Opened in 2012, the Four Seasons Pudong resides in what’s known locally as the Jewel Box—the 50-story, 21st Century Tower, a rectangular prism in the heart of the Lujiazui business district. Art-filled interiors pull their inspiration from Shanghai’s 1920s and 1930s golden age. The lobby wows with a dramatic grand spiral staircase with an underbelly of Maccasar ebony, and a suspended, 1,000-strip metal sculpture created by Japan’s Studio Sawada Design that looks like a dangling collage of willowy twigs. Rooms offer prime views of Pudong’s evolving skyline and come with fresh flowers and Lorenzo Villoresi bath products. The decor is predicated on Shanghai art deco, with an intense palette of rouge, glossy black, and textured gray, coupled with smoky glass and metallic accents. In the bathrooms, a custom wall and glass panel mimic Coco Chanel’s iconic No. 5 perfume.
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This part of Shanghai was all low-rises three decades ago; today it is all vertical. Locals take a midday stroll round the man-made lake at Lujiazui Central Green, a 22-acre green space amid the hubbub. For a truly breathtaking view of the city, visit Sky Walk 100, the 100th-floor observatory deck at the Shanghai World Financial Center (the clouds look close enough to touch). Pudong’s riverside promenade, while not as lauded as the Bund, is lined with au courant restaurants and bars, and comes with the added bonus of Bund views. Endangered Chinese aquatic animals like the Chinese sturgeon get their own section at the Shanghai Ocean Aquarium. In a suitably over-the-top venture, Snow Bar, kept at 14 Fahrenheit, serves shots in glasses made of ice imported from Sweden. The 13 floors of Super Brand Mall include an arcade, cinema, ice-skating rink, and oodles of shops.
Need to Know
Rooms: 172 rooms, 15 suites. From $400. Check-in: 3 p.m.; check-out: noon. Dining options: Interiors that mix European and Chinese—bronze finishes, marble pillars, art deco–style furnishings, walls lined with hand-painted silk, and a recessed ceiling with Celestial clouds—set the stage for the Shanghainese and Cantonese food at Shang-xi. Afternoon tea, wine, Champagne, spirits, and chefs from the Four Seasons George V in Paris lure customers to the contemporary French Camelia; try the Camelia Whisper, a cocktail of dry sparkling wine, gin, sugar, and lemon juice. Spa and gym details: Guerlain products are used in the 19,000-square-foot Flare Spa, finished in timber and slate. On the same floor, the 24-hour gym and 18-meter lap pool come with skyline views.
Who it's for: Business executives, anyone on a generous corporate account, and hotel pool fetishists. Our favorite rooms: Pearl View Deluxe Rooms come with enviable vistas of the Lujiazui skyline, including newly established landmarks like the Oriental Pearl TV Tower, the Shanghai Tower, and the Shanghai World Financial Center. Late-night indulgence: Book the Private Pool Extraordinary Experience promotion to get the 41st-floor infinity pool to yourself from 11 p.m. to 1 a.m. with canapés, wine, Champagne, and sparkling Pudong views.