JONAS
Jonas Rask Eilersen
The Peninsula Shanghai
No 32 The Bund, 32 Zhongshan Dong Yi Road Shanghai 200002
8th October 2015

Shanghai’s well and truly back; now firmly, again, a global financial and cultural centre, the city is a magnet for both Chinese and international tourists and business travellers.

The Peninsula Shanghai, an imposing 14-storey concrete building, seems a fitting addition. This 235-room luxury hotel was the first major building constructed on the Bund in over 60 years, and it is now one of the city’s top-of-the-line offerings.

Location
The location is fabulous - on The Bund; which is the area you want to be in if you want to be in the thick of it. The Bund has undergone a $732 million renovation that includes a sparkling pedestrian walkway along the Huangpu River and widened streets in an area now dominated by luxury shops, upscale bars and restaurants and even a few art galleries. Views across to Pudong are astonishing, iconic even - particularly at night.
Who stays?
This is the place for the monied, slightly conservative, guest - but also for those who want to look like they are. It's a curious mix of international and Chinese jetsetters - many of whom arrive in some very fancy vehicles.
Style and Character
Although from 2009, you will find it difficult to date the hotel - this is obviously on purpose, because the hotel's Art Déco inspired décor is one which ages well; it's supremely elegant - and quite grand in places.
Service
Almost flawless. I did find the receptionists a little curt, and I found it very difficult to communicate with housekeeping - but apart from that, everywhere I went, I was received as a very important guest (which I, truthfully, am not).
Rooms and Suites
Thankfully, this is the highlight - I say thankfully, because, obviously, if you're doing more here at the hotel than just having a meal (which is wonderful treat! See below!), then you're going to spend some time in your accommodations. And, wow, are they lavish.
Although one of the "lower categories", my Deluxe Garden Room, was unabashedly luxurious. At almost 60 sq.m., I had plenty of space to move around - and plenty of space for my belongings (for the latter, my room had a walk-in closet).
I won't dwell for too long on all the fabulous amenities the room offered - it's what you'd expect from this, the Chinese flagship of one of the world's best hotel groups; but I do want to note that the bathroom was extraordinarily luxurious. Even without the moodlighting, the bathrooms are stunning - I could've spent all day in the gorgeous bathtub.
Also worth noting is the hotel's successful incorporation of all manner of tech solutions for all functions in the room (we're not just talking the blinds here). In terms of technology, The Peninsula hotels have always been at the forefront, ironing out a lot of technological kinks which other hotels still struggle with.
I also visited a few other rooms and suites - all were gorgeous.
In short; you'd be happy in any room - although I would probably spring for one with a river view next time.
Food and Drink
There are six outlets here, practically covering all the bases. Worth a special mention are the flagship Sir Elly's Restaurant (Modern European) which by now is almost a classic for the monied Shanghai set. And then, of course, Sir Elly's Terrace; the rooftop bar, is fabulous. The view alone warrants the - high - cocktail prices.
I also adored The Lobby - the place to enjoy high tea (as well as breakfast). In short; even with all of Shanghai's magnificent restaurants, you'd do well to spend a night dining, and drinking, in.
Features, Wellness, and Amenities
Knock out facilities; plain and simple. The indoor pool is a dream - and it even has an outdoor terrace. I rate the facilities as some of the very best not only in Shanghai, but in China, when it comes to a city hotel. The pool and gym are so good that you almost forget that there's also a 1,200 sq.m. destination spa, offering some truly indulgent treatments.
Perceived Value
For this kind of quality, the prices are easily justified - even when it comes to some of the higher level suites.
Verdict
An absolute stunner, The Peninsula Shanghai is one of the world's great, newer, hotels. I can't wait to return.