Love it or hate it, Shanghai is awesome, in your face – and getting more so. The key is to have your Shanghai LUXE City Guide in hand and chances are you’ll love it. Plus a good concierge, who will print out your destination address in Chinese for your taxi driver and give you a card with your hotel’s address on it, so you get back again. Taxis are dirt cheap, the best way to get around.
LUXE describes Shanghai as a “space age supercity” and that’s about right. Everything is here: big brands, big name chefs, cool bars and nightlife, shopping, shopping, shopping. If you don’t mind being shoved and pushed out of the way, this is one hell of a city. Lai! Lai! Lai! Best to keep your cool. Just don’t expect to see a blue sky, this is pollution city. Old Shanghai exists, but it’s hidden down side streets and alleyways.
Miss M broke a fingernail on the way over (ouch) so the first thing we turned to our LUXE guide for, was a nail bar. Not a problem: with a branch of Frangipani aptly described as an “airy nail nirvana” just round the corner, we were soon presentable again. We toyed with the idea of a Ginger Soya Foot Mask, but needs must and, LUXE guide in hand, we headed to Taikang Lu – the artists and designers’ enclave, stuffed full of one-off shops down twisting backlanes – funky local labels, art galleries, ceramics with a modern twist that would look good anywhere, silk, linen, cashmere, lanterns, kids clothes, accessories and scarves galore. Here’s what we loved: Woo Scarf & Shawl for amazing wraparounds - Angela will show you to transform one wraparound at least three ways using the two buttons. Silver World for silver jewellery to order and to die for; Cosmos Design for Ming style ceramics with a brilliant contemporary twist; Marion Carsten for freshwater pearls – and so much more. Keep walking and keep your eyes peeled. Taikang Lu may be trendy but real life goes on – a balcony full of kids here, a line of laundry there…which alley next? Are we lost? Shanghai LUXE Guide recommends personal shopper Francine Martin for retail guidance call 6366 4361.
Stay at the PuLi Hotel & Spa , 1 Changde Lu – a contemporary beacon of bliss amongst the hustle and bustle: wood, silk, chic club lounge, Jing’An restaurant, Bose sound system, Nespresso, comp Wifi. A member of The Leading Hotels of the World.
And finally don’t miss the late-night view over the Bund and the river, from super-slinky rooftop VUE lounge. It’s all about that skyline – and it’s all in the Shanghai LUXE City guide.
Zai Je-an Shanghai and Shyeah-Shyeah for the memories!*
*While Miss M has phonetically spelt her Chinese, the proper spelling of “good-bye” is zài jiàn and “thank you” is xie xie