Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts unveiled its third luxury hotel in Shanghai on 29 June on the Puxi side of the Huangpu River. Positioned in the very heart of Shanghai, Jing An Shangri-La, West Shanghai is part of the city's most fashionable neighbourhood and features a glamorous design inspired by Shanghai's vibrant past, present and future.
The 508-room hotel is the centrepiece of the impressive new 450,000-square-metre Jing An Kerry Centre. In 1993, Kerry Holdings Limited began purchasing parcels of land where Jing An Kerry Centre sits with the vision of developing a high-end, mixed-use complex in the very heart of Shanghai, and Jing An Shangri-La breaks new ground for the Hong Kong-based hotel group with a glamorous design.
"The hotel is very Shanghainese in that it is a balance of the new and the traditional," said Shangri-La President and Chief Executive Officer Greg Dogan. "Guests will experience Shangri-La's genuine, heart-warming hospitality, and discover classic Shangri-La design reinterpreted in a luxurious contemporary way that complements the vibrancy of the Jing An district."
Shangri-La hotels are famous for having an abundance of elegant chandeliers. Jing An Shangri-La embraces this trademark but re-envisions it to dramatic effect.
The hotel glistens with more than four million pieces of crystals. Crystals are used as architectural elements – from the thick canopy of lighted crystal rods covering the porte cochere to the crystal drapery anchoring the double-height reception area and Lobby Lounge.
Crystals are also treated as sculptures. Floating crystal lace clouds appear over the Event Centre's driveway and lead guests up five levels to the Jing An Grand Ballroom via escalators. The grandeur of the 1,743-square-metre Grand Ballroom, the largest in West Shanghai, is accentuated by a 10-metre-high ceiling dressed with glittering glass rods, crystal panels and more floating crystal clouds.
Art is an important aspect of the Shangri-La experience, and it is central to Jing An Shangri-La. Upon entering the lobby, guests are greeted by a 5.9 by 2.9-metre oil painting by Zeng Fanzhi, one of two renowned contemporary artists who were commissioned to create art for the hotel. The other is Zhou Chunya, whose series of five paintings for Jing An are inspired by Shanghai's Yu Garden.
In addition to the masterpieces, Jing An Shangri-La's art collection includes 207 pieces of work by 50 artists representing 12 countries across four continents. Fourteen of them are Chinese artists. The hotel's entire art collection includes sculptures, paintings, works on paper, photography, textile art and decorative objects – every piece specially created for Jing An Shangri-La. Each piece gives homage to Chinese culture either in the subject matter and style, or in the use of medium and material.
Even the hand-tufted silk carpets found throughout the hotel were designed to resemble paintings. Taking inspiration from traditional Chinese water colours, lotus, auspicious fish and colourful blooms are visually poetic and set off public areas and hallways with an impressive statement.
The hotel's four bars and restaurants offer a melting pot of experiences that reflect Shanghai's eclectic and cosmopolitan nature. Summer Palace's contemporary design, gives a nod to the traditional. Splashes of golden yellow, orange, green and blue hues in the furnishing, art work and accessories are modern motifs of the peacock, a common inspiration in Chinese ink paintings.
The Chinese restaurant's three chambers are inviting and creatively straddle opulence and refinement, while offering more areas for dining, as well as elegant settings suited to elaborate gourmet feasts.
In The 1515 West, Chophouse & Bar, an appetite for premium beef, American-sized desserts and signature drinks is boosted by artefacts from the old Shanghai movies era and a classic New York steakhouse interior décor.
The two-level Café LIANG & mezzanine greets guests with a cheery palette of pistachio, orange and brown alongside its semi-buffet spread on the first level. A stylish spiral staircase connects the all-day dining café to the mezzanine level serving modern Japanese-inspired cuisine. While the chef's skilful hands are at work, diners can soak in the view of pathways, gardens and water features in the 3,000-square-metre piazza.
Across the complex's piazza, the attention-catching two-level restaurant with a roof-top wine bar stands in full view from Café LIANG. The soon-to-open modern Mediterranean restaurant with glass-roof building clad in bamboo is designed by the world-famous architect Shigeru Ban. The outlet will offer food and wine experience in an informal and engaging environment.
Guestrooms occupy the top 29 floors of the 60-storey tower and provide stunning views. Pops of colour accent the silvery design scheme which is warmed by rosewood panelling. A sense of arrival continues through to the rooms' bathrooms, personal spaces of luxury where heated marble floors, satin glass, bevelled mirrors, separate bathtubs and stand-alone showers with mosaic tiles fashioned into art seamlessly combine.
Guests staying in Grand Premier Rooms and suites will have access to the largest Horizon Club Lounge in Shangri-La's collection. Taking up the entire 55th floor, the exclusive Lounge offers 360-degree panoramic views of Shanghai and valuable privileges such as complimentary breakfast, all-day refreshments and evening cocktails, and free use of the lounge's meeting room for two hours per day. Providing guests an even more personalised level of service, Horizon Club privileges include dedicated Club Concierge service, tea or coffee delivered to the guestroom with a wake-up call, suit pressing and late check-out until 4 p.m. Free Wi-Fi is provided to all guests as well as Horizon Club guests.