For those who follow me on my Instagram, you probably have seen me posting my recent trip to Shanghai, Singapore and Bangkok. This post is the start of my journey to Asia.
Wanda Reign on The Bund is a luxury hotel in its own class. The location itself is prime real estate as it is situated on Shanghai’s South Bund. It is within sight of the action but around a 20-minute walk away. The South Bund is great in its own right, home to Yu Gardens, the Cool Docks, the kaleidoscopic fabric market and a rapidly disappearing low-rise 1920’s neighborhood. The views across the Huangpu River towards Pudong are sensational.
When I stepped into its palatial Art-Deco inspired lobby, I felt nothing but awe. The jade inlaid floors toward a wall-sized abstract painting of Shanghai by renowned Chinese contemporary artist Shi Qi. Large Carrera marble columns extend to a 10-meter-high ceiling.
Other artworks, commissioned specifically for the hotel, are paired with old Shanghai elements to reflect the city’s style during the 1920s and ’30s. Swarovski drips from every ceiling, brick-thick Chinese rugs roll down the corridors and entire walls are plastered in LED video screens. The statement-making interiors may not be to everyone’s taste but they do offer an extraordinary insight into China’s nouveau riche (it is owned by Wang Sicong, the son of China’s richest man) and how they envision themselves and their place in the world.
When you do make it to the pool, it’s very futuristic looking and it has partial views of the surrounding neighborhood and Yu Gardens.
My room had a luxurious and distinguished style, which flaunts a Forbidden City meets Versailles vibe, with hand-painted silk screens, cloud-patterned rugs and lashings of gilt and crystal. The LED TV screen was on when I arrived and realized my name was written to welcome me and the lovely tray of fresh fruits with a lovely note from the staff, beside the leather massage chair. (That massage chair was a godsend especially after a 14-hour flight from New York City!) The size of this Grand Deluxe Bund View Room is spacious, easily about 1,000 square feet and the drop dead gorgeous view of the Bund.
The glorious bathroom that comes with a deep walk-in, marble shower and a golden clawfoot tub to soak in. The bath products are by the French brand L’Occitane.
There are four restaurants in this hotel and I’ve dined at River Drunk, a fine-dining Huaiyang cuisine (淮陽), which I will write separately, and a really good breakfast at Cafe Reign.
Cafe Reign is a very pretty restaurant with the soft color palate of teal, lavender, and the gorgeous gray marble. Like everything else in the hotel, the artwork is about Shanghai (the black and white photos on the wall), a regal peacock taxidermy in an enclosed glass display toward the back of the restaurant, and the futuristic, topographic stainless steel mountainscape sculpture by Huang Qicheng found near the entrance.
The cuisine served here spans from Shanghainese, that is prominently stationed at the front of the restaurant, to the Western foods. The latter covering charcuterie, cold breakfast cereals and chilled muesli, various jewel-like pastries and loaves of bread, a juice bar where you may customize your beverage, and of course fresh fruit.
The Shanghainese food I have enjoyed immensely. The made-to-order bowl of Shanghainese style wonton soup was light and the wontons itself is not what most are familiar with (as in Hong Kong style) as it contains less filling but the flavor is clean and delicious. The assortment of dim sum are solidly executed. The fresh hot soy milk was wonderful.
When it comes to the baked goods and desserts station toward the back, there were also Chinese style baked buns —the pork floss buns (肉酥包) and a few lovely Japanese style daifuku available.
Overall, it was a great stay. I just wish I had more time at this hotel! The room was very quiet and the bed was very comfortable. It was a late overnight stay and I had a morning flight to the next city: Singapore.
To see more photos of this stay, please click here or view the gallery below:[alpine-phototile-for-flickr src=”set” uid=”26389565@N00″ sid=”72157679816842508″ imgl=”flickr” shuffle=”1″ style=”gallery” row=”4″ grwidth=”1200″ grheight=”800″ size=”640″ num=”30″ shadow=”1″ border=”1″ align=”center” max=”100″]
538 Zhong Shan Dong Er Road
Shanghai, P.R. China