88 Xintiandi

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 25 September, 2005, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 25 September, 2005, 12:00am

Where is it? Situated in the heart of Shanghai, surrounded by Xintiandi's 'recreated'' Shikumen residential area, with its high-end shopping and fine dining spots. There are also countless bars and nightclubs to attract the tourist dollar. Think Lan Kwai Fong, but with a touch of old-world class.

Old Shanghai or new Shanghai? The hotel manages to blend a little of both. It's old Shanghai as you enter from the street and wander through wooden doors down quiet hallways, but all the mod-cons can be found in the rooms. The furnishings are a mixture of Chinese antiques and Southeast Asian pieces, with the emphasis on creating a spacious escape from the city.

Okay, what has it got? Location, location, location. The place is close to all the key Shanghai sites, but you could spend a weekend not venturing far from Xintiandi while feasting on the best the city has to offer. The rooms are huge and open-plan with balconies facing either a nearby lake or Xintiandi. The suites come with kitchens that would do the best Hong Kong flats proud. You will also have Shanghai's best indoor swimming pool and spa facilities almost to yourself.

What about the food? Breakfast, afternoon teas and cocktails are served in the third-floor lounge. But the hotel encourages visitors to sample the many celebrated restaurants nearby, some of which will strike a chord with Hong Kong guests as they wander past local versions of Ye Shanghai and Va Bene.

Who calls it home? Screen goddess Maggie Cheung Man-yuk wouldn't be caught anywhere else. In fact, she's rarely 'caught' here either, because the management prides itself on its ability to keep prying eyes away. Security and privacy are hallmarks of the hotel.

What's the bottom line? Superior rooms cost US$258 a night, deluxe, with lake views, US$298 and suites US$328. Two-bedroom suites start at US$388 and executive suites at US$688.

88 Xintiandi, 380 Huang Pi Nan Road, Shanghai. See www.88xintiandi.com.