Elevated luxury: Jing An Shangri-la, Shanghai

Situated within the upscale Jing An district in the heart of Shanghai, Jing An Shangri-La is a true flagship for the Asian luxury hotel group, redefining luxury through innovation, from accommodations to the Food &  Beverage offering.

Set within a sleek skyscraper tower, Jing An Shangri-La is part of a carefully planned 4,5 acre mixed use complex, Jing An Kerry Centre, which includes retail, office and residential space overlooking a landscaped piazza. Jing An Temple and the Jing An park are integral parts of the new district.

In less than 2 years, the development has succeeded in recreating a much sought-after community centre, attracting both locals and foreigners. Easy access through an underground parking and access lanes have added to the convenience of visitors.  The hotel is within walking distance from a wealth of street level luxury stores and within short distance from the Réel and IAPM luxury Malls. It is also adjacent to the Shanghai Exhibition Centre and only steps away the famous Nanjing Road shopping street

Occupying floors 30th to 59th, the 508 rooms and suites (42)  are among the largest in Shanghai, ranging from 42 to 62 square metres for room categories and suites ranging from 93 to 311 square metres. All rooms and suites feature spectacular floor to ceiling views of Shanghai day and night.

Jing An Shangri-La has taken an innovative approach to accommodations, with the highest room category, the Grand Premier Room, which, at 62 square meters, has a layout of a Junior Suite with sliding doors which can divide the bedroom from the living space. The generous space is ideal and innovative layout is ideal for both families and for business travelers. Also, guests in a Grand Premier Room benefit from access to the Horizon lounge.

Custom-made lush wool carpets with printed flower motifs, a large wardrobe space with vanity and heated white marble floors in the bathrooms are some of the exceptional details of the rooms and suites. Oversized enclosed rain showers feature yet another exquisit detail – a wall covered with silver-white mosaics.Rooms also impress not only with the balanced contemporary design but also with the bright colour palette.

Complimentary high-speed wi-fi internet and a generously sized business desk perfectly respond to the demands of business travelers who also have complimentary access to meeting spaces at the Horizon Lounge (Grand Premier room and suite guests). Airport transfers are efficiently managed with a fleet of luxury cars.

The Horizon Lounge at Jing An Shangri-La occupies the entire 55th floor, boasting unrivalled views of the city. The lounge is largest among all Shangri-la hotels, with a space sensibly split in half, one dedicated to breakfast and the other side which is set up for afternoon – evening. Despite the number of rooms, service is of the highest precision, efficient and personalized. The selection of Western and Chinese foods makes up for a truly lavish buffet. I was impressed with the selection of fresh fruits and freshly squeezed juices.

The Food & Beverage offering is not only generous but extremely well planned both in terms of design and diversity. Café Liang, on the groundfloor,  provides a bright coloured setting for breakfast and lunch with an international cuisine selection. South-Eastern Chinese cuisine is at its best at the Summer Palace signature restaurant, which provides the same menu, however in four differently designed spaces according to the preferences of the guests, from a casual occasion to a formal one.

The food offering is completed by the 1515 West, Chophouse & Bar on the mezzanine with a selection of signature brand Australian beef, dry aged for 45 days and proposed by an in-house specialist lady butcher. The space is authentically designed to the smallest details as a traditional Western steak house. The Raw Bar provides fresh oysters and seafood from around the world. Champagnes, vermouths, sherries, white wines and a cellar featuring a selection of New World wines and Reds.

TSURU features classic Japanese kaiseki cuisine overseen by Chef Masami Honda who has 48 years of experience in Japanese cuisine. Highlights include appetisers, sashimi, tempura, meat, grilled fish, boiled dish and staple food. The quality of food and service at TSURU is outstanding!

My favourite dining venue at Jing An Shangri-la is Calypso, a restaurant and lounge housed in an airy two-storey building adjacent to the tower which house the hotel. Designed by a Japanese architect, Calypso is striking in its simplicity, dominated by large glass panels and bamboo coloured wood. The glass panels retract in the warm weather for an original al fresco dining overlooking the fountains in the piazza.

The restaurant’s offers Mediterranean cuisine which includes options from the land and sea, with appetisers to share and no-fuss set lunches. Not to be missed are the authentic Neapolitan-style pizzas, Italian burrata and house-made pasta.

The restaurant’s food is complemented by a unique wine program. Enomatic wine stations permit 24 wines to be tasted at the special “Genius Table”, which allows guests to have open interactions with and get tasting tips from the restaurant’s sommelier. On the second-floor, Calypso features a lounge with a retractable glass roof, ensuring a similarly trendy feel for both casual and formal occasions.

The heated 25-metre indoor sky-dome lap pool and a comprehensive 8 treatment room Spa make up for a most refreshing wellbeing experience. I tried the ”CHI Balance” treatment with all-natural custom blended oil.

A video preview of the Executive Suite can be viewed here.

Oliver Petcu in Shanghai