Pudong Shangri-La, East Shanghai
The twin glass towers of this enormous 952-room hotel are a prominent feature of the Pudong riverfront skyline. The newer Grand Tower has the plushest and most spacious rooms and suites—all clean-lined, upholstered in velvety buff-colored fabrics, and with 32-inch plasma-screen TV’s and floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the river or the Pudong skyline. (Bund View rooms even come with binoculars for close-ups of the Bund mansions across the water.) The common spaces also pack a punch: the banqueting suites regularly host Chinese society wedding celebrations (former NBA star Yao Ming and his bride tied the knot here in summer 2007); the best dining options include Nadaman for Japanese kaiseki tasking menus and Jade on 36 for chef Franck-Elie Laloum's classic French cuisine with a modern touch; the cavernous Himalayan-themed Chi spa provides a decadent menu of treatments (jade facial and body treatments, yin-yang harmonizing massage); and a cluster of on-property luxury shops includes a branch of Shanghai Tang.