When the Shangri-La opened in 1998 it was the first luxury hotel in the Lujiazui financial district of Pudong, which has since grown to be more than eight times the size of London’s new financial district. In 2005, 411 rooms and suites were added with the opening of the Grand Tower, a separate wing of the hotel. The original building, the River Wing, was renovated in 2008. An extensive lobby connects both towers.
WHAT’S IT LIKE?
Upon entering the hotel you are greeted by statuesque women wearing traditional Chinese cheong sam. The lobby level is constantly abuzz with activity. There is an on-site shopping arcade and art gallery, as well as a host of chic restaurants and bars.
WHERE IS IT?
Located on the Huangpu River in Shanghai’s Lujiazui financial district, directly opposite the historical Bund. It is next door to the huge Super Brand Mall, and is opposite to the IFC mall, which is home to high-end international designer shops and restaurants. The iconic Oriental Pearl TV Tower, one of the world’s tallest at 468 meters, is nearby, as well as the Shanghai Ocean Aquarium. It is 60 minutes from Pudong International Airport (PVG) and 40 minutes from Hongqiao Airport. Prices for the hotel limousine service, which features free wifi connection, start at RMB980 (US$157) for a Mercedes Benz S300 and up to RMB4,500 (US$720) for a Rolls-Royce to PVG.
The hotel features two distinct room styles: the 577-room classic River Wing, and the contemporary 375-room Grand Tower. As to be expected, the Grand Tower is the more spacious and luxurious of the two. On your bedside table is a pillow menu, where you can chose from an extensive selection of pillows to ensure you get a good night’s sleep from anti-allergic to soft feather, firm feather or buckwheat. All rooms have views of the Bund, the Huangpu River or Pudong’s fast changing skyline. Guests staying in a Horizon Club category room have access to the Horizon Club Lounge (there is one in both towers so neither feel crowded). In addition to a buffet breakfast and evening cocktails, benefits of the club include complimentary concierge and secretarial services, check-in and check out, and usage of the private meeting room for two hours daily.
BUSINESS AND MEETING FACILITIES
Pudong Shangri-la is said to be home to Shanghai’s largest hotel banquet and meeting venues with a total of 7,600 sqm of versatile events space. There is a Grand Ballroom with a capacity for 1,500 guests, and the China Hall that can accommodate up to 1,700 guests. An additional 10 meeting rooms of various sizes are on offer, as well as a private 18-seater “Summit Room” for board meetings and intimate functions.
Located on level 6 of the Grand Tower is Chi, The Spa, inspired by rituals and philosophies of China and the Himalayas. This tranquil space made its debut in 2005 and has since won numerous awards, and rightly so. I would highly recommended the Jade Journey (RMB 1,758 US$281 for 100 minutes). The treatment begins with a relaxing five-minute soak in a fragrant rose petal and Pu-erh tea infused bath, followed by a full body massage using jadestone rollers. It is a wonderful showcase of Chinese culture and well-being traditions. In addition to the spa, each tower has its own fitness centre and health club with an indoor swimming pool, jacuzzi, sauna and steam room. There is also an outdoor floodlit tennis court in the River Wing, open from 6am to 11pm.
RESTAURANTS AND BARS
There are six restaurants, including international buffet Yi Café, Nadaman Japanese, and European Jade on 36, a great place for Sunday champagne brunch. Fine dining Chinese restaurant Gui Hua Lou features Huai Yang cuisine-recipes from Huai’an, Yangzhou, Suzhou and Shanghai. Signature dishes include duck filled with abalone, sea cucumber shaped in the form of a gourd (US$13) and pan-fried prawns in a lightly spiced curry sauce with deep-fried bun (US$46). Cantonese fare is found at Fook Lam Moon on level two of the River Wing, and for after work cocktails, Jade on 36 Bar is located on level 36 of the Grand Tower. The décor, with the bar engulfed in a giant red padded jewellery box, is a little kitsch for my taste, but thankfully it does not distract from the views of the brightly lit historic Bund across the river.
With its extensive dining, leisure and meetings facilities, Pudong Shangri-La is an ideal venue for both business and pleasure.
HOW MANY ROOMS? There are 952 rooms, consisting of 449 guestrooms, 440 Horizon Club guestrooms, 50 suites and 13 Signature Suites.
HIGHLIGHTS The free gifts offered during turndown service. These included a stuffed Shangri-La Panda, long stem red roses, and on my final night, two pillowcases embroidered with my initials.
PRICE The best available rate for a mid-week stay in a Grand Tower Horizon Club Executive Room in mid-July averages RMB2,050 (US$329) per night.
CONTACT Pudong Shangri-La, East Shanghai 33 Fu Cheng Lu, Pudong, Shanghai 200120 China; tel: +86 21 6882 8888; www.shangri-la.com