The Area: Bund
The Edition Hotels is the work of genius of Ian Schrager and Bill Marriott, whose lavish brand is already established in cities like New York, London, Abu Dhabi and Barcelona. There are two in China, The Shanghai Edition in the country’s most vibrant city, and The Sanya Edition on the southern tropical island of Hainan.
The Shanghai Edition spreads over two 1920s Art Deco buildings on the city’s premier shopping street, close to the famous Bund waterfront. The hotel’s vibe is soft-pedaled opulence and muted minimalism, with copious hints of heritage aesthetics like the traditional shikumen bricks in the lobby, and the Electric Circus nightclub, named in honor of the buildings’ former life as the offices of the Shanghai Power Company.
The lobby is extravagant in scale, with the golden glow from the soaring back-lit bar falling on plush couches and creating a Schrager “gathering place” ambiance: The perfect place to seek refuge after a day’s sightseeing and shopping. Behind the bar, the heritage tower’s light-drenched lobby has thick tresses of ivy dangling from the roof, a blue pool table and a massive antiqued mirror reflecting passersby and traffic on bustling Nanjing Road East.
The 145 guestrooms and suites in the new tower are quietly luxuriant with pale oak paneling, soft beige carpets and white marble bathrooms with tubs and showers. Our City View Loft was one of 26. They seem more spacious than their 37m2 (398 square feet) with their extra-high ceilings and soaring windows looking out on the pedestrian end of Nanjing Road East. There are also 11 Grand Bund View Lofts and, in all, 41 Premium, Grand and Loft rooms with that iconic Bund view.
Let’s make one thing clear for anyone who has never been to Shanghai — and even for those who have: Having a Bund view is a bit like winning the lottery, because it means feasting your eyes on the colonial riverside promenade and the iconic skyline of mesmerizing, glittering skyscrapers and towers in the Pudong business district across the Huangpu River. It’s amazing by day and drop-dead breathtaking at night.
Suites start with the 10 Bund Views measuring 88m2 (947 square feet). We thought the most romantic were the two Terrace Suites, Nos. 2602 and 2060, measuring 144m2 (1,549 square feet). With slanting windows, spacious terraces with comfortable seating and full Bund views they were our choice for couples on honeymoon or celebrating a special anniversary.
The Penthouse took our breath away with its oversized coffee table and TV, loft ceilings, white carpets and couches. There is a dining area with a table seating eight, and the tub in the epic all-white bathroom looks straight out on Pudong.
The restaurants, under star chef Jason Atherton, run the gamut of fine Asian and chic international dining. Executive chef Scott Melvin helms the action in the kitchens, from the sophisticated Cantonese sharing menus and disco cocktails in the Canton Disco, to the beautifully plated sashimi, tamaco and tempura choices in HIYA. There is all-day brasserie dining in the Shanghai Tavern where they do elegant à la carte breakfasts, and in the rooftop garden, we had a lovely al fresco lunch with oysters and prawn cocktails, and felt we were in the English countryside.
Top of the house, in every sense, is Roof with full-on Bund vistas, lush ivy hedgerows and lawn landscaping, daybeds, casual seating and a focus on champagne-based cocktails. The hotel also has an indoor swimming pool with city views, a fitness center and a spa where spa manager Katherine Fan says the most popular treatment is the lavender-infused Breeze of the Bund.
We checked in daily with senior concierge Albert Wang who is the person to go to for transfers and other special arrangements. He is a gold mine of information about his city, and told us he likes to steer guests past the brand stores and tourist sights to off-the-grid things to do and see in Shanghai.
Albert sent us to his favorite childhood restaurant where we had the best Xiao Long Bao dumplings ever. Wan Shou Zhai has very simple décor, and you have to queue with locals but it’s well worth the wait for the juiciest — and cheapest — dumplings in town. For upscale dining, Albert likes to point guests to The Peacock Room, which he says is “a tour through the outer limits of Chinese food.”
From: Luxury Travel Advisor
✅ free Wi-Fi • size matters: 145 rooms & suites (46-272m2) (495-2,928 sq ft) • hotel opened: July 2018 • architecture: Neri&Hu • interiors: Neri&Hu, Ian Schrager • parking possible nearby (charged) • no pets allowed • 24-hour front desk