The Somerset: Quality Serviced Residences

We arrived at The Somerset Xindicheng Xi’an late on Christmas Eve. Located on the south Second Ring Road, the building itself is an unassuming highrise, but easy to find. To enter the lobby, you actually need to take an elevator up from a first floor foyer. We were promptly and professionally checked in, and made our way to the room. The first things we noticed in the lobby were an espresso machine and an “Aria” – you can get Aria (a robot) to deliver conveniences to your room.
Our apartment was an enormous Two-Bedroom Premier (两房豪华行政套房) on the 12th floor. The first thing we felt (after we swiped our card to press the floor number) was that the large elevators were fast. After the elevators whisked us away, the second thing we felt was the apartment was warm because of the floor heating – we were comfortable walking around in t-shirts. The apartment was huge (about 160 square meters in total). We not only had two bedrooms, two full bathrooms, a study, a wall with several meters of clothing rack space (even Kim Kardashian could possibly have been pleased) and additional storage cabinets, a full kitchen with dining room and living room, and high-speed internet, but also had views of Gaoxin’s ever-developing skyline.

Takiyoshiya 瀧吉屋土手烧

It was a wet, brutally cold evening when we arrived – snowing lightly, the streets and sidewalks covered with puddles, mud, and leaves. Located a short walk from Nanshaomen Station, the neighborhood is familiar, but has undergone some recent changes. The addition of Takiyoshiya is decidedly a most welcome one.
As soon as we stepped inside, we were instantly transported to Japan: a wave of hot air washed over us, a slightly claustrophobic dining area had colorful posters advertising Suntory highballs, the glow of hidden light strips illuminated the walls, and peeking over the bar counter we could see steaming pots in the kitchen. The icing on the cake, though, was a Japanese cover of Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas” playing over the sound system.

WINTER SPORTS IN XI’AN Mostly Shredding Expectations, Not Snow

The groans and hisses of radiators, the prevalence of puffy jackets, and falling of the last few stubborn orange and yellow leaves herald the gradual but certain arrival of winter. We even had our first snowfall of the season on November 22! However, fanatics here often face a difficult question: “How do I do (insert winter sport name) in Xi’an???”

Jiu Jian Shang She 玖间上舍·咖啡酒廊

Situated towards the south end of De Fu Xiang, also known as “Bar Street” in Xi’an, this upscale boutique hotel brings new life, attitude, class, and, most importantly, revitalization to an area of Xi’an still suffering post-pandemic shutdown. The hotel itself just had its soft opening in October and occupies the street front of and several floors above a former bar. Jiu Jian Shang She is across from the now-closed 3 as 4 Bar, familiar to long-time Xi’an expats as a venue for pub trivia and other events and activities.

诺茉 NONMOI: Cakes&Meals

First of all, don’t be deceived by the name – this restaurant is a lot more than just cakes. It is actually best known for its dry-aged steaks! Tucked back and away into the dining plaza of Glorious Plaza (大都荟) in Gaoxin, this restaurant featured a glitzy and higher-end collection of gastronomic delights. Greeted by clear glass walls, wooden tables and green tropical plants, we were quickly shown to an upstairs table.