The Garden Terrace is at the far end of the hotelís reception area, alongside which the Long Bar takes up one entire wall of the lobby. To get to the Garden Terrace, guests walk out the doors at the end of the lobby to the small outdoor space beyond. The Terrace is a welcome spot of calm in normally hectic Shanghai and furthers the hotelís urban resort concept.
The Terrace is bordered on one side by JingíAn park, though guests are given privacy by newly planted hedgerow, and rows of leafy bamboo trees whose leaves rustling in the wind is the only noise we could hear. Much of the tiled patio area overlooks a green-hued infinity pond that runs up to the floor-to-ceiling windows along the hotelís lobby and Long Bar, and is lined on the other side by a row of solemn traditional Chinese urns.
The whole space is about 135 square meters that seats around 70 people at busy times along plush, deep sofas, cushion-topped daybeds and casual armchairs, ottomans and stools.
Guests are treated to a light menu of snacks, like cheese and charcuterie plates, olives, and even grilled whole lobster, which are served along with picnic-baskets of plates and silverware, making for a fun, casual ambiance.
Thereís also a roster of specialty cocktails including two introduced specifically for the Garden Terrace. The PuLi Caipirinha with rum, sugar, lime and egg whites for an extra punch; and the Blood & Bitters with Campari, Averna and Galliano, and a dried orange round floating on top.
For now, the Garden Terrace is just a place to unwind over a few drinks and snacks throughout the day and evening, but eventually the hotel plans to host live music performances as well.
In the meantime, we also thought weíd also give you a look inside the hotel with this video walk-through of one of the hotelís 15 Grand Suites. The hotel has a total of 209 rooms and 20 suites, each decorated with a modern Chinese sensibility that emphasizes clean lines, natural-colored wood accents, and interesting touches like photographic prints by contemporary Chinese artiest and traditional Chinese vases and statues, as well as glass-enclosed silk screens separating various areas of the rooms.
Theyíve also got some techno-touches that drive our geek hearts wild like Bose Wave systems, souped-up Nespresso machines, loaner IP and GSM mobile phones for use both in the hotel and out and about in the city, bathtubs with personal televisions and scenic views over the surroundings, plus complimentary minibars, and Club Rooms that come with access to a personal butler who will run any errand you need. And, of course, our favorite hotel amenity, free WiFi.
Rates at the PuLi Hotel and Spa start at $200 in August.
Full disclosure: Eric Rosen spent four nights as a guest of the PuLi Hotel but all opinions expressed are entirely his own.