The Peninsula Shanghai, one of the finest luxury hotels worldwide

Returning to Shanghai, the city so closely tied to the history of The Hongkong and Shanghai Hotels, after almost 80 years, the hotel group inaugurated the brand new Peninsula Hotel Shanghai in 2009, with a stunning location, on the Bund, commanding spectacular views of the Huangpu River, Pudong, (the city’s financial district) and the beautifully manicured gardens of the former British Consulate. The Peninsula Shanghai has marked another landmark in the history of the hotel chain with the inauguration in 2011 of the very first Peninsula Residences, a complex of ultra luxury serviced apartments connected to the hotel, embodying the luxurious lifestyle of the hotel.

Although a new building, The Peninsula Shanghai carefully follows the architectural lines of the majestic facade of The Peninsula Hong Kong, the flagship property of the chain, recreating the impressive splendour of Shanghai’s unique 1920′s and 1930′ Art Deco. The hotel is Grand is every sense – the palatial lobby with floor to ceiling windows opening onto the lush gardens of the former British Consulate, the exuberant Art Deco marble reception, Shanghai’s largest rooms and suites (each with large separate walk in wardrobes) as welll as the city’s largest outdoor roof top terrace. The quality of materials used and finishes is flawless! No detail is overlooked – from the crisp uniforms of the staff, the subtle lighting in the hallways, dazzling flower arrangements and beautiful oriental artworks (I was most impressed by the traditional wooden sculpted four poster bed in one of the private salons of Michelin starred Yi Long Court – traditional Cantonese restaurant.

I was impressed by the fact that, in less than 3 years from opening, The Peninsula Shanghai has established itself as an institution, revered and respected, by travellers and locals alike. During my three night stay, service was flawless! Beyond the genuine smile of each staff, the name recognition, the passion to serve and the ultimate care, The Peninsula Shanghai achieves what very few similar luxury chains can, and that is to leave guests with an impressive collection of memories and a unique sense of pride to have been a guest of the hotel and a desire to return.

In contrast with its classic style, The Peninsula Shanghai excels in tehnological innovation – the touch screen phones and control panels by the bed for temperature, humidity, curtains, lighting and DND; triple glazing assuring perfect soundproofing; unlimited free of charge international calls which can be made from the phones using VOIP, the ”SPA mood” which transforms your private bathroom into a SPA at the simple touch of a button - relaxing music, dimmed lights, automatic DND; the digitally controlled valet box which allows laundry or concierge items to be placed without the valet or housekeeping entering the room.

The afternoon tea in the Lobby which recreates a colonial atmosphere and having a cocktail in the Salon de Ning with its extravagant glamour and 30′s decadence were among my favourite moments at the Peninsula Shanghai. A visit to the Peninsula Shanghai will provide another beautiful surprise, the hotel boasting a stunning luxury shopping arcade – anchored by the flaghship stores or top international luxury brands such as Chanel and Prada. Make sure you do not miss the Peninsula Boutique with its wealth of gift and gourmet offerings and especially the fine chocolaterie of Peninsula Chocolaterie, recently launched.

Oliver Petcu in Shanghai