Reviewed by Richard Beck, Pres
Classic Travel Service
I’ve been in the Travel Business for 40 years and I can’t remember having stayed in a new hotel that’s as impressive as the Peninsula Shanghai. The location, architecture, art deco inspired design and décor, amenities, restaurants and bars are all so stunning that l was almost speechless. If a hotel possessed even a couple of those attributes I’d be impressed, but to have them all and with the superlative service levels provided is like having found Nirvana. When you check out you won't be ready to leave.
Peninsula Shanghai’s location is probably the most enviable in this iconic futuristic city. The Huangpu River runs between the Bund side and Pudong side. The hotel is on the Bund but where the river curves so that the views are actually of both sides. And what incredible views they are! I’ve posted a picture above taken at night from the terrace of the hotel's Sir Elly’s restaurant and bar. The hotel’s area is a joy for the pedestrian anytime day or night. Unlike staying on the Pudong side where a taxi is almost a necessity, here you can walk outside and immediately be on an amazing river front promenade that has the feeling of live theatre with surreal scenery. It’s also walking distance to other hotels, luxury shopping and restaurants in the area.
There are 235 very comfortable guestrooms and suites. I was told they are the most spacious in the city but when alone I always measure. They are enormous and they really do represent the return of classic luxury to Shanghai. They’re also as quiet as can be. I was not surprised as the doors are heavy and solid but then the whole structure feels like a modern fortress. All the rooms have 46 inch plasmas, complimentary wifi, ipod docking stations, Nespresso coffee machine and something we all love; complimentary local and international telephone calling. The rooms have individual climate control including an option to set the desired humidity as well as temperature. There is a compartment in each room where you place your dry cleaning or laundry. Close the door and on the other side there is another door where staff picks up and returns.
The restaurants and bars of The Peninsula Shanghai are all world class with attention to detail beyond most others. For instance, they all have exquisite custom designed silver, linens and crystal. I dined at their Cantonese restaurant Yi Long Court at lunch one day for two hours. Some of the best dim sum ever! I experienced high tea, China style, in the lobby and best of all experienced cocktails at night on the terrace of Sir Elly’s. The hotel also offers cocktails and dancing at Salon de Ning and the Compass Bar. Both venues are beautiful and are unique in their ambiance.
The Peninsula Spa by ESPA with its neo-classical décor in navy and ivory tones has separate male and female thermal suites with tropical rain showers, steam and sauna with spectacular colored iridescent light features and shaved ice fountains. It’s not difficult to spend time between there and the state of the art gym where the views of outside are far better than watching TV. However, it’s their indoor pool that absolutely provides the WOW effect. It’s very large (approximately 250 feet long and 70 feet wide) with a sky light that seems almost as big. It may be the only hotel pool that also has a working fireplace. (I’ve added a photo above)
I was only at the Peninsula Shanghai two days but I packed a lot of time in looking at every nook and cranny I could without being too obvious. I also stayed at 2 other hotels and visited 5 more. Peninsula Shanghai is in a class of it's own. It's got it all!
Hey, it’s a tough job but someone’s gotta to do it. As the saying goes "If you can’t say something nice don’t say anything at all." In this case it was very easy. Oh, there was one thing. They didn’t have an outlet next to the bed for my Blackberry. Management promised me it would be taken care of. I’ll be back!
The Peninsula Shanghai is a member of exclusive Virtuoso travel network. Book online or contact our Virtuoso Travel Advisor [email protected] for more details.
To learn more about Virtuoso click on the Virtuoso Tab!