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Andaz Shanghai, China

By Conde Nast Traveler Tuesday, December 06 01:32 PM

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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

Shanghai Museum of Glass

By Conde Nast Traveler Wednesday, June 08 11:31 AM

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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

Beijing to Shanghai Bullet Train

By Conde Nast Traveler Tuesday, May 31 01:55 PM

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What's that, China? Is that gloating we detect? Okay, fine, we'll give you this one. While we could barely brush the sand off our shoes and get back to work today, the roaring tiger has gone and built itself a $34-billion Beijing to Shanghai high-speed rail link, opening this June--almost a year ahead of schedule.

Granted, there have been a few modifications of the original plan: A proposed lie-flat premium class has been canned and speeds curtailed for safety. Once intended to best the world record set by France's TGV (357.2 miles per hour, mon Dieu!), China's train has registered a top test speed of 302 mph, with actual operating caps at about 185 mph (to be sure, that's still very fast). What does this mean for travelers between the two megacities? An 818-mile journey will clock in at an easy, breezy five hours instead of ten. Meow, Amtrak, meow.

Bullet train tickets from $80 to $165

Photo: Courtesy of Qilai Shen / Bloomberg / Getty Images

Jumeirah Himalayas Hotel, Shanghai

By Conde Nast Traveler Monday, April 18 02:18 PM

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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

Mercedes-Benz Arena, Shanghai

By Conde Nast Traveler Wednesday, November 03 03:15 PM

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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.

Prices and other information were accurate at press time, but are subject to change. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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