By far the best known and most iconic hotel for UK visitors, and part of the Fairmont trilogy along with New York’s Plaza and London’s Savoy Hotel, The Fairmont Peace Hotel occupies a prime riverfront position in Shanghai, with views across the Bund to the buildings of the Pudong business district. With the popular Bund boardwalk on one side and the designer boutiques of the busy NangJing Road on the other you will be perfectly placed to explore the city.
The hotel’s history
The hotel’s British founder, Victor Sassoon, came to Shanghai in 1925 and replaced the original 4 storey building with an exclusive hotel which first opened as The Cathay Hotel in 1929. Its perfect position and stunning ball room – the Peace Hall – ensured that it quickly became, and remained, the most fashionable place for all high society events, as well as the hotel of choice for foreign visitors as diverse as Noël Coward, Charlie Chaplin and Viscount Montgomery.
The hotel was used as government buildings from 1952-56 before re-opening as the Peace Hotel from 1956-2007. It closed for major refurbishment at the same time as it’s sister hotel, The Savoy in London, and re-opened in 2010 restored to its 1930’s Art Deco style glory. The Art Deco theme runs throughout with original Lalique glass, an original glass domed lobby and custom-designed claw footed bath tubs in every bathroom.
Bars and Restaurants
The Jazz Bar appears on almost every “must see” list and is home to the oldest jazz band in the world. With six members and a combined age of 482, they perform old Shanghai tunes 365 night of the year.
The Jasmine lounge is a tranquil lounge on the ground floor where traditional tea daily is served and a Tea Dance is held every Saturday afternoon.
The 9th floor Cathay Restaurant serves western food and has a large terrace with views across the Bund as well as an intimate balcony for romantic meals for two.
The Dragon Phoenix Restaurant is one of the most popular Chinese restaurants in the city and we enjoyed an exceptional and sensibly priced meal there overlooking the night lights of the Pudong area and the river boats. A fantastic western and Chinese breakfast buffet is served here to guests every morning.
The rooms and suites
All of the hotel’s rooms are spacious and luxurious, with large walk in wardrobes, desk and sofa, marble bathrooms with showers and free standing baths, coffee machine and mini-bar.
There are 39 suites including a Presidential Suite. Their 7 Signature Riverview Suites have double doors opening onto a large living room, dining room and bedroom, all flooded with natural light and facing the river.
The hotel also has a series of “Nine Nations” suites; American, Chinese, English, French, German, Indian, Italian, Japanese and Spanish. Each one is a history lesson, individually designed to recreate the 1930’s era – exotic arches, peacock feathers, iron lattice work, stained glass windows and an authentic Indian wine decanter and glasses in the Indian suite, oak panelling and a traditional fireplace In the English suite and an American suite straight from The Great Gatsby. There is a separate sitting room, dining room and full bar in each suite, and the hotel has an extensive in-room dining menu. Suites are from £1000 upwards.
The Willow Stream Spa
The spa area is exclusively for over 18’s and includes a spa boutique, yoga studio, gym, separate saunas and steam rooms and a really nice pool with natural light and comfortable loungers. They offer a range of treatments including massage for couples in a double treatment suite with a double bath tub and sitting area for tea within the suite. Access to the spa area is included for all guests at the hotel.
Weddings at The Fairmont Peace Hotel
This is the first place that Shanghai high society will consider for wedding receptions, although it’s prices ensures that it remains fairly exclusive, with 2-4 weddings each month, and the most popular months of May and October booking up a year in advance. It is easy to understand why it is so popular; their function room, the Peace Hall, is absolutely stunning with pillars, a row of chandeliers and a sprung maple floor. The Shanghai Room can be used for small receptions or for brides to prepare.
Contact the Fairmont Peace Hotel
Read more about the Fairmont Peace Hotel here or visit their website.
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