12 new and upcoming hotels in Shanghai

Wanda Reign on the Bund
Opened: June, 2016

While the past 12 months have seen a number of international hotel brands make their entry or bolster their number in Shanghai, domestic brands also have been making their mark, as Wanda Hotels and Resorts’ Wanda Reign on the Bund illustrates. The Chinese company describes the property as “ultra luxury”, though even if you didn’t know this in advance, its abundant use of gold in its colour scheme along with extravagant crystal chandeliers would likely be a pretty clear clue. Nearby attractions include the ancient Yu Garden and the City God Temple.

Hyatt Regency Shanghai, Wujiaochang
Opened: July, 2016

Situated north of Shanghai’s famous Bund area in Wujiaochang, the first of Hyatt’s two planned Hyatt Regency hotels in the city forms part of the business zone’s Hopson International Center mixed-use development. While the property is a little further from the action than some of the other hotels in the city closer to Pudong or Jingan districts, the hotel is located next to Metro Line 10 Wujiaochang Station providing straightforward connectivity downtown.

Intercontinental Shanghai NECC
Opened: September, 2016

Intercontinental Hotels Group (IHG) opened its fifth Intercontinental-brand hotel in Shanghai in September 2016, and arguably one of its most notable. The Intercontinental Shanghai NECC is located in Section D of the National Exhibition and Convention Center (NECC) – claimed to be the “largest single building and exhibition complex in the world”. It’s little surprise, then, that the 536-room hotel itself has more than its fair share of events space also, offering some 2,200sqm of events space including a nine-metre-high pillarless grand ballroom.

Pullman Shanghai Jing An
Opened: December, 2016

Pullman Hotels and Resorts’ latest foray into the Shanghai market used to be the Grand Mercure Shanghai Central, before the property was selected for a year-long renovation and rebrand. Now the property – which has 288 rooms in total – offers a number of Pullman-specific offerings. Among the most notable is the Pullman Artist Playground, an initiative recently launched by the hotel group, in which properties collaborate with artists. In this case, Chinese artist Qin Ming created a series of bespoke artworks for the hotel.

Le Meridien Shanghai, Minhang
Opened: December, 2016

Shanghai’s third Le Meridien hotel in the city, Le Meridien Shanghai, Minhang is another property that’s sprung up in the city’s Hongqiao district. Some 240 rooms are available here, though perhaps the hotel’s key focus is on its lobby area, which it positions as a social gathering space as part of its “Le Meridien Hub” concept. Key offerings as part of this concept are light bites, coffees created by the hotel’s master barista, signature éclairs, and many others.

Sofitel Shanghai Hongqiao
Opened: March, 2017

While many hotel brands have recently made their debut in the city, Sofitel is not among them. The recently opened Sofitel Shanghai Hongqiao is Sofitel’s third hotel in the city after the Sofitel Shanghai Hyland and Sofitel Shanghai Sheshan Oriental. Offering the brand’s signature French-inspired stylings, the 354-room property also features a Cantonese restaurant called Le Chinois. Those looking for something different, though, can head to the Japanese restaurant Takara or the Spanish tapas and wine bar, Ocho.

Hilton Garden Inn Shanghai Hongqiao
Opened: April, 2017

The 226-room Hilton Garden Inn Shanghai Hongqiao was the first property under the Hilton Garden Inn brand in the city when it opened its doors in April 2017. The hotel’s location in the Hongqiao CBD places it in close proximity to the city’s second airport, Hongqiao, which is about a ten-minute drive away, while the National Exhibition and Convention Centre and Shanghai Yintao Golf Club are also nearby.

Hyatt Regency Shanghai Global Harbor
Opened: April, 2017

The second of Hyatt’s two new Hyatt Regency hotels in Shanghai, the Hyatt Regency Shanghai Global Harbor is located in the Putuo district, north of Jingan. The hotel forms part of the Global Harbor shopping and entertainment hub, though a number of event spaces and F&B options will also be available. As for the hotel itself, some 2,600sqm of indoor and outdoor events space is on the cards, along with outdoor terraces on the 47th floor and a rooftop bar. As of May 2017, not all of the facilities are open to the public, however.

St Regis Shanghai Jingan
Opened: May, 2017

The ninth property in Greater China from St Regis Hotels and Resorts, the St Regis Shanghai Jingan is – rather surprisingly – its only one in China’s major eastern city (Hainan Island alone has four). The property is located in one of the major business and cultural districts in the city, Jingan, in walking distance of the Shanghai Natural History Museum and near to the 400-year-old Yu Garden. This also places it closer to Shanghai’s less-prominent Hongqiao Airport (about 30 minutes away) than the major international airport, Pudong (one hour away).

Melia Shanghai Hongqiao
Opened: May, 2017

The most recently opened hotel on this list, the Melia Shanghai Hongqiao ended up delaying its launch by close to a year, having originally been slated for a July 2016 opening when it was announced in 2015. While it is located about five minutes from the NECC, the hotel markets itself as more of a mixed business and leisure (or “bleisure”, to some) hotel than an entirely MICE-focused one. Perhaps most noteworthy about the hotel are its more traditionally styled Garden Villas, measuring around 400sqm and featuring, as their name suggests, a 200sqm garden terrace.

Aloft Shanghai Nanxiang
Opening: January, 2018

Starwood Hotels and Resorts originally signed the Aloft Shanghai Nanxiang back in 2015, prior to its merger with Marriott International. The city’s debut Aloft property, however, still looks set for its January 1 opening next year, bringing with it all the brand’s usual highlights including loft-inspired rooms and an abundance of social spaces. Aloft Shanghai Nanxiang is located in the Jiading district in the city’s north-east.

Shama Caojiadu Shanghai
Opening: 2018

Announced back in May 2015, Onyx Hospitality Group’s fifth serviced residence in Shanghai, the Shama Caojiadu Shanghai, was originally slated for a 2017 opening. This has since been pushed back to 2018. Located in the city’s Jingan district, the hotel was originally planned to have 168 units, however as of May 2017 this now appears to have been adjusted to just 159, according to the hotel’s online portfolio.

[Get a more in-depth look at developments in Shanghai’s Hongqiao district with Business Traveller‘s May 2017 feature, “Spotlight on Shanghai: Room for growth]

Hainan Airlines opens new lounge in Beijing

Hainan Airlines Prime Wings Lounge Beijing Capital International Airport

Hainan Airlines has opened a new Prime Wings Lounge at the Beijing Capital International Airport.


The facility is located near gate 12 of the international terminal, open to Fortune Wings Club silver, gold and platinum cardholder, and business and first class passengers.


Designed by Hong Kong designer Patrick Leung, it is inspired by the nature and peace of Hainan, and decorated by soft lightings and wavy furniture.


The 726 sqm-space can accommodate 150 passengers, and consist of several zones, such as tea zone, reading zone, sleeping zone and shower suite zone.


The lounge serves global dishes and includes special snacks. It is also equipped with Nespresso capsule coffee machine and will introduce themed F&B from time to time.


Sun Jianfeng, president of the airline said: “We need to provide a wide variety of services to meet the demands from passengers who have different language and cultural backgrounds. We have to keep providing personalised products and high standard of services.


“In recent years, Hainan Airlines has been introducing new aircraft, cabin configuration and facilities, as well as ground products. We hope our services and products can reach the international standard.”



China to start scanning foreign travellers’ fingerprints


Foreign visitors to China will now be required to have their fingerprints scanned when entering the country, as the country’s Ministry of Public Security looks to roll out the technology across the country, reports Reuters.

The move will see China join other countries that have similar requirements, including the US, Japan, Taiwan and Cambodia among others, though the Ministry did not specify whether other biometric data would also be collected.

The policy is first being implemented at Shenzhen airport in Guangdong province, coming into effect today, and applies to all foreign passport holders aged 14-70.

According to the South China Morning Post, a Shenzhen border authority official said that Chinese citizens from Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan are not considered foreigners. Chinese citizens from these regions are able to use a home return permit issued by Beijing when travelling to China, which already requires fingerprint scanning.

“Storing biological identification information of people entering and leaving borders is an important border control measure, and many countries have started to implement the regulation,” said the Ministry’s statement.

Late last month, fee-based fingerprinting and iris-scan service Clear announced it would be rolling out to four more US airports by April this year, bringing the total number of US airports that use the service to 22.


New Artyzen hotel to open in Sifang Collective art hub

Sifang Collective arts hub, Nanjing

Artyzen Hospitality Group is set to open its second hotel in China at the Sifang Collective art hub in Nanjing at the end of 2017.

Located approximately 30 minutes from the east China metropolis in a preserved forest area, the Sifang Collective has been developed as an arts site featuring functional spaces and temporary and permanent art exhibition venues. The site is the result of a collaboration between more than 20 world-renowned architects, ranging from Ghanaian-British architect David Adjaye to Chinese artist Ai Weiwei, who have developed 20 individually designed villas over the past ten years.

The Artyzen Hotel will be situated amid the Sifang Art Museum, conference centre and events space, which together are able to host corporate events such as brand or product launches, fashion shows, meetings, film shoots and weddings.

“Artyzen Hotels and Resorts serve to be a place of discovery for modern-day nomads,” said Allan Yip, the hospitality group’s vice president for marketing, distribution and brands. “Each hotel sets out to bring the local of regional traditions relating to craftsmanship, cuisine and culture to life.

“The Sifang Collective site is an interesting and rare proposition with multiple world-renowned designers, each bringing craftsmanship to life. It was therefore an obvious partnership for Artyzen Hotels and Resorts, given its natural characterisation of the brand’s DNA and core values. We look forward to welcoming guests to this one-of-a-kind destination at the end of next year.”

The new property comes following the signing of the group’s first China property, the Artyzen Habitat Hotel in Lingang New City, in early 2016, and will offer approximately 200 rooms.

The site is home to a conference centre, designed by Japanese architect Irata Isozaki, that includes a gallery space, conference halls and auditoriums featuring a selection of works from the museum’s permanent art collection. Meanwhile, a spa and wellness area offers indoor and outdoor spring pools along with sporting activities including mountain climbing, yoga, cycling, tai chi and tennis.


China Eastern now flying Nanjing-Vancouver

Aerial sunset over Vancouver - Credit: Tourism Vancouver/ Frannz Morzo Photography

China Eastern is now flying direct between Nanjing and Vancouver, offering a three-times-weekly service between Nanjing Lukou International Airport (NKG) and Vancouver International Airport (YVR).

The Chengdu service is China Eastern’s latest direct route to the Canadian city – its first, a daily service from Shanghai, began in 2004. As with its Shanghai flights, the new Nanjing-Vancouver service will carry on to Kunming.

Speaking about the new route, which launched on December 20, YVR president and CEO Craig Richmond said: “We want to thank our long-standing partner, China Eastern, for choosing YVR to introduce this new connection between Vancouver and Nanjing, a renowned Chinese historical epicentre and a key economic hub. This is another exciting first for YVR—offering passengers the only non-stop access to Nanjing in all of Canada.”

China Eastern’s new service is being operated by an Airbus A330-200, flying on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday. MU215 departs Nanjing at 1400 and arrives in Vancouver that morning at 0830, while the return MU216 flight departs Vancouver at 1030 and arrives the following early afternoon at 1455.

Details of the new service are as follows (all times local):

Flight No. From To Departs Arrives Days
MU215 NKG YVR 1400 0830 Tue, Thu, Sun
MU216 YVR NKG 1030 1455+1

In addition to tourism, the new route is expected to boost business and trade opportunities between British Columbia and Jiangsu province. “As we expand our trade network into China’s mid-sized cities, direct transportation connections like this one will play a major role in driving two-way trade and partnerships,” said Teresa Wat, British Columbia’s Minister of International Trade and Asia Pacific Strategy and Multiculturalism. “It will also help us build on the MOU [memorandum of understanding] between British Columbia and the Jiangsu Provincial government aimed at strengthening trade ties and growing the technology sector in both provinces.”

China Eastern has been expanding its international network the past few months. Along with the new Vancouver route, the Chinese carrier also launched services between Brisbane and Shanghai last month. Meanwhile in November 2016, China Eastern also began flying Kunming-Sydney and in September Kunming-San Francisco via Qingdao.


Ethiopian to launch direct Addis Ababa-Chengdu flights

Ethiopian Airlines will be launching a new direct Addis Ababa-Chengdu service on June 5, 2017, replacing its previously planned three-times-weekly Addis Ababa-Bangkok-Chengdu service that was scheduled to launch a day earlier.

Business Traveller Asia-Pacific was alerted to the news by industry website routesonline.com and searches of the carrier’s flight schedule show the new non-stop service, though departure and arrival times are not yet listed. The service will be operated by a Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner.

According to routesonline, the new direct route will remain a three-times-weekly service, with each leg departing early morning. Flight ET636 from Bole International Airport (ADD) in Addis Ababa departs at 0010 and arrives in Chengdu (CTU) at 1440 local time. The return ET637 departs the following day at 0150 local time and arrives back in the Ethiopian capital at 0620.

Full details of the non-stop service are reportedly as follows (all times local):

Flight No. From To Departs Arrives Days
ET636 ADD CTU 0010 1440 Mon, Wed, Fri
ET367 CTU ADD 0150 0620 Tue, Thu, Sat

While the carrier will no longer be transiting via Bangkok on its Chengdu route, a fourth weekly Addis Ababa-Bangkok-Manila flight will be introduced on June 4 this year, while an Addis Ababa-Bangkok-Jakarta three-times-weekly service will also launch on June 5.

Meanwhile last month, the African carrier announced it would also begin a direct Addis Ababa-Singapore service starting June 2, also using a B787-8 Dreamliner.