As part of the Grand Hyatt portfolio in China, Hyatt on the Bund is the third Hyatt property in Shanghai and proudly stands tall in the most historical part of the city overlooking the notable Bund. Opened in 2007, the hotel has started to draw VIPs and the well-known like moths to a flame - during the Expo the hotel hosted 18 foreign heads of states including leaders from Singapore, France (Sarkozy, Chirac), Denmark, Lady Ashton (3 times), EU President (3 times), Lichtenstein, Austria and Italy. It has, in time, become a firm favourite among many well-known celebs and VIPs (as well as VVIPs). One of the key reasons for this is because the Diplomat Suites, Presidential Suite, and the Chairman Suite are all in the East Tower facing the river so there is no danger of any nearby high-rise buildings from where anyone can get where near enough to photograph or target anyone residing at the hotel. The hotel was recently voted the ‘friendliest expo hotel in Shanghai’. You’ll also save cash on excursions around Shanghai: it costs next to nothing to hire a taxi from here and head off to eat, shop, sightsee or find a perfect place to do people watching.
A place where everyone knows your name is all very well if it’s your local pub down the road, but when you’re on holiday or an official VIP trip, being forced to converse with the next room guest every time you have to dine can put a real downer on your dinner. So therefore for those staying in one of the Club rooms or the Suites there is a luxury of having breakfast in your own space and privacy at the Club Lounge on the 3rd floor.
There are many stories about VIPs that have also made the Hyatt on the Bund a firm favourite. For example, when Mr. Arnold Swaznegger, the Hollywood film star and former Governor of California, dined at the Vue Restaurant he desired to have his favourite traditional Austrian dish. Therefore, the General Manager, Mr. Gottfried Bogensperger, who is an Austrian native himself and a qualified Chef de Cuisine went straight away into the kitchen and cooked the Austrian dish for Mr. Swazznagger. Even though at that time he was addressed as ‘Governor’ by the staff, but of course to many people he will always be the much loved ‘Arnie’ from his Terminator movie days. The kind gesture of Mr. Bogensperger somewhat touched the great actor’s heart who wrote his signature words in the guest book: ‘great service, great staff and... I’ll be back!’.
The hotel has the trademarks of being 40 years old building and yet still maintains the strong ambiance of being a hotel in the 21st century. A company wanted to have a carpet laid out and they got that done at the last minute. The property is split into two towers; East Tower has 299 guestrooms, while the West Tower has 332 guestrooms. All of the 631 spacious guestrooms including 52 purpose built suites are lavishly set between 42 square meters to 300 square meters. The vast majority of the guests are mainland Chinese, followed on by the Americans, Germans, and the French. The hotel itself is perhaps the multi-cultural standby residence in Shanghai, if not in China, with most of the staff fluent in more than one language or from a multi-ethnic background. Don’t be surprised if you come across staff that have various blood in their genes or those that have travelled endlessly to get to Hyatt on the Bund including Chinese-Vietnamese, Anglo-Chinese, American-Chinese-Filipino, Japanese-Chinese and so on.
Because this hotel is located slap bang in the middle of both Pudong and Puxi on either side of the Huang Pu river and provides breathtaking views, so finding a last minute seat at any one of the eateries, especially the ‘Vue restaurant’ and at ‘Xindalu- China Kitchen’ is going to exceptionally challenging- book early to avoid disappointment. Friday nights draws a classy and chic crowd to the Vue Bar located on the hotels top four floors with an alfresco hangout hooded with cool four-poster lounging beds surrounding a centerpiece marble Jacuzzi outdoor- just don’t forget your swimwear and a camera.
With a gorgeous location, outstanding security facilities, state-of-the-art conference facilities that are fit enough for Presidents and Royalty, as well as incredible dining venues, it is no wonder that the Hyatt on the Bund is also exceedingly popular with the MICE industry. Corporations can make full use of the 20,064 square feet of meetings and function facilities all with natural daylight, accommodating upto 1,092 guests in a banquet style configuration, including two ballrooms (one which can be split into two) and one glasshouse all with outdoor terraces, 9 function rooms and a custom-made coffee bar. A fine example of this was displayed during the 2011 Shanghai Formula 1 event when the hotel hosted various world-premiers for the world’s automotive industry to display their latest car models, including the new Infiniti Formula 1 racing car.
Spread over 3,000 square metres at the lower lobby area, the Yuan spa is so good that you could wonder here for days trying out all different kinds of treatments to pamper yourself with. If that’s not enough than try out what you can at the indoor 25-metre swimming pool or at the fully equipped fitness centre. In fact, why not bowl your other half over with a candlelit aromatherapy massage a deux at the Yuan Spa, than stagger back to your room in a happy daze. All the 12 treatment rooms feature wood lining, some with double-glass walls with water running between the panes, so that guests can both see and hear running water while indulging in water-based Oriental treatments. Round of the spa experience with a refreshing homemade fruit drink at the Juice Bar located just outside of the Yuan Spa. That’ll bring a smile to your face.
Xindalu- China Kitchen at the Hyatt on the Bund in Shanghai is known for its world-famous ‘barbequed Peking duck’, and ‘beggar’s chicken’- with its clay-breaking ritual. Diners can marvel at the chef’s expertise in slicing the Peking duck during demonstrations. With the original idea deriving from the ‘Beijing Kitchen’ at the Grand Hyatt in Beijing and backed up a team of knowledgeable and experienced kitchen staff, Xindalu is consistently on the lookout for the finest speciality products from around the world. Using a beautiful blend of traditional and contemporary cooking styles, all the food is cooked in a healthy and refreshing style to showcase the most original of authentic Chinese flavours.
It's surprisingly easy to get lost in the crowd as a Chinese restaurant operating in Shanghai- the city certainly has more to offer than its fair share of Shanghainese or other Chinese eateries- but Xindalu at the Hyatt on the Bund has done as admirable job of separating itself from the masses with exceptionally sensational food and an elegant decor that comes alive even more so at night time. Hats go off to Xindalu’s executive chef David Du for making sure that every part of the restaurant and its contents has a serious attention to detail. The ethos on the culinary design and architecture is to make sure that the dinars not just enjoy the food but actually fall in love with it- and normally they do.
When dining at the Xindalu, you gotta make sure that you are exceedingly ravenous and your stomach is urging to take nothing but the best of the best. When you are presented with mouth-watering dishes such as the ‘deep-fried cod, pepper, and salt’ or the ‘tossed bean curd, Chinese toon’ then food is not food anymore, it becomes a piece of art that you have a fear of destroying the presentation. The fried pepper in the former dish is just to die-for. It literally melts as you take each bite. Incredible stuff- good food like this is not easy to find in Shanghai let along China. The ‘tossed bean curd’ has a generous sprinkling of the spinach on the top. This adds a delight to the somewhat boring bean curd (locally known as ‘tofu’), because as you take a mouthful the slightly salty spinach and the sauce dance on the back of your tongue making their way slowly down your throat. All this time the flavours are so well absorbed by the bean curd that you hardly taste it at all.
No dinar should dare leave their table without tucking into one of the signature desserts. Try the exceptionally tempting ‘jasmine tiramisu, vanilla, osmanthus ice cream’ or the colourful yet lip-smacking ‘sweetened mango, coconut cream with sago, coconut sherbet’. If you find luxury food irresistible then the first thing that will most probably come out from your mouth when you are presented with these desserts is ‘Oh, wow, what is this?’ because they all have the ‘Wow!’ factor attached to them. As a final salute to your meal, it would not be a bad idea to give the ‘sweet scented traditional rice cake’ a go as well. Thick and chewy as it may be, but it is just overwhelming. With good food like this you just got to be careful not to get carried away.
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