When Shanghai opened its doors for Expo 2010, it had a lot to prove. The city has long been China’s poster child for beauty and romance, and its hospitality offerings at the time had to reflect that nostalgia while also accommodating the 73 million visitors—a record attendance—that descended upon the city during the six-month-long world’s fair. Today, Shanghai has no such need for self promotion.
On the ultra-luxury front, Milan and New York firm Antonio Citterio Patricia Viel and Partners crafted the recently opened 82-key Bulgari Hotel atop a 40-floor structure that also houses branded residences and boasts striking Italian flourishes and furnishings that marry a Chinese black and red color scheme. For Asia’s first Bellagio hotel (the maiden outpost outside Las Vegas), architecture firm WATG and its design studio Wimberly Interiors renovated a 1920s-era heritage mansion that sits next to a 10-story modern building meant to follow the direction of the Suzhou River.