Wednesday, April 8, 2009

The Best View in Shanghai

This week I'm in Shanghai for a conference. After today's sessions I headed into downtown Pudong for some exploration. The area has changed extensively since I last walked along the waterfront in 2005. Then there were some skyscrapers and many cranes, part of the construction boom. The cranes are still there, but there are many more tall buildings.

One of the most eyecatching is the 88 story Jin Mao Tower, completed in 1999. Like many landmark buildings in Asia, the bottom floors are used for retail space. Office space inhabits the floors above that. Floors 54 and above are used for the Grand Hyatt Hotel, with a bar named Cloud 9 on the 87th floor.

Quiet and sleak luxury is the general feeling when you walk into the space. The decor plays second fiddle to the view of the Shanghai riverfront and the nearby Oriental Pearl Tower, and acknowledges that with understated elegance. At 9:30pm I was one of a handful of people in the bar area, though tables around the corner from us were filled with couples and small groups of friends. The bartender knew what he was doing an made a perfect dirty martini, with just a hint of vermouth.

It was a lovely evening.

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