It’s not just the flawless recreation of Art Deco opulence, the Chanel showroom, or the bedrooms overlooking Huangpu River with views of jostling tankers and fishing boats. It’s not even the chilli-hot noodles for breakfast in the marble-pillared lobby. No, what makes The Peninsula Shanghai so impressive is the service. When on a rainy morning taxis are scarce and there is talk of an hour’s wait, somehow the doorman conjures up a deep-green vintage Roller and an important meeting is saved. An army of concierges is always on hand, such is the attention to detail. But it’s also fun to potter around the wonderfully restful bedrooms, which are havens from the bustle of Shanghai.
Sipgreen tea and phone friends for free; Instagram the Star Trek-style Oriental Pearl TV Tower lit up in princess purple. And the electronics demand ago, from triple-choice curtains at the touch of a button to the nail-polish blow-drier tucked into the panelling in the enormous dressing room. The food, both Chinese and Western, is wonderful. This year executive chef Terence Crandall has garnered Michelin stars aplenty (two in Yi Long Court, one in Sir Elly’s Restaurant). The heated pool, spa and fitness suite are tip-top too. This might not be the coolest hotel in the world, but it is one of the most impressive. A conjuring trick? Maybe. Incredible staff, for sure.