Marvel at an ancient architectural wonder while staying in a thrilling contemporary one. Nestled alongside the Badaling section of the Great Wall (40 miles from Beijing), the Commune
is a complex of 12 houses designed by Asia's leading architects, including Japan's Shigeru Ban and China's Yung Ho Chang. Operated as a boutique hotel by the Kempinski luxury hotel group, the Commune is set amidst a breathtaking mountainous landscape. Each of the 12 architects was given a $1 million budget to design a contemporary luxury villa. Kengo Kuma's Bamboo Wall House features a tea room; Shigeru Ban's Furniture House features laminated plywood typical of modular furniture; Yung Ho Chang's Split House is literally split in two. After the additions in 2006, there are now 31 additional villas (replicas of the originals), a fitness center, outdoor pool, private screening room with DVD library, and spa. High-concept architecture is complemented by high-tech amenities and excellent service (private butlers to attend to every need). From the floor-to-ceiling windows, gaze out at the Wall, or simply step out the front door for your own walking adventure upon China's "ancient wonder of the world."