Ever spotted a piece of furniture you liked, but wished you could try it out at home for a night (or even longer) before buying it?
When international travel returns, the luxury Sofitel Foshan hotel could be just what you're looking for.
Here, everything you see is for sale, from the tables and chairs through to sofas, statement pieces, artwork and more.
Even the light fittings can be brought home with you!
In fact, the hotel sits atop the epic, five-storey Louvre Furniture Exhibition Centre, where these – and thousands of other items – can be purchased.
With direct access from the hotel right into that furniture store, Sofitel Foshan’s rooms and suites come in four distinct design styles to suit the personal tastes (and potential shopping budgets) of each traveller.
On one side of the spectrum, the hotel’s “Modern Décor” rooms offer exactly that: clean lines, soft tones, and small splashes of complementary colours – and for many travellers, would be tricky to differentiate from any standard, recently-built hotel room.
The “Post-Modern Décor” rooms prove a little more stylish.
These replace the mostly ‘square’ look with curved features and finishes, including the bedhead, side tables, bedside lamps, some of the art framing, and of course, the chair, with the blue cushions and arched hood blending the feel of a poolside cabana with that of a cosy reading nook.
For something more locally-inspired, the “Neo-Chinese Décor” rooms draw on a palette of bolder, darker colours in the bedroom space, contrasted by lighter tones with the sofa and dining table, and in the bathroom and storage areas for what’s mostly a ‘black and white’ look, as is common of Chinese calligraphy.
Finally, the “French Décor” rooms are unmistakeable, with carved wooden bedheads, reading chairs, dining sets and cabinetry.
Better yet, splurge on a French-style suite for an even more palatial feel, and of course, extra design inspiration for your own redecoration efforts through the broader range of furniture at your disposal.
These junior suites have separate living and dressing rooms – each with a different-sized chandelier, giving you the ‘at home’ experience of both.
Don’t need a full-sized chandelier? Individual lights can also be fashioned into wall-mounted bedside or bathroom lighting:
Other pieces for your consideration including a mirror-backed dressing table, paired with the bedside lowboy.
Whatever your tastes, when you’re looking to buy or just have a broader browse, take the elevator to the ground floor, follow the signs towards Louvre, and go exploring.
Most of the retailers here can speak enough English to assist you and arrange shipment of larger items to your home country.
There’s no pressure from the hotel to buy, of course, so if you’re not in the market for furniture, just relax or tend to business, just like any other hotel stay.
If you’re in a shopping mood though, allow several days just to get through the many floors of the Louvre, and to get a feel for the design of your chosen room.
Chris Chamberlin stayed as a guest of Sofitel Foshan.