Feb 09, 2011|
The newly remodelled Shanghai Bund has proven popular with hotel brands looking to cash in on Shanghai’s ever-growing popularity. From the cool new Waterhouse on the South Bund to the austere Art Deco glamor of The Peninsula, the historic waterfront has seen its fair share of new openings lately. Here are five of the best:
Bund hotel: The Waterhouse Shanghai
The old Shiliupu docklands used to be best known for the fabric market at 399 Lujiabang Lu, but the South Bund and Cool Docks development have turned things around. The funky new Waterhouse boutique hotel is attracting attention for its unique design as well as the culinary touch of a Michelin-starred chef. Designed by Neri & Hu (the architectural whizz-kids behind the Mandarin Oriental in Bangkok), the Waterhouse is relatively small at just 19 rooms. Don’t expect identikit suites, though. Designer furniture by Danish and Japanese interior artists has been shipped in to add to the modernist feel. Luxury-minimalist restaurant, Table No. 1 by Jason Atherton, is helmed by Gordon Ramsay’s protégé, formerly the head chef at Michelin-starred Maze in London.
Find it: 1-3 Maojiayuan Lu, near Zhongshan Nan Lu 毛家园路1-3号1楼, 近中山南路, 21-6080-2988, www.waterhouseshanghai.com
Bund hotel: Fairmont Peace Hotel
As far as Shanghai legends go, the Peace Hotel is up there among the best of them. Located in the 10-floor building with the green pyramid on top towards the north end of the Bund, the hotel started life as Sassoon House in the 1930s. Floors four through nine were the famous Cathay Hotel where Noël Coward wrote his play “Private Lives”, and the 10th floor was tycoon Victor Sassoon’s personal penthouse. The Peace Hotel closed for a full refurb in 2007 and re-opened last year with Fairmont attached to its name. It has clearly lost none of its former luxury, with 270 deluxe suites, a ballroom, spa, and six F&B outlets. The Jazz Bar with its veteran musicians is worth a look even if you’re not a guest.
Find it: 20 Nanjing Dong Lu, near Zhongshan Dong Yi Lu 南京东路20号, 近中山东一路, 21-6321-6888, www.fairmont.com/peacehotel
Bund hotel: The Waldorf Astoria Shanghai
Formerly the Shanghai Club, the new super-luxurious Waldorf Astoria combines that all-important Old Shanghai vibe with modern stuff like flat-screen TVs. The front part of the hotel consists of suites, a marble lobby and several F&B venues inside the original turn-of-the-century clubhouse. The new tower at the back contains most of the 272 rooms and suites. The Long Bar is an exact replica of its predecessor, complete with an oyster station, 500-strong drink list, and a 39-foot bar. Back in the day, your social status defined where you sat at the bar. Wealthy tycoon? Bund view for you. Fresh of the boat? Start at the bottom end.
Find it: 2 Zhongshan Dong Yi Lu, near Guangdong Lu 上海外滩华尔道夫酒店 中山东一路2号, 近广东路, 21-6322-9988, www.waldorfastoriashanghai.com
Bund hotel: Les Suites Orient
Les Suites Orient came onto the scene with less fanfare than its more ostentatious neighbors, and provides light relief from the chandeliers and marble. Located within easy reach of the Bund and the Yu Garden, the boutique hotel’s 168 rooms are decked out in minimalist style. They range in size from 26 to 145 square meters, and many are wheelchair accessible. Each room has a 42 inch flat-screen TV as well as a 15 inch LCD in the bathroom. Even the lounge that spans the second and third floors offers PCs and Macs for guests to browse the net, making this one of the most tech-savvy hotels to open recently.
Find it: 1 Jinling Dong Lu, near Zhongshan Lu 金陵路1号, 近中山路, 21-6320-0088, www.hotelsuitesorient.com
Bund hotel: The Peninsula
Another grand dame of the hotel scene, The Peninsula on the Bund is that unmissable hunk of Art Deco granite just before the Waibaidu Bridge at the top of the Bund. It’s big, it’s luxurious, and it has a top-notch pedigree. Its parent company is the Hong Kong & Shanghai Hotels Ltd., which held Shanghai’s iconic ‘big four’ back in the glory days – the Kalee, Majestic, Palace and Astor House. The Peninsula’s 235 guestrooms are blessed with some of the most sought-after views in town, looking onto the river, the skyline and the historic waterfront. The hotel was designed by architect David Beer and interior designer Pierre-Yves Rochon, and is well known for its destination restaurant Sir Elly’s.
Find it: 32 Zhongshan Dong Yi Lu, near Beijing Dong Lu 中山东一路32号, 近北京东路, 21-2327 2888, www.peninsula.com