Well, you can’t get any kitschier than at Red Capital Residence. Hidden in one of the capital's many vanishing hutongs, this boutique hotel was once the private courtyard residence of the nation’s leaders in the 1950s. There are five “Chairman”, “Concubine” and “Author” suites, all of which are decked with antique furniture and Mao memorabilia. If you fancy a flick, there’s also an underground bomb shelter in the middle of the courtyard that houses a small cinema.
Can’t get enough kitsch? Head for the Red Capital Club bar/restaurant, where you’ll find, amongst other artifacts, a matte black vintage rotary dial phone, from which you can hear a recording of Chairman Mao’s speech. From the drinks menu, you’ll find cocktails, such as the “Long March” and “Lin Biao’s Crash” (as he died in a plane crash). In yet another underground bomb shelter is a cigar divan, where you can talk politics and smoke up the room.
Last but not least, when you’re ready to paint the town red, hire the vintage Red Flag limo, which once drove the nation’s top communist leaders. At the wheel is a ‘Red Guard’ chauffer at your beck and call, ever-willing to roam the ringed roads with you, while you sip on a tulip glass of bubbly champagne.
Long live Mao!
Red Capital Residence and Club
66 Dong Si Jiu Tiao alley, Beijing, China, Tel: (86) 10 6402-7150 or 8403-5308
The Nuts & Bolts: When you next travel to Beijing, China, relive the days of the Cultural Revolution at Red Capital, a kitschy boutique hotel, bar and restaurant.