Niccolo Chongqing

Photography courtesy of Niccolo Hotels/Wharf Holdings Limited • August 9, 2018

Design firm: HBA, Santa Monica, California

The details: Simplicity defines China’s Niccolo Chongqing located on 10 floors of Tower 1 Chongqing IFS, the largest mixed-use development in the new central business district. To cater to the modern traveler, “tones are broad and muted with small yet balanced explosions of color,” says Darrell Long, design director at HBA’s Santa Monica office. “Although form isn’t necessarily part of the material or color vocabulary, we used it to take the materials from a metaphorical whisper to a scream,” he says, channeling a chic yet timeless elegance.

There are two lobbies, one on the ground floor to welcome guests and a second on the 62nd floor for check-in, where a sculptural ceiling installation from artist Sawada creates a rhythmic quality to the space. To contrast the dramatic lobby, 252 retreat-like guestrooms evoke comfort through understated tones and textures, while the sky pool is also humble in form, with dark metal and marble cladding to showcase heady views of the city.

F&B is varied, from the moody Bar 62—reminiscent of old, smoke-filled jazz clubs with glossy wood paneling and patterned, polished marble—to the peaceful 78-seat tea lounge and signature Chinese restaurant Yue Hin. Niccolo Kitchen is “the pinnacle of the hotel’s contemporary, casual dining experience,” Long adds, with glazed white subway tile, heavily veined marble, checkered-pattern flooring, and dark bronze horizontal louvers completing the hotel’s luxe journey.