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Tuesday 23 April 2013

A funky hotel choice in Shanghai

Shanghai is one of the most fascinating and vibrant cities on the planet right now; an intriguing combination of ancient and modern that is moving ahead at breakneck pace.

The skyline of the city’s financial centre, Pudong, changes on an almost daily basis as futuristic high-rise buildings are constructed with almost indecent haste. The 492-metre Shanghai World Financial Centre is the world’s third-tallest building with the highest observation deck on its 100th floor.

Shanghai is a city on the move in a nation that has built up impressive economic momentum; it’s a place for the young – and young at heart – that pulses 24 hours a day.

New hotels are popping up all over the city but one has a distinctive Australian accent that will put visitors instantly at ease.

The first Indigo hotel in the Asia-Pacific region, the Hotel Indigo Shanghai on the Bund sits on the bank of the busy Huangpu River, where working barges jostle for space with gaudily decorated cruise boats full of excited tourists.

Of the 184 rooms, including 23 suites, most have sweeping views of both the historic Bund – the city’s main thoroughfare and waterfront promenade - and the dramatically lit skyline of Pudong  across the water.

Situated at the southern end of the Bund, and just a short walk from Yu Gardens in the Old Town, one of the city’s main attractions, Hotel Indigo has been designed to reflect both the past and the future of Shanghai’s riverfront neighbourhoods and has a funky but relaxed vibe.

Constructed on the site of a former bank building, it offers a coming together of generations with old and new objets d’art and furnishings; including individually designed tea sets. An old rickshaw in the lobby is next to an art installation that shows a video telling the story of the city, which was once known as “the Paris of the East”. Artworks by young local artists decorate the public spaces, which aim at replicating 1930s Shanghai without skimping on creature comforts.

While rooms feature historic photos, traditional lamps and bamboo desks, the hotel is the epitome of modernity with 42” flat-screen TVs, Bose sound systems, free wifi and broadband connections and iPhone/iPod docks and chargers. Bathrooms feature large showers, luxurious deep baths and electronic toilets with warmed seats and individually adjustable bidets and there is a state-of-the-art gym, along with a 17-metre indoor swimming pool that appears to float above the Bund.

There are several Australian staff, too, including GM Bruce Ryde and executive chef Julie Donohoe, whose food at CHAR bar and grill (above) has received several rave local reviews. 

Hotel Indigo Shanghai on the Bund: 585 Zhongshan Dong Er Road, Huangpu Area, Shanghai, 200010, China. Phone +86 21 3302 9999. 
Qantas has direct flights from Sydney to Shanghai. See 

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