The Portman Ritz-Carlton Shanghai
There is no shortage of luxury hotels in Shanghai. The Portman Ritz-Carlton Shanghai was one of the first and happily, there is still a lot to like about this modern palace. It’s location on Shanghai's swankiest street is one of them. You can walk out the door of the hotel and feel immediately that you’re in an international neighborhood filled with shops, restaurants and apartments. The hotel rests within 50-story Shanghai Centre which is still one of the city's most fashionable addresses. If things here look familiar, it's because of the Hard Rock Cafe on the street front, the Starbucks in the shopping arcade, and the adjoining Tony Roma's franchise.
The Portman Ritz-Carlton Shanghai makes a concerted effort at an innovative and creative design. Once guests have navigated the enormous pink porte cochere, they find the entrance is through the imaginative waterfall that streams down the sides of the building. The waterfall is also visible from within. Arrivals for first time visitors can be a bit overwhelming. However, the lobby lounge is more pleasant than that of many other hotels, with two-story-high windows, a large but intimate-feeling seating area, and live classical music. Bookshelves and displays of Chinese tea instruments add to the charm.
For diners wishing to skip the franchises, the in-house restaurants provide a range of good options, including an international tea-garden restaurant and a traditional Japanese outlet. A Summer Pavilion features Cantonese specialties, and Palladio, an award-winning Italian restaurant, serves from a seasonal menu and wide wine selection. The second-floor bar is a peaceful place to rendezvous. The nightclub showcases splashy entertainment, and the 990-seat theater spotlights acrobatics and other variety shows.
The health complex is certainly one of the city's best, with high-quality equipment and an aerobics room with classes for adults and children. Other attractions include a domed tennis court, racquetball and squash courts, and an imaginative indoor-outdoor pool. The garden has a lawn for sunning and children's games.
Each accommodation floor shares a two-story elevator lobby, usually with a tree growing from one level to the next. Most rooms were renovated at the end of 2006, and are cozy yet elegant, with dark red and beige accents. Rooms are fully wired, with HBO and CNN on TVs, phones with speakers and voice mail, broadband Internet access, and alarm clocks. Those who want to plug in their own travel gizmos use adapters set out on counters, and all rooms have well-stocked minibars and safes. Marble baths are full of thick towels, elegantly displayed amenities and deep tubs.
Rooms on the 45th floor boast balconies. Guests can order from the extensive room-service menu around the clock, and the International Herald Tribune is delivered daily. Smoke-free and premium floors are available. We recommend upgrading to the executive floor. The amenities alone are worth the extra charge. More importantly, the extra personalized service helps create a warm ambiance that one looks forward coming back to in this exciting but often impersonal gigantic city.
The staff speaks English fluently. Ingratiating service and excellent recreational facilities distinguish this upper-crust hotel from the likes of the Okura and Westin. Taxis are always available here (an important part of being in Shanghai) and staff will supply written directions to drivers in Chinese (also very important).
The Portman Ritz-Carlton Shanghai is a member of exclusive Virtuoso travel network. Book online or contact our Virtuoso Travel Advisor [email protected] for more details.
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