Shanghai is a city steeped with tradition that’s as strong as its finest teas; as such, skill and finesse are demanded of any developer with designs on blending modern amenities with the timeless luxury found in China’s popular coastal city. To that end, Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group is rapidly becoming one of the most recognizable names in China’s hospitality landscape. The luxury hotel company opens its third Mainland China hotel today, the Mandarin Oriental Pudong, Shanghai, just a few short months after the Mandarin Oriental, Guangzhou opened in February 2013 (there’s a third MO outpost in Sanya). If you’re checking in at the new waterfront hotel today, here are a few things you should know:
Whether you’re staying at the Mandarin Oriental Pudong, Shanghai for business or pleasure, you’ll be well taken care of. This posh hotel has 318 guest rooms, 44 suites and 210 fully serviced executive apartments, which range in size from studios to three bedrooms. Regardless of which style room you book, you can rest easy knowing that the hotel’s team of butlers will be on hand to assist you with any request during your stay. And, you can be sure that your time spent at the property will be a stylish one, since architect Bernardo Fort-Brescia of Arquitectonica was commissioned to create the elegant and comfortable designs seen throughout the hotel. As soon as you step inside your lavishly appointed guest room, you’ll see why he was inducted into the Interior Design Hall of Fame (1999).
You’ll eat (and drink) like royalty. The palatial hotel is home to several places to grab a bite or a drink. Reserve an alfresco garden table at Fifty 8° Grill to enjoy modern French cuisine by chef Richard Ekkebus (formerly of Amber, a restaurant located inside the Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star The Landmark Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong) — we recommend the hand-carved charcuteries, freshly-baked sourdough breads and, of course, a glass of wine from the restaurant’s menu of 250 labels. Local flavor shines at Yong Yi Ting, the hotel’s signature Chinese restaurant that highlights local “Jiang Nan” (south of the Yangtze) cuisine. Worldly flavors come together at Zest, a modern space that channels the five Chinese elements of water, wood, fire, earth and metal into its décor. Qi Bar is where you’ll find stylish guests sipping cocktails to the sound of live DJs spinning upbeat music. For afternoon tea, stop by the Riviera Lounge. And, to satiate your sweet tooth, don’t miss the famous pastries and treats at The Mandarin Cake Shop.
The spa is a destination unto itself. The Spa at Mandarin Oriental Pudong, Shanghai is not to be missed — though it would be hard to overlook, anyway, as it occupies more than 25,000 square feet of space. Located on the lower ground floor of the hotel, the spa boasts 13 spa suites (including two couples’ suites and two VIP suites), plus manicure, pedicure and foot massage lounges, thermal bathing facilities and a spa boutique. The Beauty by Mandarin Oriental center offers non-invasive skincare, anti-aging and slimming therapies to tighten and tone the derma and body during your stay at the luxury hotel.
Workout gear should earn a place in your suitcase. After you’ve indulged in the fine cuisine and cocktails offered at the hotel’s dining and drinking outposts, hit the 24-hour Fitness & Wellness Centre to sweat in style. Take your pick from a fleet of Technogym cardio and body conditioning equipment, or challenge your body with a resistance workout on the Kinesis Wall. Mayafit Virtual Personal Trainer technology is available to ramp up your calorie burn. Or, if you’d prefer to keep up with your regular workout routine, join a group yoga, dance, martial arts or boxing class. Finish off your visit with a dip in the indoor 25-metre swimming pool.
You might mistake the hotel for a posh art gallery. We’ll understand if you find yourself too busy to take in the hotel’s artwork during your stay, what with all the dining, spa and fitness amenities available to you. Before you leave, though, take some time to meander through the property to observe the breathtaking array of artwork. More than 4,000 original pieces are on display throughout the public spaces and guest rooms of the hotel, of which 4,000 works are bespoke commissions — so you won’t get another opportunity to see some of these masterpieces unless you book a return visit. In all, 50 artists around the world contributed to the collection, including 18 artists from China. Try to spot the porcelain art by Chinese artist Lai De Quan; his Scenes of Jiangnan panel collection is located in the guest room corridors and the Presidential Suite.
Photos courtesy of Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group