Hotels in China

A master of luxe hospitality, Peninsula Hotels chairman Michael Kadoorie spent his childhood in Shanghai. So the March 2010 premiere of his ninth property, the Peninsula Shanghai, was a homecoming of sorts.

The opulence that greeted guests when the Pen opened more than two decades ago—the sweeping Busby Berkeley–style marble staircase and luxury boutiques—still exists, but a 2004 renovation brought a sleek modernity to all 525 of its rooms.

This happy little courtyard hotel charms guests the moment they walk through the traditional red-lacquered gate.

One of Shanghai’s first ultrahigh hotels (it opened in 2003), the JW is still one of the city’s best-located properties.

Stories abound about the origin of this castle-like building. Some say it was inspired by shipping mogul Eric Moller’s daughters dream, while others say the Scandinavian style owes to Moller’s Swedish roots.

Fresh from a $65 million makeover,this 492-room property has a sleek 18,000-square-foot spa and a restaurant by star Singaporean chef Justin Quek. Each of the tech-savvy guest rooms contains a practical mobile phone for use in Hong Kong.

Inspired by China’s imperial palaces (lacquered red pillars; gold bamboo panels; crystal chandeliers), with escalator access to one of the city’s most upscale shopping malls. 

Since 1928, this Hong Kong institution has defined the luxury hotel experience, and although certain kinds of travelers (especially lovers of sleek, high-tech minimalism) may find the Peninsula too old-world, there’s no denying it’s a serious class act.

There's no better place to embrace Shanghai's glamorous past and high-tech future than from these twin towers on the northern section of the Bund.

Located just off Huaihai Road, this historic hotel is perhaps best known as the site where former President Nixon and Zhou Enlai signed the Shanghai Communiqué in 1972.

A short stroll from the Forbidden City, the Emperor is a contemporary homage to its 600-year-old neighbor. Designs on the suede walls and etched-glass bathrooms echo the sloped-roof silhouettes of the Imperial Palace, and the rooftop Yin bar has impressive views of the royal grounds.