Peninsula Shanghai Preps for Debut

Latest Peninsula property will occupy prime location on Shanghai’s historic Bund

By: By Mark Rogers

Deluxe Room // © 2009 The Peninsula Shanghai

A deluxe room at the Peninsula Shanghai

Travel agents may well be familiar with the historic Peninsula Hotel in Hong Kong, the Peninsula Hotels’ flagship, which recently celebrated its 80th birthday. In mid-October, Peninsula Hotels will open another China property, this time in Shanghai, with a grand opening scheduled for March 2010.

The 235-room Peninsula Shanghai is a 10-year, $361 million project. The hotel has a prime location on Shanghai’s newly redeveloped Bund, with many of the rooms and suites boasting views of the Huanpung River. Advance word is that the Art Deco-themed hotel will have the class and flair of the company’s flagship Peninsula Hong Kong. The hotel’s two-story lobby will be the location for a monthly Peninsula Afternoon Tea, similar to the tea dances that have proven so popular at the Peninsula Hong Kong.

“Not many people realize that this Hong Kong tradition was started by the Shanghai community in Hong Kong,” said Paul Tchen, general manager of The Peninsula Shanghai. “So, it’s coming home in a way. The afternoon tea dances were an important way for powerful Shanghai businessmen to socialize.”

The new hotel will also kick up the brand’s guestroom technology. The Peninsula Shanghai’s guestrooms and suites will each have a lacquer desk equipped with high-speed Internet access, international Internet radio, a weather panel, an iPod docking station, complimentary long-distance telephone service and complimentary use of a four-in-one fax/printer/scanner/copier machine.

“Guests really like the convenience of being able to print documents in their room, such as boarding passes or online guides in their native language,” Tchen said.

Guestrooms and suites will be among the largest in the city at an average of 600 square feet and will feature a suite-like privacy door separating the bedroom from the dressing room and bathroom. Four signature suites will have fireplaces and prime views of the city from private terraces and balconies. Peninsula claims that the hotel’s Palace Suite will have the largest private terrace of any Shanghai hotel, with a 911,000 square-foot wraparound outdoor area.

Early predictions peg the hotel’s guest ratio at 60 percent leisure and 40 percent business travelers. Tchen observed that the hotel will attract business travelers who have ample business expense budgets.

“We’re trying to create a hassle-free travel experience for our guests,” he said. “One of the ways we’re doing that is offering a 24/7, six-hour turnaround on laundry, four-hour express service and a two-hour turnaround on pressing.”

The hotel will have five restaurants and bars serving a variety of cuisines. These include a Chinese restaurant with private dining and a rooftop restaurant and bar with a terrace affording great views of the river and Shanghai skyline. Additional amenities at the hotel include The Peninsula Spa by ESPA and a two-story shopping arcade featuring top brands. One store sounds especially intriguing — a Chanel boutique replicating Coco Chanel’s apartment, created by architect and interior designer Peter Marino.

At this time, the hotel can be pre-booked online.

The Peninsula Shanghai