Tuesday, December 06 01:32 PM
The new Andaz in Shanghai wants you to make yourself at home. But in this case, home is a Jetsons-style, curving latticelike building in the Xintiandi neighborhood.
The floor-to-ceiling rounded windows give the place a certain Sixties hipness, inside and out. There's no front desk--an all-in-one concierge/doorman/bellboy/receptionist checks you in on a tablet over wine in the lounge or in the elevator. The 307 rooms have wood floors, walls covered in traditionally patterned red fabric, and glowing translucent tubs in the bathrooms, as well as adjustable multicolored LEDs. Overall, the feel is softened space age. We see jet-set membership in your future.
Photo: Courtesy of Andaz
Wednesday, November 16 12:51 PM
A luxury hotel opening in China is about as newsworthy these days as a celebrity marriage meltdown. But the newly unveiled St. Regis Tianjin is hard to ignore. The 18-story hollowed-out cube dominates the banks of Tianjin's Hai River like a portal to another world. And in some ways it is.
After passing through the reflective Blade Runner exterior, you find yourself transported to the early 1900s, the heyday of this port city 80 miles south of Beijing. Art Deco-style touches--black-and-white checkerboard floors, crystal chandeliers, geometric French mirrors--abound in some of the public spaces as well as in the 274 guest rooms. And the grand lobby features a mural created by acclaimed ceramicist Zhu Legeng from hundreds of handcrafted tiles. That's what we call future perfect.
Photo: Courtesy of Starwood Hotels
Wednesday, August 17 07:00 AM
Ever since Michael Phelps left the building, the National Acquatics Center in Beijing seemed a bit like a fish out of water. But now, the Happy Magic Watercube Waterpark has opened in the translucent bubble-covered building to put the sparkle back in its splash.
Ribbons of color sail wavelike through schools of pink and blue jellyfish suspended from the ceiling, and a rainbow of slides twist their thrill-ride tentacles down into splash pools. Swimmers can seek out swells in a wave pool, float around a lazy river, or brave a near-vertical speed slide. Seems Mr. Phelps isn't the only one who knows how to live life in the fast lane.
Photo: Courtesy of Happy Magic Watercube Waterpark
Wednesday, June 08 11:31 AM
China isn't exactly known for transparency, but the country is making one thing clear with the opening of a new museum dedicated entirely to glass.
Housed in a former factory in Shanghai's Baoshan industrial district, the 53,000-square-foot institution explores the production, history, and applications of glass in the worlds of science, art, architecture, and astronomy. The collection and visiting exhibits include Han dynasty earrings made of glass and contemporary art by international and Chinese glass sculptors, all reflected in the striking black crystal interior. There's a space for glass-blowing demonstrations, too.
But you could just focus on the building itself, a sparkling example of glass craftsmanship in all its carved, faceted, stained, and lacquered glory. It's clearly worth the trip.
Photo: Courtesy of Shanghai Museum of Glass
Monday, April 18 02:18 PM
It's a mere seven minutes from Shanghai's international airport--at 268 mph on the Maglev, the world's fastest train--to the newly opened Jumeirah Himalayas Hotel. So in no time at all, you can be sipping a cup of green tea and decompressing in the hotel's 50,000-square-foot rooftop Infinity Garden.
The Jumeirah Himalayas Hotel, by the masterminds behind Dubai's Burj Al Arab, blends feng shui with Blade Runner in the heart of the Pudong financial district. The 401 art-filled rooms rise above standard five-star fare with custom Ming dynasty-meets-mod furnishings. And then there's that sky oasis. Perched atop the adjacent Himalayas Centre, a theater/museum/designer mall, the garden is magical at night, bathed in a wave of color from the tower's lacy grid of light. This is how the future rolls.
Photo: Courtesy of Jumeirah
Thursday, April 14 03:20 PM
China has always been a nation of superlatives, and it just added another to the list: world's largest museum. The National Museum of China, in Beijing, is the result of a decade-long, $380-million project that combined the Museum of Chinese History and the Museum of the Chinese Revolution.
The more than 1 million artifacts in the museum's collection provide an epic survey of Chinese history, from Yuanmou Man, who walked the land 1.7 million years ago, to current president Hu Jintao. With over 2 million square feet of galleries to cover--three times the size of the Louvre in Paris--we suggest you extend your trip and wear comfortable shoes.
Photo: ChinaFotoPress / Getty Images
Thursday, March 31 07:23 PM
The new Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong, kicked things up a notch when it opened this week...well, quite a few notches. The world's highest hotel towers more than 1,600 feet above the city, stretching from the 102nd to the 118th floor in Kowloon's International Commerce Centre.
In the 312 rooms, luxe textures are featured in the leather headboards and in velvet armchairs arranged around the floor-to-ceiling windows. The 10,000-square-foot spa, five restaurants, and an open-air bar and pool with a 2,100-square-foot ceiling LED screen on the 118th floor are as over-the-top as the views of Victoria Harbour, Hong Kong Island, and the surrounding mountains. Welcome to the high life.
Photo: Courtesy of Ritz-Carlton
Wednesday, November 03 03:15 PM
No, Mercedes-Benz hasn't started making spaceships (although that would be a blessing at rush hour). This chrome "craft" in the Pudong district of Shanghai is actually an arena, which opened earlier this week.
Originally created for the city's World Expo, the oyster-shell-shaped structure has morphed from that event's cultural center into the country's first venue to offer naming rights--China's answer to L.A.'s Staples Center.
There's a lot going on inside to interest both locals and visitors, including an 18,000-seat stadium, a cineplex, an ice rink, a music club, and a mall. And in case you're still feeling skittish about aliens, rest assured the only conquering forces flying in will be the NBA basketball teams slated to play there soon.
Photo: AEG-OPG Culture and Sports (Shanghai) Co., Ltd.