Peace Hotel shutting for a makeover

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 27 January, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 28 October, 2016, 9:17am

Shanghai's iconic Peace Hotel is closing for up to two years for a near 500 million yuan makeover.

The 78-year-old art deco hotel on the historic riverside Bund has stopped taking reservations for its 380 guest rooms from April 1.

Sources familiar with the renovation said guest rooms would be enlarged and the famous jazz bar relocated within the shell of the existing building, once dubbed No1 Mansion in the Far East.

'The renovation will focus on making the rooms larger while maintaining the ambience of old Shanghai,' one source said. 'It is planned that part of the hotel will be reopened next year for the Olympic Games in Beijing.'

Its owner, Hong Kong-listed Shanghai Jin Jiang International Hotels (Group), said facilities such as the lifts, air-conditioning and lighting needed upgrading and its facade would be polished.

Analysts said the renovation was aimed at fending off punishing competition from Shanghai's growing luxury hotels sector, and in particular a 250-room Peninsula hotel opening on the Bund in 2009.

The Peace Hotel, then called Cathay Hotel, was opened in 1929 by the Peninsula hotel group's ultimate owner - the Kadoorie family - and until 1949 was the city's most prestigious.

Peace Hotel staff seem to be taking the two-year closure in their stride.

Judy Zhou, an usher for performances of the famous Old Jazz Band, said it was necessary to revamp the hotel since it was old.

'But I hope our Peace Hotel can retain its original style and its appearance.'

Additional reporting by Alice Yan