Photo courtesy of Waldorf Astoria Shanghai on the Bund
Waldorf Astoria Shanghai on the Bund
Comprising a neoclassical building completed in 1910 and a modern 24-story tower, with a courtyard and promenade in between, this four-year-old property has an enviable position right on the Bund. The heritage building formerly housed the exclusive Shanghai Club. European-style interiors include a grand lobby with dark-veined white marble and Palladian columns, sculpted rooftop cornices, and crystal chandeliers. Original fixtures include the city’s large triangular manual elevators. Peacock Alley, the promenade that connects the two buildings and looks onto the courtyard, houses restaurants and lounges. Rooms in the tower come with spellbinding Bund, Huangpu River, and Pudong views, while the 20 suites in the heritage building have painted timber panelling, hardwood floors, and polished mahogany furnishings (they also all come with butler service).
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A stroll along the Bund is a must, with a fine mix of architecture on the Puxi side and the futuristic skyline across the Huangpu on the Pudong side. Yuyuan Garden, less than a mile from the property, is more than 400 years old and used to be a private garden. One of its highlights is the five-ton grotesque jade rock. The neighboring market, unsurprisingly called Yuyuan Market, has a number of great shops for souvenirs and local snacks.
Need to Know
Rooms: 207 rooms, 53 suites. From $400. Check-in: 2 p.m.; check-out: noon. Dining options: Situated in the original building, Pelham’s has a show kitchen and a menu of modern French cuisine; the walk-in wine room stocks more than 500 wines. At the Grand Brasserie, marble columns and countertops, polished wood tables, and cushioned banquettes create a mod-Manhattan brasserie feel. The Chinese furnishings and objets d’art at Wei Jing Ge complement the Shanghainese, Cantonese, and Huaiyang cuisines. The Long Bar lives up to its name—the 110-foot mahogany bar is quite a sight. It also has a separate Oyster Bar, and the distinctive decor features colonial memorabilia and old photographs of Shanghai. Take afternoon tea amid Parisian drapes and Chinese chests at Peacock Alley, or the hotel’s signature Red Velvet Afternoon Tea—sweet and savory delicacies, English and Chinese teas, flutes of sparkling wine—at Salon de Ville, where views are of the Bund. Spa and gym details: The spa is located in the tower and features an indoor heated lap pool, steam room, and sauna. On the same level, the fitness center has the latest cardiovascular machines and exercise equipment.
Who it's for: Corporate bigwigs, leisure travelers looking to lighten their heavy wallets, socialites (the ballroom is the only one in Shanghai with views of the Bund and the Pudong Financial Centre). Our favorite rooms: The Waldorf Luxury River Suite is a 1,300-square-foot refuge in the heritage building with a four-poster bed, heated floors, and a walk-in closet. Expect stunning Pudong views. Plan ahead: Be sure to make reservations for Sunday brunch at the Grand Brasserie and for Red Velvet Afternoon Tea. Seats fill up fast.