In Shanghaiist’s monthly Hotelist feature, we take a sneak peek at the various hotels around town that have caught our fancy. This week, China’s tallest hotel: Park Hyatt Shanghai at the SWFC.
Where: 100 Century Avenue, Pudong New Area 200120 世纪大道100号 邮政编码 200120
Opening Date: September 1st, 2008
Number of Rooms: 174, including 14 suites
Rate per Night: 1,750 to 88,200RMB
High above the blaring car horns and the smell of stinky tofu, somewhere around the point where the city’s smog meets the clouds, the Park Hyatt Shanghai keeps a watchful eye over the Huangpu River. The hotel, which is located near the top of Shanghai’s World Financial Center, has been the subject of great deal of talk since it opened last year, not only for its guestrooms but also for the restaurant, bar, and lounge that reside on its top floors.
Upon first entering the Park Hyatt, one thing becomes perfectly clear- this hotel does not feel the need to oversell itself from the outside. Rather than proving its decadence through gaudy chandeliers and animal skins, the Park Hyatt takes a sparse, modern approach. The entrance itself feels more like the World Financial Center’s side door than a hotel at all – if it weren’t for the doorman and concierge, it would be impossible to discern it from the rest of the building. Once inside, however, the hotel shows the first of many spectacles to come with a set of sliding glass doors, giving guests the feeling that they may be on the set of Star Trek rather than an actual hotel.
The lobby, located on the 87th floor, is set in front of a lounge area in which food and drinks are served. The prices for refreshments are high, but so is the view – not only in the lobby, but indeed in the entire hotel. The building in which the hotel is located, the Shanghai World Financial Center, is the highest in Shanghai, and stands as one of the tallest in the world. The views from the Park Hyatt, located on some of the topmost floors of the building, are consequently some of the most breathtaking in China, affording an ideal view of the Pearl Tower, Bund, and greater Puxi.
In that sense, the Park Hyatt Shanghai seems to be based on some twisted desire to earn as many superlatives as possible. Not only is it the highest hotel on Earth, but it also holds the record for highest restaurant, highest lounge area and… the longest laundry chute. The good news is that hotel guests benefit greatly from this need to be the tallest, most modern, and most helpful.
One of the Park Hyatt’s primary draws is in the services offered outside the room. The hotel’s 85th floor is host to a swimming pool, Wellness Studio (spa), library and gym, all of which are brushed with the modern flair that permeates the entire hotel. One floor above, the hotel offers meeting spaces and small to medium-sized conference rooms – after all, it was originally geared to affluent businesspeople looking for plush accommodations close to all the [financial] action.
The restaurant, named 100 Century Avenue (after their address), is located at the very top and boasts the same spectacular views if not quite that spectacular food. The accompanying bar regularly offers live music nights as well as a ladies night for both hotel guests and Shanghairen, but don’t get any ideas of a true party – it’s clear that the Park Hyatt is above all a peaceful environment for its guests.
Though we found one or two small nuisances with the hotel itself – such as having extremely dim lighting and a server-to-guest ratio that would make anyone blush from all the attention – the Park Hyatt manages to do what almost no other Shanghai hotel can; it makes obvious just how luxurious the hotel is without coming across as being pretentious or uncomfortable. Through balanced simplicity and meticulous design, the hotel knows how to appeal Eastern and Western guests, milking its ideal views from the top of the city for all they’re worth.
Knowing that the price is steep but the rewards are many, Shanghaiist recommends the Park Hyatt for chic and memorable lodging that, for everything it offers, is a destination in and of itself. And if you can put it on an expense card, all the better.