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June 18, 2009updated Feb 08, 2013

The Peninsula Shanghai to Bow Late 2009

By Pardhasaradhi Gonuguntla

Opening in late 2009, the ninth property in The Peninsula Hotels’ portfolio fronts the historic Bund with spectacular views of the Bund, Huangpu River, Pudong and the gardens of the former British Consulate, and blends with the historic architecture of its landmark neighbors along the Bund – a UNESCO-designated Modern Heritage Site.

The opening of The Peninsula Shanghai heralds the return of parent company The Hongkong and Shanghai Hotels Limited to its roots, as it owned and operated four of Shanghai’s most celebrated hotels – The Kalee, Majestic, Palace and Astor House Hotels – in the first half of the last century. With a distinguished heritage as Asia’s oldest hotel company, The Peninsula Hotels is proud that its newest hotel returns to Shanghai, one of the world’s most exciting cities.

Superbly located on the historic Bund in the very heart of Shanghai, on the banks of the Huangpu River and conveniently located near the shopping capital of Nanjing Road, The Peninsula Shanghai offers commanding city and garden views, luxurious comfort, sophisticated facilities, extraordinary dining options and the legendary Peninsula service.

A homage to Shanghai in the 1920s and 1930s, The Peninsula Shanghai recreates the look and feel of this glamorous era when Shanghai was feted as “The Paris of the East”, yet also offers the latest in state-of-the-art technology, services and amenities.

Guest facilities and services include three superb gastronomic choices, wedding facilities, recreation options, luxury retail shops and other business services including customized airport and transportation service and valet parking

Shanghai is celebrated for its glorious Art Deco architecture, and thus The Peninsula Shanghai’s design brief was dictated by this historic architectural movement from the 1920s and 30s in order to blend in with its neighbors on the Bund.

However, rather than slavishly imitating the historic designs on the Bund, the New York-based architect David Beer, formerly of BBG/Architects, and Paris-based interior designer Pierre-Yves Rochon of PYR pay tribute to the influences and reference of the Art Deco movement with a modern interpretation inspired by Art Deco – simplified, yet using many of the same materials and design motifs.

Working with Shanghai’s municipal planning authorities, architects BBG submitted at least 10 building designs before approval was granted. The principal Bund façade rises to 10 stories, then steps back with a series of terraces that skilfully sculpt the massing and proportions of The Peninsula to relate it and pay homage to its historic neighbors. Providing visual continuity through the decades, the exterior of the hotel is clad in granite from the same quarry as many of the other buildings along the Bund.

Guestrooms and Suites
The Peninsula Shanghai’s 235 guestrooms (including 55 suites) are amongst the largest in Shanghai, with a typical Deluxe Guestroom being 55 sq m (600 sq ft), and most featuring stunning views of Pudong, the Huangpu River, the Bund or the gardens of the former British Consulate. The rooms are elegantly designed to provide luxurious comfort and features, with Art Deco-inspired interiors seamlessly blending traditional Peninsula standards of comfort and state-of-the-art technology with elements of Chinese heritage. Exotic woods, imported stones, black lacquer, carved glass and accents of polished chrome combine to create a luxurious environment where design meets functionality, and Art Deco meets technology. In tones of celadon or cerulean blue and ivory, the interior design incorporates a number of traditional materials used in Shanghai in the 1920s – the rich figures of mahogany and ebony for the loose furniture and millwork, and the dramatic contrasts of black Noir St Laurent and off-white St Talino stones. Carpets are 100% wool and hand-tufted. Polished chrome Art Deco details throughout the room, such as the chandeliers and decorative lamp stands, contrast with Chinese accents, including hand-painted panels on the black lacquer TV cabinet, providing a unique and distinctive sense of place – a signature Peninsula feature in each property around the world.

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A typical guest room is sub-divided into discreet elements of bedroom, bathroom and dressing room. A “privacy door” allows the bedroom to be closed off from the rest of the room, creating the sense of privacy of a suite in a typical room.

The guestroom’s opaque glass door opens to reveal interior space that combines an open plan living room and work area with stunning views of Pudong, the Huangpu River, the Bund or the gardens of the former British Consulate.

The spacious, self-contained dressing room and walk-in closet includes a seated dressing table, the signature Peninsula valet box for discreet pick-up and delivery of polished shoes, laundry and dry-cleaning, a large electronic safe, a luggage rack, for two suitcases, Internet radio, weather display panel, and a “nail dryer. “

Typical guestroom features also include complimentary wireless high-speed Internet access, a bedside panel with remote control capabilities to adjust the room environment with a touch of a button, interfaced Entertainment Centre with a46” LCD television and enhanced international television programming, CD/DVD player with 5.1 sound bar and Internet radio, four-in-one fax/printer/scanner/photocopier machine, dual voltage outlets (110V/220V), individual thermostat and humidity control and a complete Nutrition Centre with a fully stocked mini-bar, Nespresso™ coffee machine and tea-making facilities.

The impressive lacquer working desk is complete with modern-day conveniences – high-speed Internet access, international Internet radio, weather panel, iPod docking station and more.
The large cream marble bathroom is complete with double vanity, hands-free telephone function, mood lighting, TV/radio, separate bath and rain shower, accented by carved opaque glass panels and an intricate floral carving above the bathtub, hand-carved in limestone to a French design. A spa button beside the bathtub dims the lights, activates the “Do Not Disturb” function on the phone and doorbell and switches on soothing music for relaxation while watching television or simply luxuriating in the tub.

Named after The Peninsula Shanghai’s forebears, The Palace, Majestic and Astor House Hotels, the premier suites offer unique attributes to ensure they become Shanghai’s preferred locations for glamour and luxury. The Palace Suite features a magnificent 1,000 sq m (11,000 sq ft) wrap-around terrace, ideal for entertaining – the largest private terrace on the Bund with a marquee for all-weather events, while the Astor Suite’s private terrace features its own whirlpool bath, with both suites offering stunning views over The Huangpu River and Pudong skyline. The hotel’s top suite, The Peninsula Suite, offers a glamorous double-height living space and balcony, with views over the historic Bund, the Huangpu River and the Pudong skyline.

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