Conrad Hotels and Resorts are sweeping across the world, and no more so than in Asia. Proposed plans for China include Hong Kong and Beijing by 2010.
The new Conrad Shanghai, opening at the end of the year, is already grabbing attention with expectations of its outstanding architecture designed by Kohn Pederson Fox. Mary Aziz finds out more…BTN: Your new hotel will be opening in Shanghai at the end of this year. What highlights of the new Conrad Shanghai should we look forward to?
CS: The hotel marks the beginning of Conrad Hotels & Resorts push into mainland China with the opening of an exciting, contemporary luxury hotel in the hottest district in Shanghai. The Conrad Shanghai builds on success of the well-established Conrad Hong Kong. The Conrad Beijing will follow in 2010.
BTN: There is a lot of talk about the design. Where did the inspiration for this come from?
CS: Designed by internationally renowned architects Kohn Pederson Fox, the 24-storey tower is clad in warm gray granite with window walls based on traditional Chinese latticework from the Han Dynasty.
BTN: What is the hotel’s target market?
CS: The Conrad Shanghai will appeal to both leisure and business markets. The hotel will have all the modern facilities expected by business travellers, including wi-fi access and an impressive business centre. The hotel’s location, in the buzzing lifestyle district of Xintiandi, will also be a powerful draw for leisure travelers who want to shop and enjoy the local nightlife. The hotel’s spacious rooms, impressive spa and choice of seven exciting restaurants and bars will also appeal to leisure travelers.
The Conrad Shanghai caters to business travellers’ every need. This includes a 24-hour business centre with secretarial services. Conference and meeting facilities include nine function and board rooms, catering from eight to 170 guests. The hotel offers state-of-the-art technology, including audio and video conferencing and simultaneous translation services.
BTN: What other projects do Conrad Hotels and Resorts have on the horizon for us to look forward to?
CS: Conrad Hotels & Resorts has committed to substantially increase its portfolio in Asia Pacific and globally by 2010, making it one of the most significant luxury hotel brands in the world. We are exploring a range of opportunities for new properties and are we are very excited about the China market. But, we are focused on quality growth, with the right properties, in the right locations.
BTN: How will the Xintiandi area benefit from this new landmark hotel?
CS: The Conrad Shanghai offers an unparalleled selection of dining experiences. Seven innovative food and beverage outlets are contained within the hotel, offering a spectrum of cuisines from around the world, including China, Japan, Australia and France. There is also an exclusive chocolate boutique and lobby lounge serving high tea. Three free-standing food pavilions adjacent to the hotel also offer inspired and intimate dining.
The design of the Conrad Shanghai compliments the largely low-rise architecture of Xintiandi, which is home to restored, traditional Chinese architecture. The grey granite of the Conrad Shanghai mirrors the renovated grey brick townhouses that are a feature of the area, whilst the facing of restaurants and cafes onto a central plaza replicates the outdoor café culture of the neighbourhood. The Conrad Shanghai echoes the vibrancy and prosperity of the Han Dynasty, whilst simultaneously advancing the role of Shanghai as a global hub of commerce and culture.