World Fair city!
The fast-growing, fast-changing face of China: Shanghai enjoyed its role as the flamboyant window to a booming empire long before Expo 2010 came along. Once the Paris of the East, Shanghai is now the cultural and commercial heart of China. Eleven tips for a great trip to perhaps the world’s most exciting city
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Shanghai’s fashionable hotels, bars & restaurants: spectacular view included
Grand Hyatt Shanghai Hotel:
The Grand Hyatt Shanghai presides above the city like a lighthouse in one of China’s tallest buildings, the Jin Mao Tower. The lobby is on the 54th floor and the jazz bar Cloud 9 can be found on the 87th. This luxury hotel has 555 rooms grouped around a 33-story atrium, and the windows extend from the ceiling to the floor. The view? Simply breathtaking!
Grand Hyatt Shanghai Hotel: Jin Mao Tower, 88 Century Avenue, Pudong. Tel. +86-21/ 50 49 12 34, http://www.shanghai.grand.
This cozy bar belonging to the Grand Hyatt is located on the 87th floor of the famous Jin Mao Tower. You can see the entire city from up there and even some of Shanghai’s satellite towns off in the distance. The room is small, by Chinese standards, and it’s kept quite dark so as not to interfere with the outside view. International drinks and cocktails as well as Asian finger food are served at the bar. The seating areas on raised platforms are the most popular of all because the view from there is even more incredible.
Cloud 9: Jin Mao Tower, 88 Century Avenue, Tel. +86-21/50 49 12 34, http://www.shanghai.grand.
M on the Bund & Glamour Bar:
A restaurant with an elegant, relaxed atmosphere and a wonderful terrace with a great view of the Bund. It has won numerous prizes since it opened in the historical Nissin Shipping Building in 1999. The food is European with a Middle Eastern touch, and guests will want to finish off the evening with an after-dinner drink or two in the chic Glamour Bar.
M on the Bund & Glamour Bar: 5 The Bund, entrance on Guangdong Road, Tel. +86-21/63 50 99 88, http://www.m-onthebund.com
Tradition & modern design: going out and shopping for luxuries in the mega-metropolis
The place to go to see and be seen. The champagne society meets here in one of Shanghai’s most elegant bars to sip their favorite drink and enjoy the city skyline from the huge roof terrace. The interior is a mix of cool design and traditional Chinese style, and the night will pass quickly thanks to excellent cocktails and the DJ’s throbbing beats.
Bar Rouge: 18 Zhongshan Dong Yi Road, Tel. +86-21/63 39 11 99, http://www.bar-rouge-shanghai.com
A concept store dedicated to the eponymous Chinese luxury brand and one of the few in China. The label combines traditional Chinese influences with modern design, and the store has a very wide selection of products. Shanghai Tang stores originated in Hong Kong but can now be found all over the western world, for instance in Madrid, Frankfurt, Las Vegas and New York.
Shanghai Tang: e.g. Jin Jiang Hotel, Shop E, 59 Mao Ming Road South, Tel. +86-21/54 66 30 06, http://www.shanghaitang.com
International art & modern Chinese craftsmanship in Shanghai
Han Feng Design:
Dresses, suits, accessories: Viewers and shoppers are welcome at designer Han Feng’s studio shop. The extravagant silk creations by this designer, who lives in China and the USA, are almost irresistible. Some of her work has been exhibited at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London.
Han Feng Design: Jin Jiang Hotel, 59 Mao Ming Road South, Grosvenor House, Suite 3EF, Viewing by appointment only, Tel. +86-137 01 76 40 60,
The International Artist Factory in the romantic Taikang Road district (not to be confused with Taicang Road) has dedicated itself to high-quality products and modern craftsmanship with an ecological and social approach. The Artist Factory makes everything from bamboo tableware to premium writing paper.
Nest: Taikang Road, lane 210, Studio 201, 2. Stock, Tel. +86-21/64 66 95 24, http://www.nestshanghai.com
Elisabeth de Brabant Art Center:
This art gallery, which opened recently in a four-story building dating from 1933, shows the works of contemporary Chinese and international artists including Xiao Hui Wang, Beili Liu and Shiau Jon Jen. Elisabeth de Brabant, the founder and director from New York, also organizes changing exhibitions, readings, film evenings and round-table discussions.
Elisabeth de Brabant Art Center: 299 Fuxing Xi Road, Tel. +86-21/64 66 74 28, http://www.elisabethdebrabant.com
Acrobatics as a multimedia spectacle, highlights of contemporary Asian art
Era - Intersection of Time:
The extraordinary show performed beneath the golden dome of Shanghai Circus World is a combination of traditional Chinese acrobatics and high-tech effects. No visitor to Shanghai should miss this incredible multimedia spectacle.
Era – Intersection of Time: 2266 Gonghexin Road, tickets at Tel. +86-21/66 52 54 68, http://www.era-shanghai.com
When Swiss arts manager Lorenzo Rudolf founded the ShContemporary art fair in 2007, he added another venue to the international art scene calendar besides Miami, Basle and London. Asian and western galleries exhibit the most exciting contemporary art that Asia has to offer at the Shanghai Exhibition Center - a gingerbread house from the forties that Stalin once presented as a gift to Mao.
Pictures: Corbis, Lucas Gurdjan/Warehousestudio, PR (10)