NI HAO Hotel Welcomes Guests With Its Punk Wellness Ethos

Nestled in the bustling Jinjiang District in Chengdu, China, the NI HAO Hotel is set to open as a boutique yet budget-minded alternative catering to a younger generation of international travelers attuned to contemporary design while prioritizing convenience. With its cinematic-styled decor, the hotel’s name says it all – the Mandarin greeting for “Hello” – setting the tone for a welcoming and inclusive atmosphere that permeates throughout the interior. Covered in cultural symbols and colored by a distinct bold palette, the Vermilion Zhou Design Group crafted a hotel truly intended to welcome all.

A modern interior at the NI HAO hotel features red tile walls, a curved reception desk, a digital kiosk, and spherical pendant lights. Chinese characters are elegantly displayed on illuminated signs in the background.

From the moment you step inside, guests are greeted by a space embodying the nation’s own trajectory in its attempt to incorporate tradition with the developing contemporary ethos. The Vermilion Zhou Design Group uses color, typography, signage, and symbolism in a graphical pastiche of Chinese cultural heritage – an approach the hotel amusingly refers to as  “Punk Wellness.”

A modern, red-themed room in the NI HAO hotel with round light fixtures and illuminated Chinese signs. The space features contemporary furnishings and decorative elements.

Guests can enjoy a range of amenities aimed at promoting well-being, but are expected to check-in themselves at the hotel lobby’s self check-in area.

Two children interact with a red pixelated wall display at the NI HAO hotel. The girl reaches up to touch the tiles while the boy stands beside her watching. The floor is partially red and partially checkered.

The mood is less reflective of a formal hotel and closer to that of diner or cafeteria, albeit one with a higher degree of design details. Each room is elevated by chic choices in lighting, seating, signage, and tile work. Designed to minimize staff interaction while also catering to the limited manpower of budget hotels, they instead focus on offering guests amenities like meeting areas and work spaces, reflecting the hotel’s intended traveling-rather-than-vacationing clientele.

A modern interior space at the NI HAO hotel features glossy brown tile walls, red circular lighting fixtures, a frosted glass door with a round design, and red chairs with circular cutouts around a light-colored table.

A modern wall-mounted art piece featuring two stacked, glossy burgundy spheres encased in a reddish circular frame, displayed on a textured beige wall above brown tiles at the NI HAO hotel.

Guests may notice the repeating “8” styled motif. Also known as ‘calabash,’ the traditional Chinese symbol signifies blessings, fortune, and safety for travelers.

A person is sitting inside a modern café at the NI HAO hotel, reading a book. The café features red seating and a stylish round counter. The window offers a view of the street outside, with trees and parked scooters.

Wide open accordion doors allow the bustling cityscape of Donghuazheng Street in the Jinjiang District, Chengdu, to become an interactive element of one’s stay at the NI HAO Hotel.

Interior of a cafe with red and white decor, featuring a counter with fruit, drinks, and snack items. Signs in Chinese characters hang above the counter, indicating fruit, yogurt, and juice. The cozy ambiance feels like an inviting extension of the NI HAO hotel nearby.

Guests are greeted with an abundance of sloganeering signage, a “very Chinese style of expression” placed to subvert traditional reception and lobby area design.

Modern interior of a restaurant within the NI HAO hotel, boasting red and pink tones, a curved counter, circular lights, wall shelves adorned with red accessories, and a large white hanging lantern with red characters.

A modern, retro-themed diner with red chairs, a counter, and illuminated signs with Chinese characters hanging from the ceiling. Located within the trendy NI HAO Hotel, the lighting creates a cozy atmosphere.

A chic indoor café within the NI HAO Hotel, featuring modern round tables, red chairs, and soft lighting. Walls and furniture exhibit earth tones, creating a warm, inviting atmosphere.

The image shows seating areas with maroon and grey upholstered chairs, some enclosed by curved panels, and patterned cushions. The background features tiled walls and a sign with Chinese characters, suggesting this might be the cozy lounge at NI HAO hotel.

Modern seating nook with red leather booth and small table, set against a textured brown tile wall, seen through a glass door with the number eight at NI HAO hotel.

Instead of opulence, the hotel promotes simplicity and affordable comfort over the ostentatious.

The hotel’s public areas and guest rooms are designed to foster both intentional and spontaneous interactions, making every “hello” feel personal and meaningful. An amusing note is the designer’s proclamation, “Whether you’re extroverted or introverted, returning to the fundamental lodging needs, you can find a comforting space to settle in.”

A cozy corner at NI HAO hotel featuring a cushioned bench next to a bedside table with a circular base, all beneath an elegant wall art piece of a stylized bird.

A small, modern room at the NI HAO hotel boasts a red and beige color scheme, featuring a wall-mounted desk, a single light, a power outlet, a mug, and part of a grey couch.

A NI HAO hotel room featuring a work desk, a cushioned chair, a patterned sofa, a side table, and decorative wall art of a serpent-like creature above the sofa.

Vermilion Zhou Design Group’s integration of cultural elements – infused with traditional symbols and motifs rendered in a graphical approach – take a playful approach throughout public spaces, and in this case, guest room walls.

Modern bathroom at the NI HAO hotel with a beige and brown color scheme. A wall-mounted sink with a lit mirror, towel holder, and a small table with two decorative balls are visible. The door is ajar.

A door with a geometric pattern opens to a modern room with red walls and a shelf holding two bottles, echoing the elegant design of the NI HAO hotel.

A red desk with two patterned mugs, tea bags, a red and beige electric kettle, and a cup coaster creates a cozy corner reminiscent of the welcoming ambiance at NI HAO hotel.

Front street facing view of the NI HAO Hotel in Chengdu, China shot at night along a busy tree lined avenue.

The NI HAO Hotel is set to open this summer, with prices and availability TBD.

What: NI HAO Hotel
Where: No. 28 Donghuazheng Street, Jinjiang District, Chengdu
How much: TBD
Highlights: A bold and graphic design language permeates the hotel’s common areas before taking on a more subdued simple atmosphere within guest rooms. The hotel’s breakfast area, restaurant, and bar especially glow with the retro aesthetic. Centrally located along Donghuazheng Street in Jinjiang District, the hotel’s proximity to shopping districts, like Taikoo Li mall, along with numerous parks, shopping districts, shrines, and traditional art museums, make NI HAO a great home base for exploring the city by foot.
Design draw: For more contemporary offerings, you’ll have to venture out to the outskirts of the city to visit the Museum of Contemporary Art Chengdu, Chengdu Tianfu Art Museum,and even further for hot pot under the most scenic of settings at Garden Hot Pot Restaurant. Chengdu Natural History Museum designed by Pelli Clarke & Partners and CSWADI opened last year to architectural acclaim, one of many international led projects quickly changing Chengdu’s skyline.
Book it: NI HAO Hotel (Coming soon)

Go virtually on vacation with more design destinations right here.

Photography by Jian Quan Wu, courtesy of v2com.

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