“In every way possible, the Fairmont Peace Hotel is adorned with grandeur, opulence and a sense of timelessness. It is apparent from the moment you step foot on the premises”
I feel as if the phrase ‘stepping back in time’ is used far too often these days, however it seems only fitting when describing my stay at the Fairmont Peace Hotel in Shanghai.
The Fairmont Peace Hotel (click here) has been an iconic Shanghai landmark for over a century. The hotel is the most famous hotel in China, and arguably in Asia. Facing the Pudong area over the Huangpu River (or more commonly known as The Bund) the Fairmont Peace arguably holds the most coveted address in Shanghai. With the unmatched view of the bund at the front and the unrivaled shopping district of Nanjing Road at the back, the Fairmont Peace’s location is ideal for exploring Shanghai’s spectacular scenery and vibrant lifestyle.
As our car pulled up to the main entrance on Nanjing Road (the main entrance is actually at the side of the building now, as it’s bad feng shui to have a building’s entrance facing the water) , we quickly scurried our way through the very busy walk way into the lobby area. As we entered the sliding doors it was as if we were transported back in time to the illustrious ‘Cathay Hotel’ (as it was once known), Asia’s most luxurious hotel in the 1920’s.
As we had the Fairmont Gold access booked, we were taken to the private Gold floor where we swiftly checked in and began our hotel tour.
Walking around the polished Italian marble, glass-stained ceiling rotunda, one can only imagine the amount of history these walls have witnessed.
I am not normally one to divulge as much historical info as I am about to, but I feel as if this hotel needs a bit of a history spiel.
- The Fairmont’s distinctive copper-sheathed roof stands 77 meters above ground. It was the tallest building along The Bund when it was completed.
- Shanghai has been a hotbed for drama, glamour and culture of every stripe since the Roaring 20s, and Fairmont Peace Hotel has been in the middle of the action on The Bund since the beginning. Welcoming distinguished guests from all over the world, including politicians, financiers, entrepreneurs, important Chinese officials and celebrities (such as General Marshall, Charlie Chaplin and Bernard Shaw) Chinese directors have been taking advantage of this iconic hotel since 1937. The Fairmont Peace Hotel or Cathay Hotel (as it was known then) has been featured in a plethora of international and local feature films.
- The Fairmont Peace miraculously survived through the perils of the Japanese occupancy of Shanghai during the war and the birth of China’s Cultural Revolution. Most of the hotels interior was boarded up with gyprock and disguised in an attempt to prevent the willing destruction of the “Four Olds”: old customs, old culture, old habits and old ideas by Mao’s red guards.
- In 2007 The Fairmont Peace Hotel underwent an extensive, three-year, 65 million restoration (rather than renovation) in its’ ‘return to glamour’. Ironically the same gyprock that was used to board up and hide the hotels’ extravagance, had in-fact preserved it.
- The Presidential Suite which occupies the entire 10th floor of Fairmont Peace Hotel, was the hotel’s creator and former owner, Victor Sassoon, private residence.
With over 270 guest rooms including 39 suites, you are spoilt for choice with different room types.
Each suite of the famous Nine Nations Suites reflects the international nature of the original Peace Hotel and of Shanghai as an internationally desired destination. The custom-made suites have been designed in keeping with the original concept; of presenting different national and historical styles of each individual country.
Guests wanting to experience the multinational charm of Peace Hotel have the choice between English, Chinese, American, Italian, Japanese, French, Spanish, Indian & German inspired rooms for the same price as the Signature River View suite.
We were fortunate enough to stay in the Fairmont Peace Hotel’s ‘French Suite’. It was quite possibly the most opulent hotel room I stayed in during our month long Asia trip. We were able to enjoy the Art Nouveau décor with classically figured wallpaper, walnut carved furniture and luxuriously designed fabrics & curtains.
The room is approximately 178sq m in size, so… yes it’s big. Not only does it offer a spacious living area but it comes with a study and informal lounge area, a dining area with 8-person dining table for ‘intimate’ parties, an extra spacious bedroom and bathroom with walk-in wardrobes and also had a separate entrance for kitchen staff. During out stay we felt as if we were in an apartment rather than a hotel room.
The room has been designed down to the finest of detailing. If I had not been looking out the window and onto the famous Huangpu River, I could have easily mistaken myself for being in the French countryside.
The expansive marble bathroom was glamorous and well appointed, with a separate bath and shower and dual his and her basin.
What also seemed to make the suite that extra bit homely was the customized playlist playing trough the Bose surround sound.
Food & Beverage:
Guests are spoilt for choice at the Fairmont Peace in terms of food and beverage options. With an array of options ranging from European home-style cuisine & Sunday Brunch on the Bund in the Cathay Room or a tantalizing traditional meal at Dragon Phoenix.
Or my favourite; Indulging in a cocktail or two at the Jazz Bar. Where Shanghai’s most famous Old Jazz Band takes you back to the private clubs of the 20’s & 30’s.
The Old Jazz Band:
Pool & Gym:
If we are going to be completely honest, we spent so much time walking around outside along the Bund and sight seeing, we didn’t get a chance to check out either the gym or the pool. We were told they were nice and spacious, with the pool being indoors.
- Steeped in history
- Arguably the best Location in Shanghai
- Arguably the best view of Shanghai
- Opulent and charming
- Jazz Band
- As the hotel is such a well-known landmark in Shanghai, it seems that there is always a crowd walking around. So if you are after a reclusive resort style stay, this might not be for you.
It’s hard to summarize our stay in just a sentence or paragraph. Our stay at the Fairmont was memorable beyond words, from our Parisian inspired suite, to learning the history behind the hotel, to the old jazz band we found ourselves wandering up and down the corridors finding new and enchanting things every step of the way.
Fairmont Peach Hotel
20 Nanjing E Rd, WaiTan, Huangpu Qu,
Shanghai Shi, China, 200002
+86 21 6138 6888