After a record-breaking scorcher of a summer, Shanghai is suddenly getting very chilly. As the mercury drops, we’re looking for toasty alternatives to the terrace lounges we’ve been frequenting since May. We’ve rounded up our top three fireplace bars in Shanghai that should be on your list of well-heated haunts.
Rare is the hotel bar that attracts locals, but stylish Flair is an exception. The 58th-floor bar at Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star The Ritz-Carlton Shanghai, Pudong draws in movers and shakers with knockout views from its multi-tiered deck, which puts you at eye level with the futuristic Oriental Pearl Tower. When the temperature dips below freezing, though, and the wind is howling through your coat, you’ll want to snag a spot inside next to the contemporary fireplace. With ultra plush seating, Asian-inspired tapas and a raw seafood bar, this is one sky-high perch you won’t want to leave. Reservations are recommended and there is a minimum charge of ¥350 (around US$58) per person.
Both branches of this Shanghai mainstay are housed in lovingly restored villas, and while the Xinhua Road location has the bigger courtyard, the Anting Road home has two roaring fireplaces. The former French Concession bar, on a leafy block-long street, is an expat favorite, and its courtyard is packed during the warmer months. But during Shanghai’s cold, damp winter, the seats by the fireplace are the first to go — and whoever gets them stays put, mug of mulled wine in hand. It’s a popular destination for after-work drinks, so get there by 6 p.m. to secure a fireside seat. The menu, chock-full of Western staples, has plenty of hearty offerings for winter, including buttery lamb chops.
This Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star property is the sleekest hotel in the Jing’an neighborhood, a clubhouse for design fanatics and those who like their hotels heavy on cool. The PuLi’s Long Bar — a 105-foot solid teak reception-desk-cum-bar — is a sharp spot for a drink, but when the wind blows outside and snow sits on the ground, it’s far more appealing to take your hot toddy and curl up next to the fireplace in the hotel’s 2,500-book library. A far cry from your dusty local library, The PuLi’s has plush couches, Chinese Art Deco-inspired lamps and stingray leather panels above its fireplace.
Photo Courtesy of Flair