At the latest ILTM event in Shanghai, I had the privilege of discovering and stay at the Ritz-Carlton Pudong, which is unquestionably one of the city’s finest hotels. Opened in 2010 during the Shanghai World Expo, the Ritz-Carlton Shanghai offers an ideal location in the heart of the city, topped off by a spectacular panoramic view. Indeed, the establishment is located in the heart of the International Financial Center of Shanghai, home to a shopping mall and 2 skyscrapers. The Ritz-Carlton takes up 18 upper floors of the South Tower, which soars at 260 meters tall. This 5-star hotel features 285 rooms in the Art Deco style. Add to it the highest rooftop bar in China, a 5-star spa recommended by the prestigious Forbes guide, as well as 4 restaurants offering varied styles of cuisine, including a restaurant awarded 1 Michelin star in the Michelin Shanghai 2017 edition. The Ritz-Carlton Shanghai is thus largely equipped to satisfy both business travelers and leisure clients in every way. Yet what distinguishes the establishment above all else is unquestionably its family-oriented offerings.
A unique family-oriented experience
The Ritz-Carlton Shanghai delivers a particular attention to young guests by offering them all kinds of activities within the hotel. The opening of the Disneyland park in 2016 in eastern Shanghai in the Pudong district, the same district where the Ritz-Carlton Shanghai is located, has in effect encouraged the hotel to offer a family-oriented panel of services. Whether they are staying for one or several nights, a family of travelers can enjoy a special offer called ‘Family Magical Moments,’ which include a night stay as well as a host of activities and put in place for children of all ages.
This array of activities designed for kids is called the ‘Ritz Kids’ Program. It all begins at the reception, where children are immediately invited to have a seat around a small table to play while waiting for their parents to check in; this is a well thought-out detail since it eases the mind of the parents, who can be free to discuss details with the staff at the reception. The hotel offers children sweet and savory snacks upon their arrival in the establishment. Then, children are invited to participate in the ‘junior hotelier’ program, a unique feature that allows kids to accompany a hotel staff member in order to discover their universe. As a souvenir, each child then receives a tailor-made version of the hotel uniform with their name. This educational experience allows children to learn the secrets of the art of welcoming as conceived by the Ritz-Carlton and promises to be unforgettable. The establishment ensures the happiness of the children all the way into the evening, thanks to the chance to participate in a night safari. From the comfort of their hotel room, children have the chance to live out a camping experience. They can fall asleep in their own tent and have everything from a camping lamp and a compass to truly plunge them into the adventure. They will also have the company of a teddy bear to help carry them off to sleep. To finish off the evening in full style, the Ritz-Carlton even offers a reading-aloud session to the children, complete with milk and cookies.
The Ritz-Carlton Shanghai has thus put in place a full program to keep children engaged, and their parents are not left stranded either. They also enjoy numerous advantages. For instance, the hotel offers a wide variety of exclusive privileges in the stores of the neighboring shopping mall, as well as an afternoon tea in the Club Lounge, where parents can enjoy champagne, wine, and pastries at their leisure. Families are thus guaranteed to thoroughly enjoy their stay at this hotel.
Contemporary luxury with a 360° view over Shanghai
The Ritz-Carlton Shanghai located in Pudong is the second hotel from the group to open in the city. Thanks to its location in the heart of the International Financial Center of the city, it enjoys a panoramic view and a unique architectural style. Designed by the famous architect Cesar Pelli, the complex is dominated in large part by glass, offering from its rooms and common spaces an exceptional view over Shanghai and its symbols, such as the Oriental Pearl. The interior design of this relatively new hotel was designed by Richard Farnell. It is contemporary and inspired by the Art Deco style of Shanghai in the 1930s. It corresponds perfectly to the environment of the Ritz-Carlton, since the hotel offers a spectacular view over the Bund, a boulevard in the city made up of historical buildings that constitute the largest collection of Art Deco architecture in the world. The At Flair bar that I discovered during my stay delivers an incredible view over the Pearl and offers numerous light plates and cocktails all in an ambiance that is convivial and festive. The menu offers Japanese tapas, as well as cuisine from Indonesia, Vietnam, India and China—in short, the very best of what Asia has to offer.
Finally, the services offered by the Ritz-Carlton are far from lacking. The most iconic element is the spa, which is the only spa in China recognized by the prestigious Forbes guide. Located on the 55th floor of the hotel, the spa of the Ritz-Carlton Shanghai is comprised of 10 treatment rooms, each featuring glass windows offering a spectacular view over the city. In this Art Deco-inspired space, the Ritz-Carlton offers a unique spa experience. The rich culture and influence of China, India, Europe, and Bali blend to offer the best possible treatments, and the products used are all natural and organic, produced from plants, essential oils, and marine elements.
Known for his international expertise on luxury hotels through his magazine, Laurent Delporte shares his vision and experiences in the world of hotels on his site DELPORTE Hospitality. He decodes the behind-the-scenes action in the sector: from food and beverage facilities, accommodations, architecture, to the quality of services. He offers interviews, advice, and articles as pragmatic resources that industry professionals and private individuals can refer to in their search for information.