The plaything of Wang Sicong, the son of China’s richest man, Shanghai’s newest luxury hotel is said to have cost in the region of £400 million. With a clutch of spectacular restaurants, gloriously OTT rooms and city views, this self-styled seven-star hotel aims to compete with the Burj Al Arabs of the world.
As its name suggests, the Wanda Reign resides on the Bund – but not on the historic section which might immediately spring to mind. Rather, it sits on the South Bund, within sight of the action but around a 20-minute walk away. The South Bund is fascinating in its own right, though, home to Yu Gardens, the Cool Docks, the kaleidoscopic fabric market and a rapidly disappearing low-rise 1920’s neighbourhood. The views across the Huangpu River towards Pudong are sensational.
Address: 538 Zhong Shan Dong Er Road, Huangpu District, Shanghai, PR, China.
Style & character
Shock and awe. In the lobby: a sea of clashing Carrera marbles, rivers of bronze, 10-metre high walls of jade and works of contemporary Chinese art valued at £1 million a pop – an incongruous red Ferrari piano had been removed as its centrepiece the day after my arrival. Elsewhere, Swarovski drips from every ceiling, brick-thick Chinese rugs roll down the corridors and entire walls are plastered in LED video screens. The statement-making interiors may not be to everyone’s taste but they do offer an extraordinary insight into China’s nouveau riche and how they envision themselves and their place in the world.
Service & facilities
The hotel prides itself on its highly-personalised service and the staff, clad in couture uniforms, are polite and courteous in the extreme. There’s a spa, with large hydrotherapy pools, steam rooms and saunas, lines of leather loungers for foot massages and skincare treatments from German anti-aging specialist Futuresse; a slick Sunseeker yacht for river cruising, a rather puny indoor swimming pool (given the size of the hotel) and VIP private members club where you can dance around a £20,000 disco ball.
The 193 guest rooms have been given two different treatments; ‘trendy, with high energy’, which translates to a Gatsby-esque blend of stained glass, geometric chandeliers and swirling marbles; and ‘noble, luxurious and distinguished’ which flaunts a Forbidden City meets Versailles vibe, with hand-painted silk screens, cloud-patterned rugs and lashings of gilt and crystal.
Food & drink
Four restaurants; the headlines acts are He (pronounced way), where Japanese master chef Yoshi-San serves up 18-course tasting menus teamed with rare sakes, and MARC, helmed by French Michelin-starred chef Marc Meneau. Late in the evening, the latter slides back the tables and transforms into a club, with jeroboams of champagne popping across the roof terrace.
Access for guests with disabilities?
There are two rooms for disabled guests.
Yes; families are welcome but the Wanda Reign hasn’t really been designed with little ones in mind.
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