Top 5 Luxurious Experiences at Shangri-La Pudong Grand Tower9 December, 2013
Having experienced the newest addition to the Shangri-la properties in West Shanghai at Jing An Shangri-la and the amazing Kerry Sports facilities of Kerry Pudong, we just had to complete our Shangri-La experience at the luxurious Pudong Shangri-La. Pudong Shangri-La, East Shanghai is located in the Lujiazui finance and trade district of Pudong (or East Shanghai) and offers an unrivaled view of The Bund 外滩. Pudong Shangri-la has lots to offer for the discerning traveller from being one of Shanghai’s top dining destination with its many dining options (Nandaman, Fook Lam Moon, Jade on 36 etc.) to the luxurious spa experience at CHI The Spa. We will list out our top 5 luxurious experience at Pudong Shangri-La’s Grand Tower (in no particular order) as a preview of what’s on offer here.
No. 1. The Pudong Shangri-La Grand Tower Experience
2013 marks the 8th anniversary of the opening of the Grand Tower at Pudong Shangri-La, East Shanghai. The Grand Tower placed Pudong Shangri-La, East Shanghai in a class of its own as an exclusive hotel-within-a-hotel. Redefining the experience of sophistication, all residents of the Grand Tower are entitled to all the benefits of the Horizon Club alongside other exclusive services. These exclusive services include in-room check-in with traditional Chinese Tea amenities. A dedicated Grand Tower team provides bespoke guest services, including private in-room registration and 24-hour concierge service. Upon entering the room, guests are served hot jasmine tea in an oriental teapot enclosed in an insulated bamboo basket as an emulation of the Chinese tradition.
The first thing I want to do after a long flight is to check-in my hotel and rest as soon as possible – with in-room check-in, I can skip long check-in queues! My whole check-in process was done in just under 5 minutes and I was not even done with my cup of tea when the friendly Shangri-La staff handed me back my passport to complete the check-in process!
Pudong Shangri-la ensures that Horizon Club guests find stationery personalised with their initials. As guests of Pudong Shangri-la’s Peony Suite, we also received a set of pillow cases personalised with our initials – certainly makes the whole experience at Pudong Shangri-La a very personalised and unique one. To ensure a good night’s sleep, we were also treated to a selection of pillows from the hotel’s pillow menu which includes contour, anti-allergic, soft feather, firm feather and buckwheat, as well as Chinese traditional medicine pillows.
Guests at the Grand Tower can also expect various luxurious amenities from 4 types of bath salts on demand to L’occitaine bathroom amenities and Plasma TV in bathroom. There are also Bose speakers with iPod dock and Nespresso coffee maker in Grand Tower rooms. Residents of the Grand Tower also enjoy exclusive 24-hour access to a swimming pool and health club but if you are staying at a Pudong Shangri-la suite, you can also do your exercises in the comfort of your own room with the in-room step-up machine!
Of course, what’s really amazing is the views of the Bund from the Grand Tower rooms, which brings us to our next luxurious experience in Pudong Shangri-La …
No. 2. Spectacular Views of the Bund and Shanghai Pearl Tower from Your Horizon Club Room
The views from our Pudong Shangri-La Peony Suite room’s floor to ceiling windows is simply spectacular – binoculars and a map of buildings along The Bund on the other side of the Huangpu River is provided for our reference.
Walking from the living room to the bedroom and even the bathroom of our Peony Suite, we get different views of Shanghai from The Bund to the Shanghai Oriental Pearl Tower and finally to the busy finance and business district of Lujiazui (where skyscrapers dot the skyline). I will just let the pictures do the talking now – imagine waking up to the sight of the iconic Shanghai Oriental Pearl Tower!
No. 3. Luxurious Jade Journeys Spa Experience at CHI The Spa
Opened in September 2005, CHI, The Spa at Pudong Shangri-La, Shanghai is set in an 800-square-metre haven of tranquillity and features some of the largest and most luxurious private spa suites in the city to offer guests the ultimate in personal space and timelessness. In traditional Chinese philosophy, chi represents the universal life force that governs well-being and personal vitality. CHI’s extensive menu offers over 35 specialised body, water, massage and facial therapies.
We tried the Jade Journey at CHI, The Spa. Introduced as a new signature treatment in August 2007, the ‘Jade Journey’ incorporates the Chinese philosophy of releasing blockages in meridian points throughout the body to bring about harmony and balance with the energetic properties of the Jade stone. At the 2007 Baccarat AsiaSpa Awards in Hong Kong, the ‘Jade Journey’ therapy from CHI, The Spa at Pudong Shangri-La, Shanghai was acclaimed as “Spa Treatment of the Year.”
Our Jade Journey started with a quick survey for the massage therapist to determine our element – whether we are wood, water, fire, earth or metal (ok – this sounds like Captain Planet but the experience is definitely nothing like the Captain’s calls :-)). Determining our elements will help us find the right massage oil to use. Our 100-minute Jade Journey package then began with a brief, gentle foot bath (where we stepped on a piece of jade to balance our chi).
This is then followed by a thoroughly relaxing tea bath set in a tranquilly bubbling tub which got me thinking of what a tea-bag would feel when soaked in hot water – ridiculous thoughts aside, the bath was indeed very relaxing and smelled quite good! After about 20 minutes of soaking in the tea bath, we then proceeded for our massage which was strong and took some getting used to with the masseur using a set of jade stones in long flowing strokes to rid me of blocked chi. The jade stones were supposed to add pressure on the body’s meridian points to balance the yin and yang and promote holistic nourishment. I thought the entire Jade Journey was a great experience especially with loads of bad blocked chi gathered throughout our 2-week long journey across China!
No. 4. Evening Mocktails with Pudong Shangri-La Sommelier David Shoemaker at Jade on 36 Bar
Next, we were off to Jade on 36 Bar for evening cocktails with Pudong Shangri-la in-house Sommelier David Shoemaker.
Jade on 36 Bar is as modern, cosmopolitan and yet as Chinese as Shanghai itself. It is a stylish and hip space for sipping superbly crafted drinks, gazing at Shanghai’s stunning skyline and listening to the sounds of live jazz.
David Shoemaker is well versed in the study of both wines and mixology. He is an acclaimed Sommelier with several certifications for both wine and spirits, he is a certified Sommelier by the Court of Master Sommeliers, International Sommelier Guild Level 2, Certified Specialist in wine by the Society of Wine Educators, Certified Spanish Wine Educator, possesses an Advanced certificate by the Bar Smarts program, and belongs to many industry organizations such as Chaîne des Rôtisseures, Ordre des Côteaux de Champagne, United States Bartenders Guild and Guild of Sommeliers – although I am not familiar with the world of sommeliers but his credentials more than speaks for themselves and I am convinced that we are in good hands!
David is also known for his cheerful disposition, showmanship behind the bar and leadership qualities, and an acute sense for the business of beverages; and we experienced it during our brief conversations with him over the bar while he prepared his signature cocktail – the Mango Chili Martini.
This signature is made of Stolichnaya vodka, roasted chilli-infused syrup, mango purée and fresh lemon. However, what intrigues most people is the garnish – a scorched red hot chilli that makes crackling noises and emits its burnt spicy smell while the cocktail is being enjoyed. This creation is available at Jade on 36 Bar for RMB 128.
No. 5. Contemporary French Fine Dining at Jade on 36 Restaurant
Totally relaxed with a great massage session at CHI, The Spa and a Mango Chili Martini, we proceeded next to the Jade on 36 Restaurant. The restaurant is helmed by Chef de Cuisine Franck-Elie Laloum and features classical French cuisine with a contemporary twist. Jade on 36 is an award-winning restaurant that has been recognized by Wine Spectator as one of the top 10 business restaurants in China, and also features in Tatler Shanghai’s list of best restaurants. Miele Guide honoured it as “one of Asia’s finest restaurants”. Recently, Jade on 36 restaurant was also recognised as being amongst Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants. Part of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants programme, Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants, recognises the region’s growing culinary diversity and quality, in line with global culinary trends.
A series of beautifully orchestrated a la carte and set menus reflect Chef Franck-Elie Laloum’s philosophy of food, which is influenced by his rich tapestry of culinary experiences from several Michelin-starred restaurants in France, all prepared using post-nouvelle techniques both traditional and progressive.
Although Chef Frank-Elie uses new technologies to present diverse flavours, he has a simple philosophy of respecting fresh produce, which means choosing and using only the freshest seasonal ingredients for his creations – case in point being the dish – La langoustine, juste saisi, célèri, pomme, petit pois, aneth, bouillon végètale parfumé à la baie rose de Madagascar (translated as Langoustine lightly seared, celery, apple, green peas, dill vegetable broth flavoured with Madagascar pink pepper 盘煎海鏊虾配青苹果，青豆，莳萝，绿芦笋，马达加斯加红花椒). The Langoustines (Somewhat like a cross between a crayfish and a lobster) were sourced direct from Iceland, and pink peppers from Madagascar.
The presentation of the dishes at Jade on 36 restaurant or a term I learned from Master Chef – the art of plating food is just beautiful here. As seen in the picture below – the plating of the various dessert just makes the whole dining experience a more enjoyable one. Dessert selection you can find here include: Le chocolat Jivara, banane et cacahuète (Jivara chocolate, banana and peanuts 法芙娜牛奶巧克力 香蕉慕斯蛋白酥和花生); La pomme granny Smith en différentes textures, vanille et champagne (Granny Smith apple in contrasting textures, vanilla and champagne 青苹果奶冻配香草和桉树叶泡沫) and La tarte chocolat passion praliné (Passion fruit, praliné chocolate tart 热情果,法芙娜巧克力榛果挞).
Suffice to say, the dining experience at Jade on 36 restaurant was a great one – each dish was prepared with fresh ingredients and plated beautifully. By combining ingredients from around the world, Chef Franck-Elie Laloum had presented us with an interesting selection of French-fusion food served in a quiet and private restaurant setting with spectacular views of The Bund as the backdrop!
Bonus Experience No. 6: Amazing Clash of Cuisine Dining Experience at Yi Café
I know I promised the top 5 experience at Pudong Shangri-la but since we are on the topic of dining at Pudong Shangri-la – I had to recommend Yi Café at Pudong Shangri-La. Yi Café’s Amazing Clash of Cuisines provide guests an innovative and theatrical dining experience. You can expect a bustling environment with servers zooming past in rollerblades and that of clanging pots as the chefs cook up a storm at their 10 live stations.
The quality of the cuisine spread reaches new heights with new additions, such as Alaskan king crab at the seafood bar, Australian and New Zealand steaks a la minute at the Western kitchen and the delicate whole steamed baby turbot fish at the Chinese kitchen. The premium assortment of fresh sashimi and sushi lay atop an iridescent with bright white lights shining from beneath. The seafood bar challenges the city’s buffet menu with premium items, such as the Alaskan king crab. Dining plates are nowhere to be seen. Instead, guests are handed metal buckets in which to place their “day’s catch.”
Bonus Experience No. 7 The Bund Storytelling Experience at Pudong Shangri-La Horizon Club
Just one last interesting experience at Pudong, Shangri-la that I have to highlight – The Bund Storytelling Experience. At Pudong Shangri-La, East Shanghai, all guests staying at the Grand Tower are privy to the Horizon Club. The Club entitles residents the access of the Horizon Club Lounge, where one can enjoy a personalised check-in process and use of exclusive meeting rooms with catered refreshments and the latest equipments. Other benefits include an intimate and exclusive breakfast experience where guests enjoy access to world news from preferred international newspapers, magazines and satellite TV channels. Evening cocktails and Hors d’oeuvres are also available daily from 5-8pm.
But not everyone know that there is actually a staff member of the Horizon Club who can provide you with stories about the history of The Bund and the various buildings along The Bund. So if you have some time to spare while chilling out in the Horizon Club, why not approach a staff member to check if they can tell you more about The Bund. Bring along your in-room binoculars too so you can get a good view of The Bund’s buildings.
Pudong Shangri-La, East Shanghai is located on the eastern bank of the famous Huangpu River, overlooking Shanghai’s legendary waterfront strip, The Bund. A historic landmark famous the world over, The Bund was Shanghai’s financial centre in the early 1890s. Today it is a showcase of turn of the century architecture. Pudong Shangri-La’s Grand Tower is contemporary in design and features 375 guestrooms, including 36 suites. It also houses Shanghai’s highly awarded restaurants, bars and spa – Jade on 36 Restaurant and Bar, Nadaman Japanese Restaurant, Nadaman Sushi Bar, Grand Tower Lounge and the world-recognised spa brand CHI, The Spa.
For further details or to make a reservation, please telephone the reservations office at Pudong Shangri-La, Shanghai at (86 21) 6882 6888 or send an e-mail to [email protected] Alternatively, book online at http://www.shangri-la.com/shanghai/pudongshangrila/.