Tried & Tested

Hotel check: Kerry Hotel Pudong

27 Oct 2011 by Tom Otley
BACKGROUND Shangri-La has a new five-star brand to go with its main incarnation and its four-star Traders brand – Kerry Hotels. This is the first one, a new build, with the second being the conversion of the Shangri-La Kerry Centre hotel in Beijing. WHAT'S IT LIKE? Open since February, the property is aimed at business travellers, but perhaps a younger set than the usual Shangri-La clientele. Design-aware, contemporary and consciously part of the local community, with a sports club and restaurants popular with nearby office workers, this first Kerry is intended as a statement of what the brand is capable of, and is very impressive. What’s amazing is that a few years ago none of the surrounding area had been developed, and yet it is already a booming, vibrant place that feels like a community, with an expensive mall and housing gathered around a landscaped park. WHERE IS IT? In Pudong, in a larger Kerry Parkside complex (kerryparkside.com). The hotel adjoins the shopping mall and the Shanghai New International Expo Centre, the city’s largest exhibition venue. Kerry Parkside has its own underground subway station and the Maglev express train station is a seven-minute ride away for transfers to Shanghai Pudong International airport. ROOM FACILITIES The 574 rooms and suites range from 42 sqm to 168 sqm and offer good views of Century Park or the city, and a modern design of clean edges and muted colours, interspersed with touches of art. All have 40-inch flatscreen TVs, iPod docks and free wired and wifi internet, with all the relevant plugs for connecting your laptop to the room’s entertainment system. Club Deluxe and Premier rooms and Club suites have access to the 670 sqm Club lounge on the third floor, which offers free breakfast, soft drinks during the day and snacks and drinks in the evening. There was no charge for printing my boarding pass here, and I was told this also applied in the business centre, though I was charged for printing other documents. Club guests can also have a suit or dress pressed on arrival. RESTAURANTS AND BARS The main à la carte restaurant, the Cook, has 11 live stations at which a variety of foods are prepared for breakfast, lunch and dinner. They include Chinese wok and steam baskets, an Asian noodle station and a Japanese sushi, sashimi and yakitori kitchen. There is also a butcher’s block, an Asian barbecue hub, a patisserie, a wine cellar and a cheese vault, where you can order a selection to eat at the bar or take back to your room (or out of the hotel). The Meet is a name more suitable for a conference venue than a high-end steakhouse, but once you’re over that, it’s well worth trying for the evening. “The largest variety of steak and beef available in Shanghai” is promised, and there are some huge cuts, as can be seen from the ageing room in sight as you enter. In the same vein, the Brew is the main bar and has its own brewery and resident brew master, offering six handcrafted beers and one cider, as well as other alcoholic drinks. BUSINESS AND MEETING FACILITIES The banqueting space is huge, with more than 7,300 sqm on offer. On the third floor are two interconnecting ballrooms – the 2,230 sqm Grand Shanghai and the 1,018 sqm Pudong. The first of these is pillar-free and holds more than 2,800 people theatre-style. There are also 26 multi-purpose function rooms, some with natural daylight. The 195 sqm Balcony Garden on level three overlooks the courtyard of the Kerry Parkside complex and is good for small gatherings. The hotel also has a business centre with 16 serviced offices and four meeting rooms. LEISURE FACILITIES In terms of size and the quality of equipment, the Kerry Sports is astonishing – a huge hotel-based club (Shanghai’s largest) spanning 6,000 sqm across three floors. Facilities include a 24-hour gym with studios for aerobics, spinning, Pilates and yoga (including hot yoga), a 25-metre indoor pool, an outdoor basketball court and tennis courts. There is also a 275 sqm day spa with nine treatment rooms, and a kids’ adventure zone. VERDICT Like the surrounding area, this hotel is breathtaking. Five-star, modern, with innovative restaurants and bars, great service and cutting-edge technology. A lot of hotels fade from your mind after a few weeks – this one is very memorable. FACT FILE HOW MANY ROOMS? There are 574 in total – 425 Deluxe/Deluxe Parkview, 88 Club Deluxe and 28 Club Premier/Premier Parkview rooms, and 31 Club, one Speciality and one Presidential suite. ROOM HIGHLIGHTS Rooms are technologically advanced and, from higher up, have good views, but it’s the size that is astonishing. PRICE Internet rates for a midweek stay in December started from 1,271 yuan (£127) for a Deluxe room. CONTACT Kerry Hotel Pudong, 1,388 Hua Mu Road; tel +86 21 6169 8888; thekerryhotels.com Tom Otley
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