LOOKING FOR LISTS FROM OTHER YEARS?
Hot List 2011
Waldorf Astoria Shanghai on the Bund, Shanghai
88 Sichuan Zhong Road
Tel: 86 21 6322 9988
Spread across two buildings20 suites in the beautifully restored 1911 Shanghai Club, 252 rooms and suites in the newly built towerthis hotel is a magnificent homage to Shanghai's swank European past. In addition to opulent colonial-style suites (four-poster beds, walk-in closets, claw-foot tubs), the old building, now called the Waldorf Astoria Club, has a jaw-dropping 110-foot-long bar with Bund views. Rooms are neoclassicalpale-green linen wallpaper, matching silk bedcovers, and carpets with swirling flower motifsbut have all the mod cons, as well as a bathroom where a TV is embedded in the mirror and the Japanese-style toilet has water jets (don't say you weren't warned). Beyond the bells and whistles, the formal service, and the undeniable comfort, the most memorable part of a stay here is the opportunity to glimpse local high society. During an afternoon tea of delicate red velvet cakes served in the elegant Salon de Ville, watch newly minted Shanghainese millionaires reimagining themselves as the tycoons of yore.
Which room to book: William Waldorf Astor would approve of No. 304, one of 17 expansive river-view suites.
Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.