Hyatt on the Bund, Shanghai
What is it? A new 631-room, twin-tower Hyatt hotel in Shanghai that officially falls into the Grand Hyatt portfolio.
And it's on The Bund presumably: well, not exactly; it's just north of Suzhou Creek on the Northern Bund, which was so named by the Shanghai government in the 1990s to boost tourism and raise land prices. Nitpicking aside, it's a superb location - probably the best in the city in terms of views, which look down The Bund (a few minutes' walk away) to the southwest and over Pudong to the southeast. Most rooms offer one or both aspects.
Pleasant accommodation? All the clean lines and mod cons you'd expect in this price bracket, with well-stocked bathrooms and expansive windows to take in the views, which are best from the 11th floor upwards. If you have a room or suite offering access to the hotel's executive lounge, The Bund Club, you'll find a good range of breakfast items, evening snacks and free-flowing complimentary snifters at cocktail hour.
What about wining and dining? Most impressive location-wise is Vue Bar, on the top two floors of the West Tower. There is an outdoor terrace with a large public Jacuzzi encircled by curtained day beds, presenting opportunities for debauchery not seen in these parts since the 1930s. The Vue Restaurant serves European food in an interesting space, designed by Japanese interiors firm SuperPotato to have the 'air of a private residence'. Antique flea-market decor sourced from Europe adds to the ambience. National nosh is served at the Xindalu China Kitchen on the ground floor while Aroma, described by the hotel as a selection of 'semi-autonomous restaurants', has the increasingly popular east-west mixture of open kitchens for buffet service. There is also a cosy tearoom off the main lobby.
Anything else worth a try? The 3,000 sq metre Yuan Spa has a 25-metre pool, a fitness centre and 12 treatment rooms. Yuan means 'source of water' in Putonghua and the aquatic theme is in play as soon as you enter the spa, past a long, rocky waterway. Spa products include Kerstin Florian, SkinCeuticals and the Chinese-made Ba Yan Ka La range.
What's the bottom line? Room rates from now to February 17 start at 1,450 yuan (plus 15 per cent tax) per night for a King Room, 2,050 yuan for a Club King with Bund Club access and 3,950 yuan for a Bund Suite, which offers the best views. Visit the website for reservations.
Hyatt on the Bund, 199 Huangpu Road, Shanghai, China, tel: 86 21 6393 1234; shanghai.bund.hyatt.com.