Land of dragons – Hotel Mandarin Oriental / Shanghai / China

Categories Destinations, Hotels6 Comments

It is always great to be in China, House & Hotel Magazine made a presstrip to Shanghai, Mandarin Oriental.

The hotel is spectacularly located on the banks of the Huangpu River, lying in the heart of Pudong’s central financial district. It is surrounded by the skyscrapers of Lujiazui. I got a unique blend of style with a stunning design, world-class restaurants, serene spa and Mandarin Oriental’s legendary service.
It’s only a few minutes from Shanghai IFC and Shanghai World Financial centre, and ten minutes from the historic Bund. Great walking area.
For me one of the best hotel I’ve stayed in Shanghai, it has big rooms, I had a fantastic river view.
The bathroom also had huge bathtub and fabulous view. The staff was pleasant and the roomservice 24/7 perfect. As in all the Mandarin Orientals the breakfast buffet was fantastic.
It was easy to reach the city’s main attractions from Lujiazui and Pudong Avenue Metro stations. Just 45 minutes to Pudong and 30 minutes to Hongqiao International Airport. We enjoyed the Pudong express, to drive 459 km/h is more than fun.
The Pudong area along the east side of the Huangpu River, across from the historic city center of Shanghai in Puxi. Formerly a little-developed agricultural area that was linked only by ferries, Pudong has grown rapidly since the 1990s and emerged as China’s financial and commercial hub.

Besides this, our restaurant tips for Shanghai:

#1: Three on the Bund

Its in one of the glorious 1920s colonial buildings, converted into an art gallery and designer shopping emporium, with four restaurants. The 7th floor roof terrace has a fabulous view over the river and Pudong. The restaurants are Laris, New Heights, the Whampoa Club, and Jean Georges (outpost of the New York chef Jean Georges Vongvichteren). On the top of the building is a little cupola, which has been cleverly converted into two private dining rooms, each with just one table. The upper cupula has a table for two, the lower one a table for up to eight. In these you can eat a menu prepared by any of the restaurants, or indeed even mix and match courses if you wish. We had lovely Sea Scallops with Caper-Raisin Emulsion and Lobster Tartine, Lemongrass, Fenugreek Broth, Pea Shoot. It was fantastic.

The chef Jean Georges is fantastic and known for its use of spices with more classical dishes, and indeed this was on show tonight e.g. the lobster had very distinct spices. The Desserts were an excellent mix of chocolate dishes, including a fine chocolate fondant.

Overall a yummy lovely exerience on the bund, the great thing here is the setting. YYou have the sense from this that it is a bit of an unusual novelty rather than a pure dining destination, but it is a seriously romantic setting.


A revolutionary 10-seat multi-sensory experience restaurant Ultraviolet. It will evoke a ‘bold and exclusive dining experience that engages all the senses to create the ultimate luxury.
Ultraviolet, a sort of dress rehearsal for the final draft of the restaurant which has finally rolled out. And after this, admittedly invited, tasting, we can say definitively that yes, Ultraviolet is radical and it was very much worth the wait.

Ultraviolet is located in a secret location in an old Shanghai neighbourhood. After being driven to the restaurant by their private driver, you enter a set of inconspicuous double doors and cross into Pairet’s fantasy restaurant: a mixture of James Bond lair and mad scientist laboratory. Mesh metal doors slide open without any visible human attendants. Your chilled drink awaits on a bar counter of raw wood. After a few sips, another door slides open, beckoning you down a hallway lit by a Baccarat crystal chandelier. Then, a final set of doors slides open. You can’t help but laugh as the 2001: A Space Odyssey opening chords play while you step into the all-white dining room: a plain rectangular table flanked by 10 white adjustable chairs. The dining experience begins.

Each course is paired with 360 degree video projections, surround sound music (a different song tailored to each course) and even custom scents: sometimes they waft from a pressure cooker which is hand carried around the room, sometimes from a scent machine installed in the ceiling and with one course, the scent of cigar smoke captured in a glass dome is held up to your nose by a waiter.

The full dinner includes 20 ‘avant garde’ courses with names such as ‘Foie gras can’t quit’, which is an extraordinary edible ‘cigarette’ of foie gras wrapped in a shining fruit-flavoured ‘skin’ and presented in a shining silver ashtray. You dip it in ‘cabbage ash’ while a projection of cigarette ash wheels around you on screen.

For other courses, many of which are paired with drinks ranging from dessert wine to peppermint tea, projections include crashing ocean waves, ancient trees in fog or Indonesian masks. A ‘micro fish and ship’ course is actually a single giant caper berry deep fried in batter and paired with anchovy tartar sauce. The food is central to the night, never just a prop; each meticulously crafted bite is so delectable, we’re left craving more after nearly every course.

It was a great experience.

Just enjoy.
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