Tried & Tested

Shang­hai

Business Traveler (USA) - - INSIDE -

Lufthansa Grand Kempin­ski Shang­hai In­ter­con­ti­nen­tal Sun Penin­sula Danang

BACK­GROUND In May 2013, Kempin­ski Ho­tels took over the Gran Melia Shang­hai which had first opened in 2010, and re­flagged it the Grand Kempin­ski Ho­tel Shang­hai. Kempin­ski al­ready has a Shang­hai property, THE ONE ser­viced res­i­dence, but the open­ing of the 678-room Grand Kempin­ski Shang­hai rep­re­sents the group’s first ho­tel in the city.

WHAT’S IT LIKE? The lobby is im­mense, but some­how not overwhelming, with plenty of glass and mar­ble and ap­pro­pri­ately sized pieces of col­or­ful dé­cor splashed taste­fully here and there. The he­li­cal dou­ble stair­case is es­pe­cially grand – made me wish I’d packed a tux. Some ho­tel lob­bies prom­ise more than the rooms can deliver. That, how­ever, is cer­tainly not the case at the Grand Kempin­ski Shang­hai; this ex­pan­sive wel­com­ing space was the per­fect setup for the gra­cious and well-de­signed rooms which await the ho­tel’s guests up­stairs.

WHERE IS IT? The Grand Kempin­ski is lo­cated across the Huangpu River from the his­toric Bund in fast-grow­ing Pudong – in fact the ho­tel’s im­pos­ing front por­tico and sign are clearly vis­i­ble from the river. The property is nicely tucked in among the im­por­tant high-rises that mark the fi­nan­cial district of Lu­ji­azui, an en­clave within Pudong. The ho­tel is about 45 min­utes away from both of Shang­hai’s air­ports – in good traf­fic.

ROOM FA­CIL­I­TIES The rooms at the Kempin­ski come with two kinds of views – spec­tac­u­lar and more spec­tac­u­lar. On the one hand, there are city vis­tas of Pudong’s prodi­gious and ever-chang­ing sky­line; on the other, the sweep­ing panorama of the busy Huangpu with the Bund and the rest of Shang­hai be­yond. The Bund views cost a lit­tle more, but if you can swing it, in my opin­ion, it’s money well spent. My Ex­ec­u­tive Bund View room was vast – over 500 square feet – and im­pec­ca­bly ap­pointed. The big pic­ture win­dow gave out onto the river scenes, and the drapes and ev­ery other fix­ture in the room were read­ily ac­ces­si­ble from the bed­side re­mote con­trols. The mar­ble bath, like ev­ery­thing else in the room, was big and well de­signed, with a sooth­ing rain shower and a jet­ted tub.

RESTAURANTS AND BARS The four on-site din­ing op­tions run to the eclec­tic, fea­tur­ing all-day din­ing with ex­ten­sive buf­fet in El­e­ments, Mediter­ranean cui­sine at Ac­qua, a taste of Spain in Al­bero and, nat­u­rally, Can­tonese in the fine din­ing Sun­time Century, which fea­tures all-you-can-eat dim sum. Part of the lobby is given over to a large lounge area with an ex­ten­sive se­lec­tion of li­ba­tions, and the added charm of high tea served in the af­ter­noons. The party’s on in Ha­vana Nights, where you can learn the salsa; or head up to the 30th floor to Red Pas­sion to en­joy a night­cap, DJ beats and more of those sen­sa­tional sky­line views. BUSI­NESS AND MEET­ING

FA­CIL­I­TIES The ho­tel of­fers a free-span Grand Ball­room with a ca­pac­ity of up to 800 guests, plus 13 meet­ing rooms and the Huangpu Au­di­to­rium, Shang­hai’s only ded­i­cated ho­tel au­di­to­rium space. The fa­cil­i­ties are equipped with a si­mul­ta­ne­ous in­ter­pre­ta­tion ca­pa­bil­i­ties, plus com­pre­hen­sive tech­nol­ogy, high-speed in­ter­net and WiFi.

LEISURE FA­CIL­I­TIES The health and fit­ness fa­cil­i­ties at the Grand Kempin­ski are, well, grand. The spa has three treat­ment rooms and a num­ber of spa suites, which also fea­ture a steam room, bath and open ter­race. The gym and 20-me­ter in­door pool are both stun­ning bits of in­te­rior de­sign, in ad­di­tion to hav­ing those out­stand­ing 30th-floor panora­mas.

VER­DICT From the dé­cor to the ser­vice to the views, Kempin­ski has cre­ated a property here that of­fers a su­perb lux­ury ex­pe­ri­ence. In Shang­hai’s in­creas­ingly crowded high-end ho­tel cat­e­gory, the Grand Kempin­ski Shang­hai is a stand­out. BT

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