Wanda Reign on the Bund

Arriving at the lavish Wanda Reign on the Bund, my eyes are immediately drawn to the artwork, chandeliers, marble and Art Deco elements throughout the lobby.

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This luxury property (its exterior designed by Norman Foster and Heatherwick Studio) opened three years ago close to the Bund, the city’s much beloved walking street along the Huangpu River. Wanda’s in-house design team spent three years meticulously crafting the interior.

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[Splendid Oriental; Shiqi, 2015]

Utilizing elements from the 1920’s and 1930’s, this gorgeous property includes a fine collection of art and antiques by well-known contemporary Chinese artists. Staff are attired in uniforms by globally-acclaimed fashion designer Laurence Xu.

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The Lobby Lounge takes on that same elegant look, where guests can indulge in Reign Afternoon Tea created by the Executive Bakery at Wanda Reign’s Master Chef Fan Wentian.

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Crystal chandeliers and jade inlaid floors are but a few of the notable interior touches waiting to be admired, not to mention the gorgeous interior of RuiKu, Wanda Reign’s 21st floor lounge with an eye-popping view of the Bund’s colourful light show at night.

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The week of my visit, the hotel is at full capacity with Asian celebrities for the Shanghai International Film Festival. There’s a line of fans outside hoping to get a glimpse of their favorite stars as the city begins to come to life one evening. Yes, this is well-coveted and respected address for celebrities near and far.

Wanda Reign on the Bund, Deluxe room

Rooms

Wanda Reign’s 190 rooms (including 13 suites) are Art Deco-inspired; some look out onto the Bund, Huangpu River, Yu Garden and Pudong skyline. Rooms have two distinct themes: Trendy with high energy and Noble, luxurious and distinguished.

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The wall behind my bed has a floral hand-painted silk screen; at each night table is a brass and crystal lamp with crystal pull chain. A reading lamp by the leather seat and ottoman matches in style.

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The bathroom chandelier is stunning, a golden claw-foot soaker tub with gold fixtures compliments the rest of the gold, crystal and marble throughout the room. The hotel uses L’Occitane bath products; this luxurious, relaxing space also contains is a mother-of-pearl inlaid box stocking amenities you may have left at home.

A selection of soothing music is accessible via a button but if you need to catch up on the latest news or sports teams, there’s a TV screen contained within the large mirror.

Wanda Reign on the Bund

A Japanese style automatic, heated toilet is off to one room and next to that, a rain/hand-held shower room. It’ll be tough getting used to lowering the seat and flushing the toilet manually now that I’ve been spoiled by Asian luxury.

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The lights and drapes all work via panels inside each night table, and they smartly tuck in as to not disturb with their lights at night. The large closet is well-organized for storing luggage, shoes, clothing plus an ironing board and iron.

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The mini bar area is stunning, with a curvy marble-topped wooden combination that opens to a mini fridge, sections for glassware, a tea set, Nespresso machine and snacks.

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The handsome work desk features an iPad mini with full menu to help orient you with the Wanda Reign’s amenities (as well as a control panel for TV, airco, lights and curtains), a classic banker’s lamp with crystal pull chain, phone with USB ports on either side, a clock, plus a safe that can not only stow a laptop but your jewels (a velvet-lined, open-top jewelry box is thoughtfully included in there).

Rich drapes keep the room nice and dark when it’s time to turn in. while the handmade Talalay latex mattress provides a deep sleep.

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The airco can be adjusted to several levels and is whisper-quiet.

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Spa, Pool, Gym

The SHUI Spa, heated infinity pool and fitness center are all on the second floor. The pool has a light pattern on the wall with quiet, yet repetitive music playing. It’s neither a very long nor deep pool but does the trick for lap swims.

The spa offers a large variety of sublime treatments and includes three spa suites: Wind, Cloud and Fog. Each contains both aa dry and wet steam room, hot and cold pools and shower rooms, all surrounded by candlelight and gorgeous art.

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The well-outfitted gym is open 24 hours a day. You can also purchase swim and workout gear just outside the gym.

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Dining

All-day restaurant Café Reign offers buffet-style service, serving up both Shanghai delights and European delicacies. The vast range of choices equals a culinary journey for food lovers.

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[Bottom photo: RIVER DRUNK]

Open for lunch and dinner (with a six-seat private dining room), RIVER DRUNK is on the fifth floor, offering Huaiyang cuisine with a focus on seafood.

Sauteed Hand Peeled River Shrimp with Longjing Tea
[Sauteed Hand Peeled River Shrimp with Longjing Tea at RIVER DRUNK]

Also on the fifth, award-winning HE Japanese Restaurant is all about sashimi, sushi, tempura and teppanyaki to compliment a selection of sake, Japanese spirits and wines.

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[HE Japanese Restaurant]

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[RuiKu]

At top-floor venue RuiKu, the setting is sublime, the dining fine-casual. Here you can order a cocktail, watch the boats along the river, check out the fabulous city coming to life at night and dine on seafood with a glass of bubbly or wine in hand.

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In the evening, this spot morphs into a terrace bar with DJs. There’s also afternoon tea served from 2 to 5 pm.

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[Club Reign at Wanda Reign on the Bund]

And if money is absolutely no object, consider an elite membership at Club Reign at Wanda Reign on the Bund, with private lounges, a wine and cigar bar, SHUI Spa containing private suites and karaoke room with disco ball, in addition to top-notch food and beverage service.

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Service

The hotel prides itself on its highly-personalized and hospitable service. Though not all staff speak Chinese, there is always someone to help get the message through and get someone to answer questions or requests.

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When I was interested in enjoying my final night in town aboard a Huangpu River cruise, one of the concierges accompanied me to the nearby cruise terminal (an easy set of buildings to get lost in) so I could find the right ticket booth and waiting room again that evening.

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Nearby Attractions

It’s about a five-minute walk to Yu Garden (and another five to the metro). Just around the block is a shopping center with gorgeous designer shops, eateries and cafés (there are many high-end, full-service malls in Shanghai!).

The lively area near Yu Garden is filled with shops, a garment market and a wealth of street food. Also nearby is the City of God temple.

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[Pretty, bamboo-filled Gucheng Park is just down the block and less busy than Yu Garden]

The start of the Bund is about a five- to 10-minute walk in the other direction and not to be missed, especially once you’ve had a glimpse of that stunning Bund/Pudong skyline from RuiKu.

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Wanda Reign on the Bund is located at 538 Zhong Shan Dong Er Road in Shanghai’s Huangpu District.

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About Wanda Hotels and Resorts

Wanda Hotels and Resorts has six hotel brands: the ultra-luxury hotel brand Wanda Reign, luxury hotel brand Wanda Vista, premium hotel brand Wanda Realm, select-service hotel brand Wanda Jin, mid-scale brand Wanda Moments and cooperative brand Wanda Allegroitalia.

They manage 79 hotels in 60 cities around the world; this is the hotel group’s 51st hotel and the third of its ultra-luxury hotel brand following Wuhan and Chengdu. Future expansion outside Asia includes a hotel in Chicago, which would be in great company given the array of luxury properties in the Windy City.

My stay was hosted by Wanda Reign on the Bund. Opinions, as always, are my own.

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