Chengdu, China

The Temple House

Rates from (ex tax)$288.43

Price information

If you haven’t entered any dates, the rate shown is provided directly by the hotel and represents the cheapest double room (including tax) available in the next 21 days.

Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (CNY2,214.23), via, using today’s exchange rate.


Qing Dynasty reincarnated


Upwardly mobile quarter

The past is very present in luxury hotel The Temple House in Chengdu – a city that’s as chilled as the giant pandas in its nature reserves – guests enter through a restored Qing Dynasty siheyuan (courtyard building), tea ceremonies are carried out on the spa’s Zen-infused terrace, and guests can be massaged with bamboo canes and scrubbed with tea leaves within. However, some traditions have been updated: two modern blocks have shu embroidery-style detailing, and Sichuan pepper flavours both the food and the bar’s signature drink.

Smith Extra

Get this when you book through us:

A signature Sichuan Mule cocktail at Jing Bar for each guest


Photos The Temple House facilities

Need to know


142, including 75 suites and residences.


Noon, but flexible, subject to availability. An email check-out service makes the process pleasingly swift. Earliest check-in, 2pm.


Double rooms from $288.43 (CNY1,899), excluding tax at 16.6 per cent.

Price information

If you haven’t entered any dates, the rate shown is provided directly by the hotel and represents the cheapest double room (including tax) available in the next 21 days.

Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (CNY2,214.23), via, using today’s exchange rate.

More details

Rates do not include the à la carte breakfast (HK$100 a person).


If the hotel’s sense of refinement feels familiar, you may have stayed in one of its sister properties: the Opposite House in Beijing, or the Upper House in Hong Kong. Or maybe you have a keen eye for architecture and can spot the influence of former Foster and Partners designer Ken Shuttleworth.

At the hotel

Spa with a steam room and hammam, gym, gardens, tea house, library with English and Chinese books, laundry service, free high-speed WiFi throughout. There’s a fleet of tailor-made bikes to borrow for free, too. In rooms: 46” interactive TV, Bowers & Wilkins sound system and a Bose portable speaker, free ‘maxibar’, espresso machine and kettle with teas, and Apelles bath products. The Penthouse has an outdoor Jacuzzi, and all Residences have a full kitchen and laundry room.

Our favourite rooms

A blush-pink origami lampshade, a cane chair, vases of fresh fragrant orchids and a small selection of books… attention to detail makes the minimally decorated Temple Suites feel like home. Light-wood panelling, carefully placed mirrors and floor-to-ceiling windows make them feel open and bright, and a decorative screen adds local flavour. Of the residences, we like Studio 90 – a luxurious but cosy hideaway with a furnished balcony for spying on the hive of activity below.


Set in the spa, the heated freshwater swimming pool (open 6.30am–11pm) is for adults only. Concrete and bamboo create a sophisticated indoor space, and stepped light wells are a subtle nod to Sichaun’s agrarian landscapes.


Set in the Qing Dynasty courtyard – on the site of the Daci Temple’s mulberry garden – the Mi Xun spa is a lavish 900sq m sanctuary with a sauna, hammam and shop. Treatments are carried out in 11 suites (including VIP and couples suites); an extensive menu includes diamond-infused facials, ocean-stone massages, tea-enhanced wraps, and signature Natura Bissé, Thémaé, Mesoestic and Refinery treatments. For busy guests there are express mani-pedis; for Mr Smith, a barber; and for gym-bunnies, a well-equipped work-out space.

Packing tips

While you’re extremely well looked after, only a few members of the hotel’s staff speak English – bring a phrase book to ensure you’re understood. Pick up some mahjong skills before you arrive, too, for an impromptu game in one of Chengdu’s cafés.


Public areas and some rooms are wheelchair accessible.


Welcome. A baby cot or extra bed can be added to the Temple Suite. Little ones can dine in Mi Xun Teahouse and Temple House Café, high chairs are available to borrow, staff will heat up milk and there are baby-changing facilities in Mi Xun.

Food and Drink

Photos The Temple House food and drink

Top Table

Slide in to a waltzer in Tivano, or its vine-covered cabana. Otherwise, a quiet corner of Mi Xun Teahouse’s inner courtyard.

Dress Code

Don a classic yet contemporary ensemble by a Chinese designer: Huishan Zhang’s deconstructed qipao or Alexander Wang’s edgily cool casual wear.

Hotel restaurant

Take lunch at the Temple Café, a bronze- and wood-bedecked spot for light pan-Asian and Western fare. Languidly dine on the alfresco terrace, or hit the grab-and-go counter’s juices, coffees and house-made pastries before you head into town. Gilded, marble-lined and romantically low lit, Tivano is the hotel’s glamorous space for evening meals. Get cosy in a tufted, green-leather-lined waltzer and watch the chefs whip up innovative meals and pull pizzas from a wood-fired oven in the open kitchen. Mi Xun Teahouse is clean and minimal with fragrant blends collected in a wall of apothecary drawers. As it’s part of the spa, virtuous vegetarian fare is served (mushroom and rose soup, soy-splashed cucumber), and there’s a tranquil terrace for a post-treatment tea. 

Hotel bar

Tivano has an intimate bar area and a superb wine list. Those looking for a little more seclusion should nab the vine-covered cabana. Guests gather under Jing lounge and bar’s elaborate hoop candleabra to pop champagne corks and sip classic cocktails; DJs set the mood, and there’s a plant-hung terrace onto which to spill out.


Last orders

The Temple Café runs from breakfast to dinner, from 6.30am to 9.30pm. Dine at Tivano from 11.30am to 2.30pm or 6pm to 10pm and the Teahouse from 11am to 4.30pm and 5.30pm to 9.30pm. Cocktails are shaken in Jing till 1am.

Room service

In-room dining is available around the clock, whether you’re hungry for a hot breakfast, fruit platter to snack on, a three-course dinner or late-night noodles.


Photos The Temple House location
The Temple House
81, Jinjiang


Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport, a 30-minute drive from the hotel, is the fourth-busiest airport in China. Direct flights arrive from major cities within China and throughout Asia and Europe. Flights from US cities connect via Hong Kong, and British Airways operates a direct flight from London five days a week. The hotel can arrange one-way transfers by chauffeured car (RMB500 for a Buick GL8, RMB600 for an Audi Q7), or group pick-ups in a luxury coach are available, on request. An airport Metro stop is planned, but until then you can hop on the Line 2 shuttle bus to North Chengdu Railway Station (around a 40-minute journey).


Chengdu North Railway Station is a 20-minute drive from Temple House; one-way transfers can be booked for RMB300. High-speed trains arrive here direct from Beijing West (a 14-hour journey), Guangzhou (13 hours), Shanghai Hongqiao (14 hours) and Xi’an South (13 hours). The nearest Metro stop is Chunxi Road on Line 2, a five-minute walk away; tickets are very affordable, around RMB2–6.


Unless you want to take a driving test on arrival, driving in China is an extremely tricky affair that requires a local licence (International Driving Permits can’t be used in mainland China). To get around Chengdu, pavement pounding or the cheap and quick Metro are the best options. If you wish to explore further afield, ask the hotel to arrange an excursion, or you can hire a driver to suit your budget.

Worth getting out of bed for

Chengdu, China’s fourth-largest city, is swept up in modernisation, with industrial districts both gleaming and gritty, and hip shopping areas co-existing with Qing Dynasty monasteries and monuments. The hotel is a few minutes’ walk from Sino-Ocean Taikoo Li, a shopping village packed with labels (Gucci, Cartier, Hermes…) – we like Fang Suo’s mod-Sichuanese homewares. For locally made trinkets, Jinli Street market – close to Wuhou Temple – has stalls peddling intricate paper crafts, Chinese silks, spun-sugar creatures and richly scented street-food along a paper-lantern-lit road. Ask staff at reception to book a seat in Yin Xiang restaurant (on Zhaixiangzi street) to see the ‘face-changing dance’, a colourful glimpse of traditional Chinese theatre. The People’s Park has a boating lake and teahouses, and the spiral fountain in yin-yang shaped Tianfu Square looks spectacular when lit up after dark. Beyond the city, Mount Qinqcheng is a Unesco world heritage site where Taoism was founded – ride the cable car to admire its natural beauty and spy temples clinging to the rock face. An irrigation system might not sound terribly thrilling, but the scale of Dujiangyan, built in 252BC, makes it worth the 90-minute drive out to see it. There are also some beautiful Han, Song and Qing Dynasty buildings and structures. Chengdu’s most famous residents – panda bears both black and white and red – frolic in lushly verdant Wolong National Park.


Local restaurants

Chengdu is so renowned as a foodie haven, it’s been hailed as a Unesco city of gastronomy. Sichuan’s famed pepper (and chillies) are liberally sprinkled over hot pots and Dan Dan noodle dishes (dry noodles with pork and spicy sauce), but there are sweet and mild dishes too, for those with a delicate constitution. Lao Ma Tou Hotpot (+86 28 8744 2156) serves the tongue-scorching and forgiving types, or you can have both in a bisected bowl. Guarded by two warrior statues, Damiao Hotpot on Hebin Road (+86 28 8451 8866) is also well renowned (and has been patronised by the Obamas), and puts on a lavish floor show. Jade Garden (+86 028 8658 6998) in the Sino-Ocean Taikoo Li mall, has three smartly dressed floors and serves tasty Cantonese fare. Chi Wei Xian (+86 28 6645 0621), on South Taishang Road, is frequently packed with locals – order the signature dish, deep-fried spicy chicken wings with shrimp. 

Local cafés

Baker & Spice (+86 28 8652 3176) is a stylish metro-tiled spot for healthy soups and salads, and less so desserts, in the Jinjiang district. In the Sino-Ocean Taikoo Li mall, head to Moka Bros (+86 028 8678 0786) for packed sandwiches and wraps and superb vegetarian dishes. 

Local bars

Guests are well catered for with Jing bar; however, there are plenty of places to party with the locals. The Poly Center, a 15-minute taxi ride from the hotel, is home to Tag (+86 139 8190 9901) and Here We Go (+86 182 0052 5508) – two lively, neon-bathed, late-night clubs. Lan Kwai Fong square and the surrounding streets are packed with revellers after dark. The Music House is very popular for live music (+86 028 8553 9598).


Photos The Temple House reviews

Anonymous review

Every hotel featured is visited personally by members of our team, given the Smith seal of approval, and then anonymously reviewed. As soon as our reviewers have returned from this city-centre design hotel in the Sichuan Province and unpacked their hand-painted paper lantern and panda soft toy, a full account of their Chinese city break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside the Temple House in Chengdu…

The Temple House in Chengdu is the newest member in an elite family of Swire Hotels, which include fellow Smith stays the Opposite House in Beijing and the Upper House in Hong Kong. Each is luxurious down to the the last detail, but places the emphasis on feeling like a home (hence the ‘house’ moniker) and evoking a sense of place. This is especially true of Temple House, where staff will even add family pictures to your room before you arrive and give you a hand-written thank you note on departure. The Temple House is hip and high tech, but has Changdu’s past at its foundation (quite literally: it’s atop a Qing Dynasty courtyard house). It’s a trend that continues inside, where bamboo is woven into the walls, yak-hair throws are laid out on beds, and Sichaun pepper is sprinkled into Jing Bar’s take on a Moscow mule. You’d need to be reincarnated serveral times to sample the Mi Xun Teahouse’s many drinkables: green-leaf, rooibos, white and black teas and bespoke blends are all as deliciously delicate and refreshing as this sleek stay. 

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