Park Hyatt Shanghai (a review)
Though it no longer holds the title of the highest hotel in the world, the Park Hyatt Shanghai is still in a class of its own, and a still somewhat of an attraction in the city. If there is any consolation for those guests that stay in one of the 174 guestrooms and suites anywhere from the 79th to the 93rd floor, then they may consider themselves lucky as there is no need for them to go up to the viewing gallery on the top of the Shanghai World Financial Centre (SWFC). Opened in September 2008, the views from any of the guestrooms, and the restaurants are equally magical. It really is a gem of engineering excellence that has been created by humankind, and when one takes the high-speed elevator to the lobby at the 87th floor. That’s where the well informed concierge and reception staff will greet you with a smile and make you feel welcome somewhere special. Here they don’t just speak English and Mandarin Chinese (or Shanghaihua), but also a variety of other international languages (like Japanese, Italian, French...just ask if you are not sure if they speak your language!).
Because of its height, and the limited amount of space, the hotel is quite compact in its structure compared to most other hotels in the area. Frequent travellers may eat their heart out because no space is left for faults- not a whisker of dust in sight! First impressions that come to mind are neat, remarkably quiet, elegant, futuristic, and clean. Had, say, Sir Isaac Newton, stayed at the Park Hyatt Shanghai, he would have whiled away his whole stay wondering how such wonderful gems of architecture could be created by the upmost of humans to defy gravity. Even as a qualified Engineer, I also wondered at the fascination of the remarkable detail to attention paid to all things related to the hotel at such a height soaring above the city of Shanghai. Those who have a fear of heights don’t need to stare downwards as there are plenty of things in the hotel that can keep you busy throughout your stay.
In terms of the facilities offered at the hotel you might as well stare with your jaws dropped lower than the height of the building itself. That’s when you can mention luxuries such as electronic curtains with separate curtains with full shades, coffee machine by Nespresso, complimentary internet/wifi, toiletries by Aromatherapy Associates (Balance), complimentary calls locally in Shanghai, room safe big enough to keep a laptop, electronic toilet with heated seat (nice!), and cable TV.
Now, I suppose that the most wonderful refreshing experience one can have is to jog whenever they want to, and that’s exactly why the 24-hour gym should be put to good use especially if you want to keep trim and fit. I mean hey, come on, who could not resist working out at 3 in the morning when you are crazily jet-lagged?! Oh and then there is the compact yet sophisticated spa also on the same floor at the 85th floor.
The beauty of the guestrooms is that they have everything electronically controlled with the click of a master. The there are the essential creature comforts such as the lavish bathrooms featuring a flat screen television embedded into the vanity mirror, double sinks, an Oriental bathing area, an oversized rain shower, a deep-soaking bath, heated floors and a separate powder room. Not impressed yet? Then why not try to dip yourself into the swimming pool and whirlpool that provide breathtaking views of Shanghai on the 85th floor (part of the ‘Water’s Edge Spa’). Despite the height, there is also the peace and tranquillity in all parts of the hotel- it’s so easy to forget that you are effectively floating in the sky.
One key department where the Park Hyatt Shanghai does not fail in is the number of restaurants it offers. When you take into account that the Park Hyatt Shanghai has seven separate bars, dining rooms and restaurants spread out across from the 87th floor to the 93rd floor, then you realise that the hotel management do take their food very seriously over here. There is something for everyone, including Japanese, Western, Chinese (goes without saying), European, and even an all day dining venue at the 87th floor. The 92nd floor contains the gem of a perfect night-life, including a Western bar with live music, whisky cellar and whisky private rooms; and a Chinese bar.
Above all else, the Shanghai Park Hyatt is not all about heights, but more about privacy, luxury, a peace of mind, and a serious heaven for the senses. It’s effectively essential for the essentials. Whether you are on holiday, or on business, or you just want to while away the evening in the company of good friends and family then Park Hyatt Shanghai is the place to be at.
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