Shanghai’s most eagerly awaited historic restoration project is currently underway. The heritage art deco Peace Hotel, located on the riverfront Bund, is being refashioned as an iconic international hotel for the 21st century.
HBA/Hirsch Bedner Associates - the global leader in hospitality design - is now in the final design stages of the world-famous Peace Hotel and transforming it into the ultra-luxurious Fairmont Peace Hotel Shanghai. The reopening of this Shanghai landmark in 2010 will be highly anticipated by discerning travelers worldwide. It will also mark the rebirth of an Asian institution, as the old Peace Hotel came to symbolize Shanghai’s Pearl of the Orient heyday in the 1920s and 1930s. Back then, China’s finest hotel was known as the “ultimate venue for life’s pleasures” and hosted scores of celebrity guests, including Charlie Chaplin and Noel Coward.
HBA is working closely with the Peace Hotel’s owners, Jin Jiang International Hotels Group, and Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, which will manage the new hotel. Also lending their specific expertise are the Shanghai Design Institute, architectural consultants Allied Architects International and lighting consultant BPI.
“The Peace Hotel has been a Shanghai landmark for more than a century. It is the most famous hotel in China, and arguably in Asia,” says Ian Carr, Principal of HBA. “It is our intention to recreate the grandeur and majesty of this major Asian landmark, and restore it to its rightful place as one of the world’s finest hotels.”
HBA has a team of 14 designers in Shanghai and Singapore working on the Peace Hotel project, headed by HBA Principals Ian Carr and Connie Puar. Since its doors closed to the public in April 2007, the historic property has also undergone a detailed structural study to define the hotel’s original floor plan and design schematics. “Architecturally we are trying to retain as much as we possibly can,” says Carr.
The newly revitalized Fairmont Peace Hotel Shanghai will offer approximately 256 deluxe guestrooms and suites. A selection of six restaurants and lounges will include the endeared Jazz Bar, Deli Cafe and a lobby lounge on the ground floor, a mezzanine-level sushi, wine and cigar bar, and a heritage Chinese restaurant and the Peace Grill Restaurant on the eighth floor.
This level will also host the Peace Hall, with its famed sprung-timber dance floor, plus several meeting rooms and an expansive outdoor terrace. A low-rise extension added to the rear of the hotel will house some guestrooms, plus a sky-lit swimming pool and spa.
The famous ‘Nine Nations Suites’ will remain a feature of the new hotel: four of these (Indian, English, Chinese and American) will be preserved from the old Peace Hotel, while the French, Italian, Spanish, Japanese and German suites will be redesigned in keeping with their original concepts.
A Presidential Suite will occupy the 10th-floor penthouse where the hotel’s flamboyant creator and former owner, Victor Sassoon, once lived.