Behind naked Stables, formerly Villa #1 of Moganshan, there were two owners from very different camps - one was the most famous Christian missionary doctor of his time, Duncan Main, the other a Buddhist founding father of the Republic of China, Zhang Jingjiang. The two men never met, yet their destinies were intertwined, and their conflict reflects the most dramatic chapter in Moganshan’s history. Fuelling the times was the power of history - China’s door being forced open by the West, the influx of the Western ways, and in turn, China’s reassertion of its pride.

naked Stables Origin

Following the popularity of naked Home, a small boutique retreat, naked was looking to satiate the growing demand for a city getaway. In the rolling hills at the foot of Moganshan was an anonymous green valley, full of potential, now known as naked Stables. Open since October 2011, the resort has helped local businesses to flourish and has received acclaim amongst international media, putting Moganshan on the map as a must-go destination in China. One of the country’s most popular resorts, naked Stables is synonymous with sustainable luxury and outstanding service.

naked Story

naked Home and naked Stables are known for luring thousands of Chinese to escape from their glamorous yet high-strung city life to return back to nature. After ten years, naked enjoys the reputation of being the most sought after resort in the region.

Had he not met his future wife, architect Delphine Yip, in 2007, who later designed naked Stables, entrepreneur Grant Horsfield would have returned to South Africa. Despite the great opportunities in Shanghai, stress is everywhere, and people willingly trade quality of life for success. He was constantly homesick for nature and an active, healthy lifestyle.

Grant stumbled upon Moganshan after getting lost on his bike in a bamboo forest. It was love at first sight, and thus "naked Home" opened. It was a place to rediscover the pure, playful, and passionate side of your heart, to immerse in nature and nurture friendship, love and the simple pleasures of life. Four years later, Grant and Delphine built the much larger naked Stables in a nearby valley. And the rest is history.

Design

African and Asian elements were fused to bring the magic of African hospitality and intimacy with nature to an Asian setting. All buildings were designed to minimise the environmental impact and blend with the natural surroundings, not just with regards to materials used, but also including orientation of each building. The result is an eclectic and unique mix of buildings in harmony with the natural environment.

Lay of the Land

It’s no surprise that the layout of the resort stemmed organically from the existing landscape. The flat land became an impacting welcome, complete with fields with grazing horses; the Tree Top Villas perch literally atop the trees; the amphitheatre sits comfortably into the slope; even the infinity pool blends in. In addition to achieving minimal landscaping, the design was to ensure minimal disturbance to the existing environment.

Local Heritage

In addition to cutting edge technology, traditional construction techniques such as stonemasonry walls, bamboo and recycled timber framed structures, and traditional mud wall construction were used. The Earth Huts and Main Lobby were built with modern rammed earth walls using compressed mud from the local area, resulting in an environmentally friendly structure and striking coloured striations and design.

Build by Numbers

Innovative construction technology such as prefabricated SIP (structural insulated panels) was used in the construction of the Tree Top Villas. This time-saving, resource-saving and environment-preserving method meant that all main components – walls, floors, ceilings – were made off-site, clearly labeled and assembled on-site, eradicating the need for large cranes and machinery. It was literally a case of build-by-numbers.

Green Initiatives

naked Retreats designs, builds and operated our own resorts. From conception to execution and operation we follow the same rigorous principles for sustainability and pay attention to the long term environmental effects of maintaining the resort. The result is that our properties meet the highest standards in design excellence, building quality, energy conservation and environmental friendliness. For naked Castle our environmental design measures include:

  • Heating and cooling: Geothermal boreholes to naturally regulate room temperate
  • Ultra capacitor batteries: Eliminating battery waste using reusable technology
  • Water: Water recycling for irrigation and toilets

6 years on, countless awards and recognitions later…

naked hospitality does not promote sustainable development or environmental protection to solely attract guests to the resort. We live a green lifestyle and provide green experiences to provoke and inspire. Through travelling 'naked', we hope to subtly influence a new simple, healthy and sustainable lifestyle for our guests to maintain when they return home.