Andaz Xintiandi Shanghai-22

If there’s one word to describe concept hotel Andaz Xintiandi Shanghai, it’s ARTISTIC. The Andaz brand caters to the creative class and aims to be a catalyst for artistic ideas.

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From London’s Liverpool Street to California’s West Hollywood, each Andaz hotel is unique, its design, cuisine and signature elements reflecting the local character of the surrounding neighborhood. Everything in this hotel relates to shape, form, colour, mood lighting and local artwork at every turn.

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The sculpture in the photo above, resembling a crumpled piece of paper, was inspired by the balls of paper found on artist studio floors around the world, designed to be a rotating canvas for local illustrators and graffiti artists.

It’s covered with illustrations that reflect both Shanghai’s personality and heritage, from flying xiao long bau (soup dumplings) to rickshaws, from old architecture to the parasol trees found throughout the French Concession.

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Throughout the hotel, curated artwork explores themes of past and present, new and old, deconstruction and reconstruction.

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[Xiang Jing’s fibreglass dolls, part of the artist’s I Have Seen Happiness series]

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[Chengyu Visualised, a joint exhibition of 21 members of the Edge Creative Collective]

A collection of bold and colourful chengyu (traditional Chinese idioms) runs along the walls of my hotel room corridor.

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Walk through the ultra-modern lobby to the check-in counter, inside a metal oblong cage-like structure, where staff prepare your room keys and offer mineral water, coffee or juice at arrival.

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The lobby lounge is the place to be throughout the day. An international clientele can be seen dining from the bar menu, having a coffee or cocktail and chilling after a long day of work or sightseeing. There’s also a DJ on Wednesday through Saturday evenings.

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The adjacent Bleu Bar features several whisky flights, cocktails, beer and spirits that extends to a lovely outdoor patio.

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Rooms fuse form and colour, with wood floors, walls and built-in panels to house artwork.

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The headboard contains a panel of fabric patterns with a wooden section at top containing perforated holes that play with the light. You can also change the colour of the skylight.

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Everything in your room is controlled via a tablet at the desk. It’s command central to raise and lower blinds and shades, set lighting modes, air conditioning, TV and music, weather, in-house services, housekeeping and a web browser.

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[Colourfully packaged hotel toiletries are provided by Italian luxury brand La Bottega]

The bathroom is yet another visual treat: the stone-walled shower area may be pretty cool but it’s the soaker tub and sink that made my day.

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Select your favourite colour (or cycle through them all)!

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One morning I had a blue bath, the next evening, a red one. A panel on the wall simultaneously changes the sink and bathtub, cycling through clear to full-colour blast.

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The heated, automated Japanese-style toilet is Western-friendly, with options in both English and Chinese. A sensor knows you’ve arrived and the lid opens automatically. Choose your method of cleaning or simply use the toilet paper.

Inside the closet is an ironing board and iron, a safe, space for your suitcase plus drawers.

Andaz Xintiandi Shanghai

In the bedroom, a small coffee table and cozy chair are in one corner, while the desk area contains a Nespresso machine, a drawer with free snacks, mini fridge and coffee and tea cups. Windows are curvy in a retro-70’s kind of way and complement that colourful headboard.

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[Great views from high above!]

Anything you may have left at home is either on loan, to purchase or keep, from Woolite to yoga mats. You can even borrow (or buy) a phone, charger, curling iron, power adapter or set of free weights.

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Spa, Pool, Gym

A full-service spa, fitness center and plexiglass pool (illuminated blue around its edges) can be found on the Andaz’s lower level.

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Inside the changing rooms are lockers, showers, two small whirlpools and a sauna. Between the gym and pool is a lounge area for chilling post-work out.

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For an elaborate and varied breakfast and weekend brunch, head to Kitchen Studios on the second floor and indulge in both Western and Chinese dishes in a beautiful room with a living garden wall on one side and ultra-modern furnishings on the other.

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Chefs are scattered around the large serving station area, preparing omelettes, congee, waffles, Shanghainese pancakes and dumplings, while an assortment of breads, pastries, muffins, fruit, yogurts, juices and muesli vie for your attention.

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The breakfast buffet costs CNY 273 per person. They’re also open for lunch and dinner.

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Andaz Lounge is a casual, all-day restaurant open from 7 am to midnight. 88 Sushi Bento Bar is housed inside a steel cocoon above the Andaz.

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Designed by notable Japanese design firm Tofu Inc, it’s a cool space for delectable sushi, sashimi and beef. Sit up at the sushi bar to watch the chefs in action. Items are selected via a digital tablet.

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Bleu Bar, also designed by Tofu Inc, is a whisky bar with seating for 22 inside and 25 outside, offering a range of whiskys and other spirits.

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Nearby Attractions

Metro line 1 is just down the street and the hotel is at the edge of the French Concession, a lovely walkable neighbourhood filled with cafés, restaurants and beautiful architecture. Nearby is a pretty little quarter filled with international eateries, cafés, designer boutiques, and further down, a shopping center and movie theater.

[French Concession architecture]

Shops in the immediate area run the gamut from Lululemon (which has about eight Shanghai outposts) to Japan’s Bathing Ape.

Shanghai Museum
[Shanghai Museum]

You can also reach People’s Square with the imposing Shanghai Museum at its center, about a 15-minute walk. From there, Nanjing Road (shopper’s paradise) eventually leads to the Bund, where an evening stroll along the river is sublime (avoid the weekends as the streets get packed in with hoards of people all trying to get onto the famous walkway).

Andaz Xintiandi Shanghai

Andaz Xintiandi Shanghai is located at 88 Songshan Road, Shanghai.

My stay was hosted by Andaz Xintiandi Shanghai. Opinions, as always, are my own.

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