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The PuLi Hotel & Spa, Shanghai  
$$$$

1 Changde Road
Shanghai
China 200040
Tel: 86 21 3203 9999
information@thepuli.com
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Concierge.com's insider take:

Few hotels in China present a more imperial entrance than the 209-room PuLi Hotel, located in Shanghai's new commercial district adjacent to fashionable Nanjing Road. Reached via a Chinese courtyard-style gate and gray brick arch, the palatial lobby features a 105-foot sunken bar backed by floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking a water garden. The space is decorated with polished ceramic-tile floors, antique Chinese furnishings, Jim Thompson Thai Silk wall coverings, and both contemporary sofas and Ming-style wooden armchairs, where Shanghai's young shakermakers sip chilled sauvignon blanc. If it's instant impressions that count, PuLi has the requisite X factor. A subtle blending of southeast Asian design motifs and traditional Chinese stylistic grandeur appears throughout the hotel, notably in the guest rooms, where elements like sliding latticed doors, dark wooden furniture, and stone statuettes are offset by high-tech amenities like an MP3 dock, flat-screen TVs in the bedroom and bathroom, and GSM portable phones. The menu at the Thai-rooted Anantara Spa employs the recuperative powers of Chinese green tea, while up-and-coming New Zealand chef Dane Clouston offers a modern take on comfort cuisine at the signature Jing'An restaurant.—Gary Bowerman

From the editors of Condé Nast Traveler:
A glass tower with fabulous city views and friendly service, the PuLi offers sanctuary from the chaos of downtown Shanghai, despite its construction-heavy JingAn district location. The look—quite like modern Shanghai—is sleek and contemporary, with subtle Chinese details: The striking 105-foot lobby doubles as the Long Bar, with glossy floors, shades-of-gray naive portraits by native artist Li Jing Bin, vases, and floor-to-ceiling light panels, and has an outdoor terrace. The 229 stylish rooms and suites are large—starting at 484 square feet—and well laid-out. The open-plan studio room has a wood-lattice screen separating the entrance hall from the main bedroom/living room, furnished with a cream leather sofa; a unit holding the 32-inch TV divides the bedroom from the bathroom, which has a tub backed by a limestone-tiled wall in addition to a walk-in shower. The free minibar (including beer in Club Floor rooms) is a welcome perk. An international crowd of creative types gather for dinner at JingAn restaurant, which is helmed by Kiwi chef Dane Clouston, formerly of Hong Kong's JIA hotel. There's a stunning indoor infinity pool looking out over JingAn Park, and a small Anantara spa, which offers good, if not superlative, treatments. —2010 Hot List

Which room to book: Club Floor rooms (between the twentieth and twenty-sixth floors) come with added extras like a 24-hour butler—plus the best views.

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