Winner of the "Winning Wine Lists Ratings," as awarded by Zagat Shanghai Restaurant and Hotels Survey, the 80-seat classy Palladio offers the finest Italian dining experience outside of Italy. Chef de Cuisine Gianluca Serafin and Palladio Italian Restaurant Manager Fabrizio Bosco present a variety of signature dishes blending the best of Italian and Ritz-Carlton traditions. Located on the ground floor of the Portman Ritz-Carlton Shanghai, Palladio has gained a serious reputation among its loyal clientele as one of Shanghai’s finest Italian restaurants.
Whilst the menu is representative of all regions in Italy, there is a particular emphasis on the cuisine of Naples, and Sicily. Through his menu, this talented and passionate chef showcases some of the best seasonal dishes in this booming financial capital of China.
With a strong commitment to sourcing ingredients from small, artisan producers in Italy, Serafin cooks in a way that best represents the flavours and seasonal variations of his home country (and home town of Torino). In true Italian style, he insists on preparing and making all his bread and pasta fresh each day. These main ingredients’ are neatly complimented by the very best in sourced local Chinese produce from specially partnered farms in and around the immediate region.
The restaurant, whose name is inspired by the renowned Italian architect Andrea Palladio, has two dégustation menus that change on a regular basis according to what chef Fabrizio can get his hands on from all the myriad amounts of ingredients’ that are offered.
At Palladio you can expect to sample the team's intricate dishes that seek to reconnect diners with nature, such as the ‘Crispy scampi with pan seared scallops, lemon scented leek, celery, and, green apple infusion’, or the ‘Black ink tonnarelli pasta with lobster, crustacean sauce, basil comfit, and cherry tomatoes’. With such delightful dishes chef Serafin combines his rigorous understanding of ingredients jostle with produce-driven cuisine. This man has culinary magic embedded in his DNA. His food basically dances on your tongue with each delightful spoonful.
Anyone somewhat fatigued by samey high-end restaurants should definitely consider a trip to Palladio, where its hyper-creative, conceptual tasting menu will be equivalent to a round of electric shock therapy, stimulating mind and body alike.
Palladio’s warm and welcoming interior features dark leather banquettes, neutral walls with tumbled stone mosaics. In contrast to its contemporary glass exterior, its entrance showcases a traditional Italian dark wood bar. In the evening, soft lighting creates a relaxed and comfortable ambiance. The staff uniforms were created by the renowned Italian designer Stefano Ricci.
On the whole there are 4 different seating areas that would spoil you apart. Nevertheless, the separate, chef’s table, which accommodates up to 6 people, overlooks the main kitchen allowing guests the opportunity of watching the chefs at work at the wood burning oven. Most people are easily fooled into thinking that Palladio is not part of The Portman Ritz-Carlton, Shanghai- but of course, it is, and if anything, just give it a go and see how taste buds would be delighted on any evening.
The Ritz-Carlton, Beijing was my final Ritz-Carlton property to review (for the moment, until other Ritz-Carlton properties open in China), and I am glad I had waited to review it last (not that I wanted it to be the last one to review!). Why? Well, the interior architecture, and furnishings portray a nostalgic sense of what a true Ritz-Carlton property should be like. So, yes, good things do come to those who wait! Opened in December 2007, this luxury hotel is not quite as modern as The Ritz-Carlton Beijing, Financial Street. Nevertheless, with its 305 well-appointed guest rooms, including 38 suites and 61 Ritz-Carlton Level rooms, it does offer something for everyone from businesspersons right the way through to luxury travellers who prefer a touch of elegance on their travels. The Ritz-Carlton, Beijing is contemporary, yet designed with comfort and relaxation in mind.
The Ritz-Carlton, Beijing is situated in the capital city’s new business hub, known as China Central Place. Centrally situated in one of Beijing’s most fashionable areas and adjacent to Shin Kong Place shopping centre, The Ritz-Carlton, Beijing offers guests unparalleled convenience while providing a luxurious stay.
If you are looking for a bit of calm within the craziness of Beijing’s city life, then The Ritz-Carlton, Beijing could be the place to stay. No matter what the weather outside, rest assured that with the automated temperature controls available in all the rooms will keep you in comfort throughout the four seasons. All the rooms are attractively ornamented in warm, earthly tones that imparts a sense of cosiness and intimacy to guests. Just some of the luxuries of life include the signature Ritz-Carlton 600-thread linens and featherbeds, state-of-the-art in room facilities including iPod®, 42-inch flat screen LCD television and, internet access (wired and wireless). It’s true that from the moment that you step inside your room, you will feel the grandeur envelope you, and draw you into a world of sheer comfort, and perfect security. The hotel is a key preferred accommodation by many distinguished celebs, CEOs, and foreign Royalty. Some of the key reasons for this include the excellent security it provides, it’s close proximity to all the government and corporate offices in Beijing, and it’s only a 30-minute ride to the international airport.
Naturally, these aren’t the only attractions on offer. The Ritz-Carlton, Beijing also has a host of luxurious leisure facilities, such as The Ritz-Carlton Lounge, which is exclusively reserved for Executive Club guests who can indulge themselves in complete privacy. I’ll be the first one to say that nothing beats the feeling of sitting at The Club Lounge, and drinking a fine glass of Bombay Sapphire. It would be a blameless affair with the drink as the chefs at The Club Lounge serve the tempting ‘too good to say no’, all-day light buffets. Oh maybe a dip in the beautiful pool is on the cards for you? Located on the top floor is the indoor heated pool and Jacuzzi with an illuminated roof, where guests can soak or swim at their leisure. You may even find that a nice sauna session after working out at the gymnasium is equally refreshing.
Located at the same level is The Ritz-Carlton Spa, spread over a spacious area of 2,500 square meters. The Spa is divided into Ladies and Gentlemen resting areas. It features nice treatment rooms that including six single lavish treatment rooms with an Aqua Bed, two Couple’s Suites, and a Manicure & Pedicure Salon. If you have just arrived from faraway lands, and are jet-lagged (and tired), then I would highly recommended you commence with a 30-minute Tension relief back massage (costs 380RMB at the time of writing), and then follow it up with a 60-minute Aromatherapy Facial (costs 1000RMB at the time of writing). This combination of a gentle and calming massage on the body and face using a variety of luxury products is to make you feel fresh, restore your inner self, and to neutralize your skin, and restore its natural appearance. It was so good I fell into a deep sleep (I had to be physically woken up!).
Breakfast can be enjoyed in the comfort of your room, or at Aroma at lobby level, the all day dining restaurant that offers international gourmet experiences featuring mouth-watering Chinese, Indian, Japanese, and Southern Asian and Western dishes from an open kitchen setting. Now, if that’s not enough to fill your appetite, then for lunch or dinner there are two more dining options available on the 2nd floor, Yu (Authentic Cantonese), and Barolo (Classic authentic Italian). Fancy a Cigar? Then head off to the lavish Davidoff Lounge. The Ritz-Carlton, Beijing is one of the few Ritz-Carlton properties that specialises in providing authentically imported Cigars of high quality (The Ritz-Carlton, Guangzhou is another one). The Lounge is a luxurious haven to bask in the unmatchable pleasure of exclusive cigars, choice wines, and live entertainment.
In fact, apart from the above, the key things that really make The Ritz-Carlton, Beijing a firm favourite among Chinese guests is that it’s one of the only hotels in the city that offers excellent one stop shop for weddings (including a wedding chapel). The hotel features more than 1,100 square meters of meeting and conference space, including a Grand Ballroom, six function rooms, three meeting rooms, one boardroom, and the only wedding chapel within the hotel in Beijing. Therefore the wedding experience at the hotel is all-encompassing; the Chapel features a preparation room, separate resting rooms for the bride and groom, an outdoor Rose garden where wedding cocktails can be held. In 21st Century China, Chinese people are spending BIG MONEY on their weddings (much more than they would on their honeymoons!); and so there is no better way to say ‘I do!’ than to walk down the aisle in style in front of your friends and family (or the who’s who of Beijing), at The Ritz-Carlton, Beijing. Evidence of this struck me straight in the face- while I was residing at the hotel I witnessed two simultaneous weddings. So, yes, this is the place to be at if you want to get married in Beijing.
The hotel features more than 1,100 square meters of meeting and conference space, including a Grand Ballroom, six function rooms, three meeting rooms, one boardroom, and the only wedding chapel within the hotel in Beijing. The wedding experience at the hotel is all encompassing; the Chapel features a preparation room, separate resting rooms for the bride and groom, an outdoor Rose garden where wedding cocktails can be held. An opulent and personalized wedding can be staged in the Grand Ballroom. The hotel offers a one-stop-shop service by collaborating with some of Beijing’s premier wedding service providers including beauty stylists, wedding gown couturiers, photographers, floral designers, and jewellers.
The impeccable service of The Ritz-Carlton, Beijing, is further executed by the multi-lingual concierge team, and personalised service that is unmatchable anywhere else. So in many ways, a stay at The Ritz-Carlton, Beijing is perfect for you whether you are sight-seeing, have a night in town (oh we love Beijing Duck!), or simply just get away from the stress of life and soak in the surroundings of the beauty of your room. Whatever tickles your fancy, the property is definitely designed to last through rapidly changing times and trends that will encompass Beijing for years to come. So, how can you resist falling into the lap of luxury?
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