Off the dressing room lies a large bath with a soaking tub, two independent vanities and a glass rain shower stall. The rooms and suites all have excellent adjustable lighting. The sitting area is full of amenities, including daily fresh fruit stacked tastefully on china plates on a glass table in front of a settee. There are down pillows and Frette linens covering beds the size of a hockey rink.
Modern geeks will probably have a valid excuse never to leave their room. Hand-painted black lacquer screens roll down at the push of a button to hide huge flat-screen TVs. The curtains in the rooms are all electrically wired. Everything operates from keypads, and—most conveniently—every electrical outlet is dual voltage, making traveling with electric adapters a thing of the past.
Guests will delight in iPod docking stations that filter their playlists through unseen speakers throughout the room. There’s even a keypad on the bathtub wall to operate the radio or the built-in TV at the foot of the tub.
Perhaps the hotel’s most impressive amenity is the free use of international telephone calls. More cynical guests, of course, will say that for the price one pays to bunk here (prices run from approximately $950 per night for a luxury room, to about $1,500 per night for a riverfront suite) phone calls should be free, but it’s a convenience other upscale hotels would do well to adopt. Laundry is also complimentary.
The restaurants here are already a legend. Sir Elly is an Art-Deco wonder on the 13th floor where food preparation has reached heights unseen in Shanghai since the city’s golden era.
Yi Long Court, the hotel’s Chinese restaurant, looks like the mansion of a 1920s Chinese tycoon. It is accented with mahogany trimmings while fireplaces give it a warm feeling that contrasts nicely with the view of the cold river way below. You sit on red leather stools at tables framed by red curtains while enjoying great Cantonese cuisine prepared by a Michelin-rated chef.
Even the chopstick rests are delightful: silver Chinese junks that just beg to be filched and taken home as conversation pieces or souvenirs from a memorable stay in an equally memorable hotel.