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October 22, 2012updated Feb 11, 2013

Hengshan Haute; Starwood Hotels Brings 5-Star Luxury to Shanghai’s Most Historic Neighborhood

By Pardhasaradhi Gonuguntla

Shanghai, China–Reported by Coleman Bentley for Elite Traveler, the private jet lifestyle magazine

In November, on Shanghai’s plane tree-adorned Hengshan Road, the rapidly expanding Chinese luxury market will take on another name: Twelve at Hengshan. A Luxury Collection Hotel, the 171-room icon-in-the-making is the fourth property in China for Starwood’s premium Luxury Collection brand, offering a truly unique stay for a truly unique traveler.

Twelve at Hengshan is the only five-star luxury hotel within Shanghai’s most romantic and history-filled Hengshan Road neighborhood, adding to the area’s thrilling contrast with atmospheric lanes, art deco villas, and charming restaurants. Contemporary architecture is provided by Italian architect Mario Botta, whose iconic structures include the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and New York-based cult hospitality design duo Yabu Pushelberg, who also designed St Regis, San Francisco and W Hotel, Times Square New York. Tucked beneath the hotel’s 20,000 natural terracotta tiles baked in and imported from Italy, is a traditional Chinese ‘Secret Garden’ for hotel guests enhances Twelve at Hengshan’s unique character and soothing Zen ambience.

Inside stylish design and thoughtful touches, including hand-painted Oriental screens and silk lanterns, cultivate an opulent atmosphere that courses throughout the 171 guestrooms and suites, a list that includes the sprawling 3,638-square-foot Presidential Suite. Over half the rooms have spacious private balconies looking inward, across the Garden courtyard, offering a purer form entertainment for guests who have tired of their residence’s high-tech amenities, which include 46 or 52-inch TVs (15-inchers in the bathrooms), iPod docks and complimentary Wi-Fi access.

For the convenience of your palate, Twelve at Hengshan offers authentic dining experiences and personalized service at two signature restaurants and a lobby lounge. All-day brasserie Tops & Terrace serves Mediterranean cuisine and Asian classics on its refined a la carte menu and extravagant nightly buffet. A true fusion of world food cultures, the restaurant features three open kitchens—including a French rotisserie and Italian pizza oven—a glass wine cellar and a fifth-floor roof terrace offering European BBQ and alfresco dining.

After trying restaurant 12 Hengshan’s fresh take on Shanghainese cuisine, using essences of Cantonese cooking to highlight organic and,The Lobby Lounge’s fresh-brewed teas, juices and wines, head over to Starwood’s largest Shanghai Spa for relaxation in the 7,663-square-foot Spa’s 14 double and single treatment rooms (as well as a VIP treatment room). Also including a Tepidarium, a Salt Stone BIO Sauna Room, a Herbal Steam Room, an Experience Shower Room and Ice Fountain, the Spa offers the ideal decompression space after a long day of shopping around the Secret Garden perimeter, which contains a retail promenade brimming with famous brand boutiques.

As part of the Luxury Collection service, Twelve at Henghan offers guests exclusive tours to visit the hidden gems of Shanghai’s most romantic neighborhood. Guests can discover delightful cafes, former residences of celebrities and aristocrats, custom tailors and shoemakers, and many more insider secrets…though we suspect that once you experience the hotel, you will never want to leave.

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