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Issue 13: Shanghai

Discover a locally curated guide to the city's finest experiences

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    • Beaux Arts buildings date to the turn of the 20th century, when the Bund was an international financial center. Photograph by Evelina Gospodinova.
      Beaux Arts buildings date to the turn of the 20th century, when the Bund was an international financial center. Photograph by Evelina Gospodinova.
    • Take in picture perfect views of Pudong skyscrapers and the Huangpu River. Photograph by Evelina Gospodinova.
      Take in picture perfect views of Pudong skyscrapers and the Huangpu River. Photograph by Evelina Gospodinova.
    • Sunset is stunning as the city lights up. Photograph by Evelina Gospodinova.
      Sunset is stunning as the city lights up. Photograph by Evelina Gospodinova.

      Issue 13: Shanghai

      This glitzy esplanade along the Huangpu waterfront may be touristy, but the views of colonial buildings as well as the Oriental Pearl and other ultramodern developments of Pudong make it a must do for anyone who wants to understand the charming contrasts of contemporary Shanghai.  To watch the city light up and the locals wind down, come for a leisurely walk along the Bund at sunset and duck into one of the area’s glamorous rooftop bars.

    • Issue 13: Shanghai

      From a commanding perch overlooking the Bund, the Peninsula Shanghai offers Art Deco accommodations laced with lots of luxe, high-tech touches like spa-like bathrooms and one-touch control panels for the lighting, stereo, and even the curtains. Want to travel in true high style? Arrange for one of the hotel’s fleet of 1930s Rolls Royces to chauffeur you to and from the airport.

    • Sea bass with basil, tomatoes and olive oil. Photograph by Evelina Gospodinova.
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      Seared sea bass with clams, cauliflower, and lemon confit. Photographs by Evelina Gospodinova.
       
       
       
      Cured salmon and rosy beets.
    • Issue 13: Shanghai

      Craving a taste of authentic Shanghai? Let unconventional outfitter, Untour Shanghai, lead you on a foray into the city’s lively night markets, where vendors ply passersby with local delicacies like spicy Shanghai-style crayfish and cumin-scented hand-pulled noodles. The groups are small and the guides are whip smart—so all you need to bring is an open mind and an appetite.

    • Every nook is brimming with beautiful bolts of fabric. Photograph by Evelina Gospodinova.
      • Mod lounges flank the indoor pool. Photograph by Evelina Gospodinova.
        Mod lounges flank the indoor pool. Photograph by Evelina Gospodinova.
      • At the acclaimed in-house steakhouse, Char, the decor is refined rustic.  Photograph by Evelina Gospodinova.
        At the acclaimed in-house steakhouse, Char, the decor is refined rustic. Photograph by Evelina Gospodinova.
      • Surprising pops of bright colors are everywhere. Photograph by Evelina Gospodinova.
        Surprising pops of bright colors are everywhere. Photograph by Evelina Gospodinova.
      • In the rooms, striking photo murals and traditional fabrics nod to Shanghai's history. Photograph by Evelina Gospodinova.
      • The inviting breakfst buffet offers an array of both Western and Eastern favorites. Photograph by Evelina Gospodinova.
        The inviting breakfst buffet offers an array of both Western and Eastern favorites. Photograph by Evelina Gospodinova.
      • Start the evening with an expertly-made cocktail. Photograph by Evelina Gospodinova.
        Start the evening with an expertly-made cocktail. Photograph by Evelina Gospodinova.
      • Dedicated relaxation areas feature cozy corners and massage "pods." Photograph by Evelina Gospodinova.
        Dedicated relaxation areas feature cozy corners and massage "pods." Photograph by Evelina Gospodinova.

        Issue 13: Shanghai

        Bright and youthful but still plenty posh, Hotel Indigo Shanghai on the Bund breathes life into the boutique hotel format by celebrating both cutting edge design and the traditional motifs of it’s home city. In the lobby, a restored rickshaw sits side-by-side with installations from local artists, while the fashionable guest rooms feature reclaimed wood from Chinese merchant ships and salvaged Shikumen bricks–as well as hypnotic river views and spa-like rain showers. The in-house restaurant, CHAR, is also considered one of the best tables in town.

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        Cloisonne tea caddies in a rainbow of colors. Photographs by Evelina Gospodinova.
         
        Honoring the Year of the Horse.
         
         
        Glass enamel and gold filament.
        • With soaring windows and plush seats, the hushed and airy dining room is quite intimate. Photograph by Evelina Gospodinova.
          With soaring windows and plush seats, the hushed and airy dining room is quite intimate. Photograph by Evelina Gospodinova.
        • Steamed shrimp dumpling with black truffle. Photograph by Evelina Gospodinova.
          Steamed shrimp dumpling with black truffle. Photograph by Evelina Gospodinova.
        • Baked crab shell stuffed with fresh crab meat. Photograph by Evelina Gospodinova.
          Baked crab shell stuffed with fresh crab meat. Photograph by Evelina Gospodinova.
        • Gilt, marble, and velvet finishes add to the sumptuous atmosphere. Photograph by Evelina Gospodinova.
          Gilt, marble, and velvet finishes add to the sumptuous atmosphere. Photograph by Evelina Gospodinova.
        • Shanghainese-style braised pork with layered crispy tofu. Photograph by Evelina Gospodinova.
          Shanghainese-style braised pork with layered crispy tofu. Photograph by Evelina Gospodinova.

          Issue 13: Shanghai

          Well-heeled businessmen and discerning dim sum aficionados flock to this genteel restaurant on the second floor of the Four Seasons Hotel Pudong, where the menu of traditional Cantonese and Shanghainese cuisine is flawlessly executed, the private dining rooms are intimate and elegant, and the service is always first class.

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          Art Deco styling combines with contemporary luxuries. Photographs by Evelina Gospodinova.
           
          Contemporary art.
           
          Glamorous gilt accents.
           
        • A classic Shanghainese stewed pork in sweet soy sauce. Photograph by Evelina Gospodinova.
          • The luxurious decor is accented with touches of gold and pale green. Photograph by Evelina Gospodinova.
            The luxurious decor is accented with touches of gold and pale green. Photograph by Evelina Gospodinova.
          • A stately Chesterfield sofa anchors a tasteful seating area in the lounge. Photograph by Evelina Gospodinova.
            A stately Chesterfield sofa anchors a tasteful seating area in the lounge. Photograph by Evelina Gospodinova.
          • From velvet pillows to fine linens, posh touches are everywhere. Photograph by Evelina Gospodinova.
            From velvet pillows to fine linens, posh touches are everywhere. Photograph by Evelina Gospodinova.
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            Issue 13: Shanghai

            Channel your inner movie star at the remarkable Waldorf Astoria Shanghai, whose beautiful interior incorporates both a restored 1910’s British gentleman’s club and a sleek, newly constructed tower. Rooms are decorated in soothing Neoclassical style but come tricked out with modern flourishes like hidden tvs and Japanese toilets–and suites in the historic wing include four poster canopy beds, silver-tipped clawfoot bathtubs, and Hermès bathroom amenities. This is glamour with a capital G.

          • Alleys are lined with historic houses, shops and cafes. Photograph by Evelina Gospodinova.
          • A steamer basket full of fresh, tender crab and pork xiao long bao. Photograph by Evelina Gospodinova.
            A steamer basket full of fresh, tender crab and pork xiao long bao. Photograph by Evelina Gospodinova.

            Issue 13: Shanghai

            Without a doubt, Shanghai’s most iconic noshes are the petite little dough “purses” packed with savory meatballs and silky broth known as xiao long bao, aka “soup dumplings.” Though there are many contenders for the xiao long bao crown, this humble but beloved spot still turns out the best in town. Our advice? Grab a place in line at Jia Jia Tang Bao and order extra of the addictive crab and pork version.

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            Delicate Yunnan-style wild vegetable cakes and a fresh tomato sauce. Photographs by Evelina Gospodinova.
             
            Unique masks line the walls.
             
            The decor is dimly lit and enchanting.
             
            Romantic lanterns glow.
          • Issue 13: Shanghai

            End the night in style at the opulent and always-packed nightclub Muse on the Bund, where DJs spin an eclectic mix of hip-hop, house, and electronica and leather booths, enormous chandeliers, and an over-the-top rooftop lounge (complete with wading pool) set the swanky scene.

          • The inventive tapas and desserts are meant for sharing. Photograph by Evelina Gospodinova.
            The inventive tapas and desserts are meant for sharing. Photograph by Evelina Gospodinova.

            Issue 13: Shanghai

            Killer craft cocktails? Check. Casually-chic urban décor? Check. A stellar menu of witty desserts and global “tapas,” like baked smoked bone marrow and scallop yuzu ceviche? The Commune Social has it all. No wonder the spot, the city’s newest venture from buzzy chef Jason Atherton, has drawn a buzzy crowd of cosmopolitan locals and visitors since the moment it opened its doors.

          • Britain's Benoy Architects created the modern design. Photograph by Evelina Gospodinova.
            • The elegant in-house restaurant, Ming Yuan, specializes in Cantonese classics and modern Chinese cuisine. Photograph by Evelina Gospodinova
              The elegant in-house restaurant, Ming Yuan, specializes in Cantonese classics and modern Chinese cuisine. Photograph by Evelina Gospodinova
            • Simple table settings and river views give the intimate dining room a serene ambience. Photograph by Evelina Gospodinova
              Simple table settings and river views give the intimate dining room a serene ambience. Photograph by Evelina Gospodinova
            • A deep soaking tub looks out over a panorama of the city and the Huangpu River. Photograph by Evelina Gospodinova
              A deep soaking tub looks out over a panorama of the city and the Huangpu River. Photograph by Evelina Gospodinova
            • Bathrooms are kitted out with exclusive Banyan Tree toiletries and top-of-the-line Toto fixtures. Photograph by Evelina Gospodinova
              Bathrooms are kitted out with exclusive Banyan Tree toiletries and top-of-the-line Toto fixtures. Photograph by Evelina Gospodinova
            • An indoor swimming pool and three "relaxation" pools are available for guests who want to exercise or unwind. Photograph by Evelina Gospodinova
              An indoor swimming pool and three "relaxation" pools are available for guests who want to exercise or unwind. Photograph by Evelina Gospodinova

              Issue 13: Shanghai

              With a quiet, Zen vibe, floor-to-ceiling windows in each room and an amazing in-house spa this “urban resort” along the Hongkou waterfront offers travelers a true oasis of calm in the center of the city. Many of the 118 rooms feature private heating dipping pools overlooking the glittering Bund–but for the ultimate getaway, reserve the spectacular The Banyan Suite, which is tricked out with a private rooftop terrace and swimming pool.

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              As night falls, the old buildings light up. Photographs by Evelina Gospodinova.
               
              An array of street food.
               
              Stalls stacked with souvenirs.
               
              Details of a pagoda.
            • Take in the panoramic views over both banks of the Huangpu river and Shanghai's brilliant skyline. Photograph by Evelina Gospodinova.
              Take in the panoramic views over both banks of the Huangpu river and Shanghai's brilliant skyline. Photograph by Evelina Gospodinova.

              Issue 13: Shanghai

              Sometimes the name says it all. This dazzling lounge on the penthouse floors of the Hyatt Hotel on the Bund has an impressive international wine list, a refined Continental menu, and inviting décor–but it’s the unbeatable vistas of the Huangpu waterfront and towering skyscrapers of Pudong that leave VUE Bar patrons speechless.