The Shanghai Edition hotel - Shanghai, China
It’s not often that a hotel opens as ambitiously as the Edition has in Shanghai, where it has flung open its doors and unveiled 145 rooms alongside ten levels of public space. With a simultaneous launch in Barcelona, plus four more in the works internationally (including the Piero Lissoni-led restoration of a grand but defunct Milanese palazzo,(see W*235), Ian Schrager’s brand is moving at an impressive clip.
Its pace is matched by the designers of its Shanghai outpost, Neri & Hu, who have just finished the city’s sleek Sukhothai hotel and several of its hottest new restaurant spaces. With a collective energy that feels almost nuclear, it’s fitting that the Shanghai Edition occupies a pair of adjacent buildings that once housed electric companies.
Located just off The Bund, the two buildings couldn’t be more different. ‘The challenge was to create a bridge between the vibrancy of the art deco block building and the brutalism of the post-modern tower,’ say Neri & Hu of the hotel’s entrance. It’s perfectly on brand in its upset of the traditional hotel format: the doors open out into a well-polished lobby bar and lounge area set between the two buildings, with no front desk in sight. Behind the bar, natural light pours into a 26m-high atrium, highlighting the historic façade, while cascades of hanging plants soften the space. Throughout the hotel, Carrara marble table tops gleam and the space is punctuated with thoughtfully crafted furniture from the likes of De La Espada and Stellar Works.
In the newer tower, the residential-style rooms and suites are reminiscent of an upscale New York apartment, with a restrained palette of black, white and tan. Pared down and sophisticated, the rooms are finished in light oak and feature white marble bathrooms and the signature Ian Schrager throw on every bed.
But there’s a lot more going on than accommodation here – there are three restaurants, five bars (two of them on the rooftop) and one nightclub, alongside a spa with lap pool and a gentlemen’s club-inspired lounge area, complete with karaoke room and its own bar. The hotel’s contemporary Cantonese restaurant, Canton Disco, is run by Hong Kong restaurant group Black Sheep, while Michelin-starred chef Jason Atherton – who works with both the London and New York Editions – has been brought in to run modern British eatery Shanghai Tavern and the effortlessly chic 27th-floor Japanese izakaya-inspired restaurant Hiya.
An elegant, aged bronze spiral staircase (an Edition signature) leads up to the 35-seater, reservation-only Punch Room bar before spitting you out onto one of the rooftop bars, where you can drink a signature Edition cocktail and drink in stunning views of the historic Bund set against Pudong’s futuristic skyline.§