The El­e­gant Art Ho­tel in Shang­hai

Luxe Beat Magazine - - Contents - By Jill Wein­lein

While vis­it­ing our daugh­ter who was study­ing at Donghua Univer­sity in Shang­hai, my hus­band and I stayed at the lux­u­ri­ous Man­darin Oriental in Pudong. Built in 2013, the property is also known as the “Art Ho­tel,” with 4,000 pieces of art­work dis­played through­out the el­e­gant property show­cas­ing 50 dif­fer­ent artists.

This area of Pudong is also known as “Sky­scrapers in Green­belts.” The most dis­tinc­tive and unique sky­scraper is the Oriental Pearl Tele­vi­sion Tower. It looks like ma­genta lu­mi­nous pearls that shine dur­ing the day and night sky of Shang­hai.

While the Bund is lo­cated along the Huangpu River and is the old­est area in Shang­hai, Pudong is newer. Less than 20 years ago, Pudong was all farms. This property is in the newer new Har­bour City de­vel­op­ment. It’s the only ho­tel in the area with a pri­vate boat dock for el­e­gant river cruises.

Guests are wel­comed into the high-ceil­ing lobby with an im­pres­sive art mas­ter­piece of 71,459 glass tiles. Each tile is 2”x 2” in size, dis­play­ing a mo­saic of a for­est. Nearby are large black stones carved as rip­ples in wa­ter. Above are cir­cu­lar light fix­tures hung at an­gles that rep­re­sent large di­a­mond wed­ding bands.

The staff at this property is ex­ten­sively trained in hos­pi­tal­ity to please each guest from check-in to check-out. We were taken up to the taste­fully-dec­o­rated sec­ond floor Club Lounge to enjoy a bev­er­age and snack, as we were ef­fi­ciently checked in and given our keys to an Ex­ec­u­tive view suite and an at­tached Deluxe Twin room for my daugh­ters.

The Club Lounge ben­e­fits in­clude break­fast, a light lunch and af­ter­noon tea dur­ing the day. Evening cock­tails and snacks are avail­able be­fore sun­set. Ben­e­fits also in­clude on-call but­ler ser­vice, concierge ser­vice and laun­dry, press­ing and dry clean­ing of two pieces of gar­ments per day and un­lim­ited high speed In­ter­net ac­cess through­out the ho­tel.

Our room oozed el­e­gance with its soft color pal­ette decor and mul­ti­mil­lion dol­lar views of Shang­hai. Our room had a lux­ury sit­ting area and bed­room with a king-size bed dressed in lux­u­ri­ous Frette linens.

In­side the closet were silk robes and plush slip­pers. Be­yond was the mar­ble bath­room with a soak­ing bath­tub po­si­tioned next to the floor-to-ceil­ing win­dows to take ad­van­tage of the mag­nif­i­cent city and river views.

I en­joyed the op­u­lent bath­room ameni­ties by Or­monde Jayne and plush terry bathrobes by Frette be­fore tour­ing the ho­tel with Ce­cilia Yang, the Mar­ket­ing Man­ager of the property.

We met on the sec­ond floor to learn more about the lo­cal art. Among the pres­ti­gious names in the ex­ten­sive col­lec­tion is Chi­nese artist Lai De Quan, a na­tional-level mas­ter artist whose pieces have been pre­sented to sev­eral world dig­ni­taries. “Mas­ter Lai has cre­ated 44 porce­lain pieces es­pe­cially for the ho­tel,” said Yang. This tal­ented artist in­vented a new tech­nique of glaze paint­ing di­rectly onto tra­di­tional Jingdezhen porce­lain for his panel col­lec­tion, Scenes of Jiang­nan. “Guests can see th­ese on dis­play in the guest room cor­ri­dors and Pres­i­den­tial Suite,” said Yang as we walked past one of the artist’s pieces.

Yang took me to the MO (Man­darin Oriental) Spa to see a mul­ti­tude of

el­e­gant porce­lain but­ter­flies. “No other liv­ing crea­ture un­der­goes such dra­matic change as the but­ter­fly,”said Yang. “Guests feel re­ju­ve­nated af­ter ex­pe­ri­enc­ing a re­lax­ing treat­ment.” Each room is named af­ter the word but­ter­fly in a dif­fer­ent lan­guage. The hall­way was spa­cious and the Papil­lon spa suite had two ta­bles and an ex­tra large bath­tub.

Strolling over to the restau­rants, I learned that each one of­fers in­door and out­door pa­tio din­ing. Zest is the multi-sta­tion restau­rant lo­cated on the LG level offering al­fresco break­fast, lunch and din­ner. Nearby were whim­si­cal mod­ern ink art­works by Da Cai. The fo­cus was fish and in­spi­ra­tion from a quote from the an­cient Chi­nese philoso­pher Zhuang Zi. “The artist re­flects on the na­ture of how the be­hav­ior of fish re­sem­bles that of hu­mans,” Yang in­formed me. “Cai also in­cor­po­rates her pas­sion for food.” In­side the Art-deco-in­spired Fifty 8 Grill, I learned that the ac­claimed Miche­lin-starred chef Richard Ekke­bus over­sees this French fu­sion menu us­ing the fresh­est in­gre­di­ents with ex­cep­tional kitchen crafts­man­ship. In­side the din­ing room are a few eye­catch­ing art pieces.

Lo­cated on the lower ground of the ho­tel, the Chi­nese restau­rant Yong Yi Ting’s chef Tony Lu pre­pares health­ier dishes. “The food is pre­sented in a re­fined din­ing way,” stated Yang. The star art piece is a lady in a tra­di­tional one-piece Chi­nese dress and a col­lec­tion of linked chains hang­ing down near silk ban­ners.

There is a pri­vate wine-tast­ing room sit­u­ated in­side the cel­lar for in­ti­mate wine-pair­ing din­ners with re­gional Jiang Nan cui­sine. Us­ing only the finest and fresh­est sea­sonal in­gre­di­ents, Chef Lu adds a touch of moder­nity to both his pre­sen­ta­tion and cook­ing tech­niques.

At the end of the tour, we vis­ited the neigh­bor­ing tower that houses ser­vice apart­ments, with stu­dio to three-bed­room suites for long-term guests and ex­pats.

Af­ter my tour, I learned that con­nect­ing eclec­tic art with lux­u­ri­ous rooms and fine din­ing ap­peals to Man­darin Oriental’s af­flu­ent guests.

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