1. The brainchild of a hospitality visionary
When Ian Schrager unveils a new hotel, the world sits up and takes notice. After all, the 72-year-old entrepreneur not only pioneered the concept of the boutique hotel back in 1984 – and has pushed the envelope in hospitality ever since – he was also the co-founder of New York’s most storied, glamorous superclub, Studio 54. His latest project is this Shanghai beauty; part of his Edition Hotels brand, it’s a sleek, urbane 145-room property set in the former Art Deco headquarters of the Shanghai Power Company.
2. A theatrical nightclub and restaurants galore
Party seekers and late-night revellers should hit the dance floor at glam nightspot Electric Circus. It’s modelled after world-famous Studio 54, and just like the latter did, it features dramatic lighting, theatrical sets and a roster of big-name DJs, making it the latest power player shaking up the city’s nightlife scene. While the hotel’s interiors may be rather understated, the same can hardly be said of its culinary and lifestyle offerings, which number a whopping nine in total. British celebrity chef Jason Atherton heads up all-day brasserie-style restaurant Shanghai Tavern, as well as izakaya-inspired Hiya; then there’s also Canton Disco by Black Sheep Restaurants, which serves up a contemporary take on traditional Cantonese cuisine.
3. Easy access to key attractions
The hotel’s location on Nanjing Road East – the city’s main commercial thoroughfare – means that guests have a wealth of retail options at their doorstep. Shanghai New World Daimaru, a glitzy mall that’s home to the world’s largest spiral escalator, is just across the road; navigate the heaving crowds and you’ll find international boutiques cheek by jowl with traditional shops and eateries. Plus, the Bund waterfront is mere minutes away.
4. A pared-down aesthetic
Schrager declared that he wanted to avoid any design clichés, and indeed, you won’t find any ornate dragon motifs or jade fittings here. Instead, simplicity prevails: the light-filled guestrooms are clad in blonde oak, while bathrooms are rendered in white marble. Any references to Chinese culture are subtle. For instance, taking pride of place in the atrium is a spherical pendant light ensconced in metal prongs, gleaming like an enormous pearl; over at the Lobby Bar, guests can admire plaster artwork inspired by carvings that typically adorn traditional shikumen housing.
SEE ALSO: 5 local hotspots to visit in Shanghai
This article was originally published in the January 2019 issue of SilverKris magazine