The KunLun Jing’an at Hua Shan Road

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The KunLun Jing’an, previously Hilton Hua Shan sits on the edge of Shanghai’s French concession. It is situated at the prime location, Jing’an, just a few hundred meters away from Jin’an Temple, main traffic line (ie, north south line) is around the corner.

This Hilton has been around since the early 90s. Not kidding, a person’s feeling towards this Hilton can show his/her age. It was an event when the hotel was open to operate. Young graduates lined a long queue to battle the way for being recruited, they turned back on the state-sponsored placement, with the hope of career prosperity. Hospitality industry was in.

Two decades on, competition in the trade is in a completely different world. However, just like this Hilton, anywhere, hard to beat a hotel with the advantage of ‘location, location and location’. Whether you are in the town on business trip or for holiday, this one can be a cosy pick. Locals nearby also tends to appoint it as the meeting point before the shopping trips or dinner dates. The bird view from the Hilton has moved on from the overview of the residential blocks to the buzz of a commercial centre nowadays. Not only just Jing’an temple nearby is an attraction, also the convenience of getting around, such as within walking distance for the metro line 1, 2 and 7.

I enjoy the long walk from there, to explore the parks nearby (Jing’an, Xiang Yang), independent book stores, or, interesting boutiques in the area of French concession. Or, stretch out more, reach to the point where Pushkin statue is. Not bad exercise for afternoon stroll.

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The Peace Hotel

The Peace Hotel

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I am reading “Becoming the Peace Hotel” , written by a well known Shanghai author Chen Dan Yan, a native of Shanghai and she has spent years to craft narrating about this city. It seems that only Chen can convey the essence of this city’s glamorous tale.

On the Bund, divided by Nan Jing Road, the Peace Hotel includes two buildings facing each other. The larger one is the North building, built by British businessman Victor Sassoon in 1929, he lived in the penthouse on the 10th floor until the end of the 2nd World War. This was one of his many Far East business ventures, Many celebrity guests stayed there, such as Bernard Shaw, Charlie Chaplin, Noel Coward.

Like many other significant landmarks in Shanghai, the hotel lost its lustre certain period after 1949, it was used for the municipality functions. Even then, the history of this hotel still intrigued people. It was noted it offered the best western food in Shanghai in the 70s.

The hotel is run by Fairmount Canada currently. It stands in the same league as New York Waldorf. In 2007, it went through three years of painstaking renovation to return its renaissance splendour. Its Octagon lobby is in full view when you entered the hotel.

Not to mention restaurants and café (Victor Café is named after its original owner Sassoon), the most impressive thing about it is its live-in Jazz band, some of the band members been performing in the hotel over 30 years. It makes your Shanghai trip fascinating to enjoy the jazz there after dusk.

Such a legendary place, it somehow represents the heritage of Shanghai, I wish there is a film one day to show how things can evolve with the passage of time, it can be a fiction or a romantic storytelling. Well, the novel “Becoming the Peace Hotel “ is a good start.

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Jin’An Ladoll Service Apartment

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Ladoll Service Apartment is at the heart of city centre and only 5 minutes stroll to Jin’an Temple. Metro and bus lines are darted around within walking distance. The location is fab and simply offers the super base for anyone staying for a couple of days or longer.

By all means we put this one as one of our selections is not only the location. The vicinity is one of the most interesting areas in Shanghai. The street it is at is Yu Yuan Road, which is a long stretch road over one and half a mile. Its history dated back in Qin Dynasty, there had been celebrities and politicians living here in the cottages and apartment blocks. Lots of those houses still are around today, some have been kept as museums.

Ladoll is a converted apartment building with five storeys. There are two types of rooms to choose from: studio or with lounge. Reasonably priced, the rooms are pretty cosy with kitchenette. No flair but comfy in the décor. You can get on the metro Line 2 for a big grocery shopping if you fancy staying in, Carrefour is just two stops away. But you are so spoilt with choices and it’s a task to decide where to eat at such a prime location.

It has the character for an accommodation centrally based, you feel the buzz when you walk out the place and step into the pavement, Only a couple of yards away, you can see the queue at a DimSum outlet.

One of the good signs is lots of locals staying here. Plus, staff are friendly and helpful.

One of the sunny afternoon, you may feel so intrigued by the noise outside the apartment, next you find yourself wandering along this popular road, and, by chance you may discover your favourite antique shops, book store, music studio…

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