Waldorf Astoria Shanghai on the Bund, China - Hotel Review
A Luxurious Mix of History, Culture and the 21st Century
by Alain Gayot
The main entrance of the Waldorf Astoria Club building at the Waldorf Astoria Shanghai on the Bund in China
In 1910, the Shanghai Club opened as a British men's club and went on to become one of the most exclusive clubs in Shanghai in the 1920s and 30s. After a few transformations, the building has been restored to its original splendor, and its luxurious mix of history, culture and 21st century sophistication is now known as the Waldorf Astoria Shanghai on the Bund.
The hotel's 272 rooms and suites are split between two buildings — the Waldorf Astoria Club, which is one of the few heritage structures left in Shanghai, and the new 23-story Waldorf Astoria tower. The all-suite heritage building houses 20 luxuriously appointed suites, and the remaining accommodations are located in the tower, including the Noble Suite and the Presidential Suite. All are laden with the latest technology — from state-of-the-art, in-room entertainment and master control panels to Toto multifunctional Japanese toilets in the marble-finished bathrooms.
Chic guest accommodation
There is certainly no shortage of dining options here, with five venues of varying styles. Pelham's offers New York-style fine dining with French-influenced Modern American fare, while Wei Jing Ge (loosely translated to English as "blue sky view from the attic") is located at the top floor of the heritage building and features flavorful dishes drawn from Shanghainese, Cantonese and Huai Yang cuisines. The Shanghai Club's famous Long Bar (named for its 100+ feet of bar counter) has been recreated on the lobby level, bringing a sense of beauty and grandeur from the early 1910s. It's a must-see, even if you're not staying at the hotel. Peacock Alley and Grand Brasserie are the more casual eateries, with Afternoon Tea in the former and semi-buffet-style dining in the latter.
A confident and friendly staff welcomes you to this home away from home. Probably unlike your domicile, though, this one comes with an indoor swimming pool, a fully equipped fitness center, a pampering spa, a 24-hour library, a luxury boutique and a florist. Business travelers will be pleased to find a 24-hour business center, six boardrooms, complimentary wireless Internet in meeting and public areas and three ballrooms (including one with al fresco balconies and Shanghai's famous waterfront promenade as a backdrop).
Positioned on the Bund (the most photographed postcard scene of the city), the hotel is perfectly located for both business and pleasure. Within walking distance is Nanjing Road, a retail and commerce center, as well as museums, galleries and dining. At the Waldorf Astoria Shanghai on the Bund, the city is right outside your front door just waiting to be explored.
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Wei Jing Ge
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Find out more about the Bund with our book review of The Bund Shanghai: China Faces West