Concierge.com's insider take:
Jumeirah's first Asia hotel occupies the dappled concrete exterior (symbolizing tree roots) of the Himalayas art complex in Pudong. The hotel is not centrally located—it's five metro stops from Pudong's Lujiazui district and seven stops from People's Square, and it overlooks the Shanghai New International Expo Centre and Maglev terminal rather than the Bund and the Huangpu River. But the contemporary Chinese design motifs and art collection on display throughout (every piece is an original) merit the detour. A palatial lobby is decorated with back-lit calligraphy, gray courtyard brick, and a carved wooden pagoda hosting performances of traditional Chinese music. This sets the tone for a hotel full of impressively vast public spaces, including a landscaped terrace garden on the sixth floor. The exception is J-Mix sushi restaurant, which is intimately sized and elegantly dressed with polished floors, dark furnishings, and scarlet lamps. The 405 guest rooms are styled in a palette of cream and brown, with chocolate-veined caramel marble in the bathroom, plus burnished wood floors, reproduction Chinese furnishings, an iPod dock and wall-hung TV, and L'Occitane bath products (upgraded to Acqua di Parma in the club-floor rooms). The location means the majority of guests are exhibition and conference attendees, plus adventurous upscale travelers with an interest in art and a willingness to spend a few extra minutes on the subway.—Gary Bowerman
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