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It's that time of year again: the 2012 HotelChatter Awards! Today and Monday, we'll be showcasing the best (and worst) of hotels over the past year. But we couldn't do it without you! Let us know your thoughts in the comments below, or shoot us an email. And the Award goes to...
The Park Hyatt Shanghai is located on floors 79-93 of the Shanghai World Financial Center and was once considered the tallest hotel in the world (that’s now been trumped by the JW Marriott Marquis Dubai).
Still, no matter the designation, we give it an award for having the best view around and we've loved it for a long time. The reason is simple. Once you take the express elevator up to the 87th lobby floor of this mammoth building you’ll be gobsmacked by the incredible panoramic views of the city that’s becoming the center of attention for many hotel brands. The Four Seasons, Mandarin Oriental, Banyan Tree, and Bulgari are coming to town, sooner rather than later.
An afternoon dim sum lunch at the 100 Century Avenue restaurant on the 91st floor makes it hard to concentrate on the food and not the famous Oriental Pearl Tower in the distance. And at night, the ambiance and views at the Park Hyatt get even better when you go to level 92 and the Music Room, where a cocktail to accompany the live music sets an incredible scene.
Naturally, if you’re afraid of heights, you might disagree with our choice, but we just say, don’t look down!
Here's one to bookmark for those of you who plan on making any stops in China this spring: a well-known international luxury brand is planning to open a 362-room hotel in Shanghai, right on the Huangpu River. But don't get this confused with that other luxury brand, Four Seasons, which recently opened up right around the same spot. (It's not Bulgari, either; that one won't be opening until 2015)
No, the one we're talking about is actually Mandarin Oriental Shanghai, whose opening is suddenly right around the corner. Set to debut in March, MO Shanghai will be a very handsome addition to the Pudong scene.
In amenities alone, the hotel will offer a 13-suite spa with a boutique and signature MO products, a 25m pool, a 500-seat ballroom, a swanky Club Lounge and six restaurants and bars, including a Mandarin cake shop.
Read on to see another photo of the rooms!
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Staying fit while on the road can be difficult even for the most seasoned of travelers. Hotel gyms can be cramped, dark and soulless, not to mention outdated and hard to find. However, with features like open-air rock-climbing walls, on-staff personal trainers and Philippe Starck-designed lap pools, these five hotel gyms prove that getting a workout while traveling the globe can be the highlight of your trip.
Ok, we might be stretching it (get it?!) a little, but you see where we're going with this.
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Chalk up yet another new hotel for China, this time in Shanghai. The former French Concession gets to cut the ribbon on Twelve at Hengshan in November. The über-swanky brand, Luxury Collection from Starwood Hotels is bringing fierce design while honoring local character to the city's most historic section.
The new building, right along tree-lined Hengshan Road, will blend in to the neighborhood with thousands of terracotta tiles adorning the outside. But it's the modern take on traditional Chinese design that provides the wow factor. Garden motifs, hand-painted Oriental screens, handmade Chinese and modern furniture will give an 'East meets West, Past meets Present' vibe.
Though there are 171 rooms, know the most luxury is oozing from the suites. All 28 of them are decked out with Bose sound systems, Hermes toiletries, and many even overlook a secret garden. Plus each will have private terraces--oh, and a butler. But, if the suites are out of your price range, the regular rooms come with deluxe bathrooms, entertainment systems, Nespresso machines and free WiFi. Not too shabby, eh?
If it seems like China is getting all of the newest and flashiest hotels, it's because, well, they are getting all the newest and flashiest hotels. The country is certainly a hotbed for hoteliers to pull out all the stops and wow their guests. Banyan Tree Hotels are no different with their newest addition to Shanghai, and this one's a gem.
Banyan has build a brand new urban resort on the banks of the Huangpu River in the most happening area of town called The Bund. The area is a definite contrast of new and old with turn of the century banks and hotels juxtaposed across the river with the big lights and big city of the financial district, Pudong, this modern building houses great service and modern luxuries.
Each of the 130 rooms and suites will offer modern Asian decor with a focus on wood and natural fabrics all arranged around a textile wall behind the beds. All rooms are fully equipped with high-tech devises like LCD flat screen TVs up to 52 inches, Nespresso coffee makers and complementary WiFi. While these are nice features, we wouldn't be able to tear our eyes away from the passing boats and cruises of the river views that the suites boast. The top-of-the-line 'Banyan Suite' offers a Shanghai exclusive: the en-suite swimming pool. It can be said that this is a first for the city; other than in Macau, we can't imagine it's common place in many other hotels.
With all the new hotels opening up in Shanghai (Four Seasons, Renaissance, Sheraton have all debuted new properties within the past month), it's no surprise that luxury brand Bulgari has chosen to launch their fourth property in the Chinese hub.
According to CIT, the 120-room hotel will occupy the top twelve floors of a 40-storey building designed by Foster + Partners (who were responsible for the Dolder Grand's grand renovation back in 2008) in the Suhe Creek district. In addition to a ballroom, spa, and rooftop Italian restaurant, there will also be a Chinese fine dining restaurant "created in the former Chinese Chamber of Commerce building at the site, which dates back to 1900."
Sounds fun. We're just hoping they go easy on the glass cabinets and greased-up waiters this time!
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We’ve previously gone so far to say that we coveted the furniture in some of the rooms at Hotel Indigo enough to want it for our own apartment (that was in Shanghai, and public spaces do not disappoint either). So when we had a chance to peek into a room that relatives were staying in at Hotel Indigo Tower Hill London, we were eager to check out if it lived up to our expectations.
On the exterior and the public spaces we can be brief: they’re not particularly inspiring. Architecturally, the hotel is nothing to write home about, and the small lobby with its red-granite tiles feels a little clinical. A single elevator serves the 6 floors, which only have a total of 46 rooms.
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We spotted Four Seasons Shanghai, Pudong earlier this year from the heights of the Park Hyatt next door. The start date for reservations has actually moved up a few days from September 1 at the time to August 28 now.
You'll find 187 rooms in the 55-story tower, alongside 73 luxury residences. Art-deco inspired design will bring a pared-down aesthetic to the rooms and public spaces, with splashes of red in a neutral color palette in the rooms. We liked some of the first images we saw here, so we're interested to see the end result.
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You know the deal: you excitedly check into a hotel in a brand new city, ready to see all the sights and take all the tours. But sightseeing doesn't come cheap, and soon enough you're blowing an extra $20 or $50 just to be shown a landmark that, with a little more planning, you might have been able to see for free from your hotel room.
PARIS— We've been a fan of Shangri-La Paris for a while now, and it was just recently, back in May, that we poked around inside an Eiffel Duplex Suite. Balcony? Check. Free WiFi? Check. Killer Eiffel Tower view? Yessir.
Last week, we showed you the view we had over lunch at the Park Hyatt Shanghai towards the Oriental Pearl Tower and Huangpu river. Looking down the other side, we spotted none other than the upcoming Four Seasons Pudong, which we talked about only two weeks ago.
While 55 stories high, the building is dwarfed by the World Financial Center (which houses the Park Hyatt on floors 79-93), as well as various other buildings nearby. At the same time, just across the street you will find remnants of a different Pudong before all the skyscrapers arrived, as you can see in the pictures.
The entrance is still wrapped up (we would guess the picture of the circular driveway is for the residences, but we could be wrong about that), the building looks pretty much finished, so we think the projected late August opening should be feasible. We saw ads for the residences, called Four Seasons Place, all over Shanghai.
Reservations at the hotel are accepted for arrival from September 1st as per the hotel website, moved up from September 17 only a week ago.
You read that right: we finally - finally - were able to see Andaz Shanghai for ourselves. After pouring over some of the first details last summer, and getting seriously excited when we got our hands on a set of pictures around the opening in October, we couldn't leave Shanghai last week without seeing the hotel with our own eyes.
Set in trendy Xintiandi, Andaz Shanghai (Andaz means "personal style" in Urdu) will offer a total of just over 300 rooms when a final set of accommodations (including larger loft rooms and a number of suites) comes online later this year. You'll find a plethora of bars, restaurants, and shops in the revitalized (and mostly pedestrian) area just across the street from the hotel.
Following our visit, we strolled around the historic alleys and had lunch on one of the small squares; the striking architecture of the hotel and its next-door neighbor, The Langham, follows you as you turn a corner and they pop up above the traditional "shikumen" houses of old Shanghai that make up the district.
Last week we played guess the hotel with the bright yellow bicycle in the lobby - within an hour ringlingarmadillo guessed it right: we were talking about Hotel Indigo Shanghai On The Bund. Read on for more details on our time hanging out at its restaurant / living room, Quay.
When we first saw pictures of Hotel Indigo Shanghai On The Bund, we could hardly believe we were looking at a hotel room. Remember these? So pretty. We still covet some of the furnishings, and those hardwood floors we'll never get tired of. Given that the hotel opened over a year and a half ago, the design has stood the test of time really well.
And apparently, guests can't get enough of it either; when we asked to see a room after having lunch last week, reception apologised and told us all 184 rooms were occupied. Sigh. At least we were able to have a look around some of the public spaces. Join us on a little tour in the gallery below.