resident and visiting artists. From doorknobs to discrete statuettes, furniture to bold sculptures, every space displays a selection of visual treasures – what some have called their own personal museum.

If guests have time to spare after exploring the property’s multitude of artistic spaces, HOMA offers many unique activities to experience. Some of the most popular include alfresco dining by the lakeside and private art classes with resident artists in Chinese calligraphy, ceramics, and a variety of other media.

In addition to on-site activities, guests are encouraged to discover fine dining at Lotus Restaurant or browse the art collection at the International Art Center. But to truly melt into pure relaxation, guests must lose themselves in the highly lauded Flying Spa. With a mesmerizingly peaceful modern design, this facility uses organic products and boasts 16 fully integrated treatment rooms – several of which are duplexes.

From architecture to interior design, landscape to landscaping, HOMA Chateau is an adventure in creativity that beckons to all discerning lovers of art and tranquility. Be sure to add this one to your travel list.

By Thorstan Fries

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