PortfolioJumeirah Clearwater Bay Resort
Qingshui Wan, Lingshui, Hainan, China
One of the joys of our line of work is that we get to combine our passion for travel with our work. When those two interests overlap on the same trip, it's even better. Recently I had the pleasure of visiting Shanghai for the fist time for a project. Not only was this a client presentation but it was also an opportunity to work across offices with the Singapore interiors team and the interiors team in Irvine. Prior to our client presentation, Zia Hansen and I met up, booked a car for the day, and armed with a list of hotels, we set off to see what Shanghai has to offer. Alas, our driver did not speak English, so the concierge at hotel was kind enough to translate our 'wish list' so that the driver would know where to take us. This proved to be an adventure throughout the day, as the driver would take us to each location and it was not until we arrived that we knew which hotel we were visiting! We spent the day taking in about 10 hotels, looking at F+B outlets, taking in the vibe of the lobby, walking guest corridors, and when possible asking for room tours.
Our tour included well known brands like Marriott and St. Regis and newer players like Hotel Indigo. We even took in a small property called the Waterhouse that was very charming.
By far the most gracious was our tour of the Waldorf Astoria. Thru some contacts I was able to get an in depth personal tour of the property for us. We walked the hotel up and down, toured the rooms and suites, got to ride in the historic elevators (only operated by select trained staff) and see the famed Long Bar, located in the historic old gentleman club that the new hotel tower is attached to. It was a real treat to get an in depth perspective on a beautifully designed hotel.
Shanghai was thriving, full of energy, and a sight to see. The Bund lit up at night, is a thing of beauty, and the people gathered and walking along the expansive waterfront path is delightful. Across the river, in the Pudong, towering skyscrapers meet Vegas with lighting that illuminate the skyline in a kaleidoscope of LEDs.
In the end is was an exhausting but rewarding day spent learning about properties in the area and gaining insight in the city we would soon be putting our mark on.
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