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Inside Shanghai's first seven star hotel

Konstantin Sheiko
April 10, 2018

Located in the heart of Shanghai, a creation of glass and steel, Wanda Reign on the Bund features spectacular views of the Bund, Huangpu River and Pudong skyline. Owned by Chinese property billionaire Wang Jianlin, it took three years and half-a-billion dollars to build. It is China’s first seven-star hotel, adding sparkle to the well-known Shanghai promenade.  

The property tycoon’s Wanda Hotels & Resorts has opened more than 100 outfits in the past five years. Wanda Reign on the Bund, is the group’s ultra-luxe Shanghai flagship. Much of the half-a-billion dollar price tag went into commissioning dozens of quirky sculptures, avant-garde paintings and murals, displayed across the indoor and outdoor spaces. Wang is known as an art connoisseur and supporter of Chinese contemporary culture.   

The experience begins when you step into the palatial lobby, dominated by the Splendid Orient, an enormous impressionist painting of Shanghai by contemporary artist Shi Qi. The custom masterpiece showcases an abstract expression of the vibrant and modern metropolis, which has gone through a great socio-economic metamorphosis over the last two decades.  

Perched in the middle of the city’s centre, the hotel's strategic location ensures that its guests can quickly and easily reach many local points of interest, offering easy access to the city's must-see destinations. Many of the hotel rooms overlook the city’s evolving skyline, plus tinier art pieces. Corner rooms with floor-to-ceiling windows face the Bund, Huangpu River and the modern Pudong district, with the kitschy Oriental Pearl Tower in plain sight. the hotel is within walking distance to Yu Garden, countless restaurants and cultural attractions.  

190 rooms spread over 21 floors provide a warm and pleasant home atmosphere. Modern gadgets and comforts such as LCD/plasma screen television sets, air purifiers, and bathroom phones can be found in selected rooms. The hotel offers fantastic facilities, including hot tub, fitness centre, sauna, indoor pool, and a spa to help you unwind after an action-packed day in the city.  An Ogawa massage chair, a rare hotel amenity, is placed beside the window in hotel’s corner rooms, encouraging maximum use. 

Delicate silk-embroidered magnolia motifs over the bed, plus amber-coloured rhinestones, 3D mosaic tiling and a gold claw-foot tub in the bathroom illustrate the room’s flamboyant intent. Cutting-edge technology is ubiquitous. Peepholes are swapped with convenient digital screens to show a live feed of whose waiting at the door and iPad smart controls replace the use of buttons and knobs for curtains, lightings and temperature settings. 

The hotel offers a range of five dining marquees, including He Japanese restaurant that is located on the fifth-level, and open only at night. Behind the sleek bar the Tokyo-native chef Kikuchi Yoshiyuki will offer you his specially concocted and very potent shochu to pair with omakase-style dishes and Edomae sushi. The hotel also has an excellent breakfast buffet for those travellers that like to rise early.  

Head to the rooftop bar Marc after dinner and toast Shanghai’s high life with an array of speciality cocktails. When it is finally time to leave, the hotel’s chauffeured Rolls-Royce Phantom, supposedly owned by Wang himself, is available to see you to the airport in style.