With its high-concept architectural tropes, an archly monikered restaurant called The Pink Rabbit and a vibe-y rooftop bar, it’s no wonder that Vue has already established itself as Beijing’s destination design hotel, since opening last month. What is surprising, however, is its distinctive look. In a city increasingly known for its skyscrapers, this new mini-resort is housed within a historic building in the hutong district of Houhai and its style is pure heritage. Hutongs – the charming traditional courtyard residences of old Beijing –had been on their way out, slowly making way for splashy condos, but Vue, designed by Singapore studio Ministry of Design (MOD), is showing how they might enjoy a alternative second life. Earlier this year, Chinese architect Zhang Ke of ZAO/standardarchitecture transformed a hutong into a slick micro-hostel (for which he won the 2017 Alvar Aalto Medal, the coveted Finnish architecture award). It’s a welcome shift in Beijing, says MOD’s Colin Seah: “Hospitality design is increasingly culture specific.” It used to be all about being flashy, he adds, “now it’s about fun”.