W Hotel — Shanghai, China

The W Hotel swimming pool overlooks the city's skyline
(Image credit: W Hotel — Shanghai)

On Shanghai’s North Bund, in a low-key but up-and-coming district, the new W Hotel’s location might not yet fit with the brand’s buzzy ideal, but what the neighbourhood lacks is more than made up for inside. 

Global firm G.A Design and Melbourne-based Fabio Ongarato Design have cannily created a sense of place without slipping into obvious clichés. As such, light-filled atriums with vertical neon installations nod to the jumble of laundry often seen hanging in the city’s narrow laneways. Metal accent walls reference the brickwork of traditional shikumen houses and, playfully, each of the 374 rooms has a giant pair of chopsticks and a pillow in the shape of the city’s famous xiaolongbao (soup) dumpling. 

Diversions include the AWAY spa, a gym with a spin studio and, for gourmands, there are five dining options, including YEN, which serves up modern Cantonese fare. Thanks to the curvature of the building, nearly all rooms have spectacular views of the city, but for the full, pulsing, W experience don’t miss a sunset cocktail at the hotel’s pool and surrounding WET deck, which is perfectly located for prime skyline viewing.

The metal accent walls in the reception reference the brickwork of traditional shikumen houses

(Image credit: W Hotel — Shanghai)

Bedrooms feature a giant pair of chopsticks and a pillow in the shape of the city's famous xialongbao dumpling

(Image credit: W Hotel — Shanghai)




No.66 Lvshun Road


Lauren Ho is the Travel Director of Wallpaper*,  roaming the globe, writing extensively about luxury travel, architecture and design for both the magazine and the website. Lauren serves as the European Academy Chair for the World's 50 Best Hotels.