Marriott Intl.’s W Hotels Worldwide brand has debuted in Shanghai, with the opening of a flagship hotel on The Bund. G.A. Design—an interior and architectural design practice with offices in Shanghai, London, Budapest and Kuala Lumpur—created the 374-key property’s look.
Drawing on colonial glamour and futuristic motifs, project participants say the hotel’s design references the local style of Haipai, the art of combining elements of the old and new and East and West.
Neon light installations throughout the hotel’s Living Room lobby act as a modern reinterpretation of the tradition of hanging wet laundry on lines to dry in Lilong, a community of interconnected narrow laneways in the city. The reception area features a kaleidoscopic fixture that mirrors the flow of guests through the area. A Melting Qipao pattern, which references Shanghai’s melting pot of cultures, adorns the restroom walls.
Nearly all guest rooms offer views of the Huangpu River, thanks to the building’s curved shape. The beds within the accommodations—including 35 suites—are accented with pillows in the shape of Shanghai’s famed Xiaolongbao (soup) dumpling and chopsticks. In addition, the Cloud on the Bund suite features an LED wall and a hanging bed, while the duplex Extreme WOW Suite (the brand’s take on a presidential suite) is highlighted by a hanging neon installation in the shape of lips blowing smoke.
F&B concepts include The Kitchen Table, which evokes a modern New York bistro and features an interactive open kitchen; YEN, a Cantonese dining concept; LIQUID AT YEN, a speakeasy that recalls Shanghai’s 1920s cocktail scene; WOOBAR, which transforms from a daytime lounge into an evening cocktail bar; and a WET BAR near the pool. The hotel is also home to 65,000-sq.-ft. of meeting/events space and an AWAY Spa.
“The opening of the W Shanghai – The Bund underscores the ambitious expansion of Marriott Intl.’s Luxury Brands in Greater China,” says Stephen Ho, ceo of the hotelier’s unit for the region.