Shanghai hotels gear up for Expo

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The Independent Travel

InterContinental has opened the new Shanghai Expo hotel as the city completes its final preparations for Expo 2010 which begins on May 1.

The InterContinental Shanghai Expo opened April 19 as the only luxury hotel on the Shanghai Expo site, offering 400 rooms with views of the pavilions, the Huangpu river and Shanghai skyline.

Built on the site of an old liquor factory, the 28-storey structure includes five restaurants, a spa, gym and pool and impressive riverfront gardens complete with jogging tracks. Inside, the hotel boasts a two-floor executive lounge on the top floors, as well as 42 suites, four Diplomatic suites with private balconies and a classic Presidential suite occupying half of Level 28.

InterContinental has also converted several 1930s villas on the site, once used by employees of the factories, into a pub and several freestanding luxury residences with private gardens.

The Shanghai Peace hotel, a world famous building on the banks of the Shanghai Bund, has also confirmed that it will be open for "private viewing" from April 28 before an official opening later in Spring. Now owned by international chain Fairmont, the 269-room hotel closed in 2007 at the start of a three-year program to restore the building to its 1930s grandeur.

There are around half a million hotel beds in Shanghai for visitors to the Expo, city officials have said. Expo Village, a 540,000 square meter area that adjoins the main site, holds 10,000 people alone and is expected to host expo delegations and some public guests.

Organizers are now running dress rehearsals and simulations to put the final touches to a show expected to welcome over 70 million visitors during its six-month run.

Official Expo Hotel Booking Site: http://english.expotia.com/

http://www.ihg.com/shanghaiexpo
http://www.fairmont.com/peacehotel

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