It is an accomplishment that most cities are pleased to achieve once, but China's booming Shanghai can now boast of a second hotel operated by luxury chain Ritz-Carlton.
The Ritz-Carlton Pudong opened June 21 as the latest luxury hotel to hit Shanghai, occupying the top 18 floors of the city's giant International Finance Center South Tower.
The hotel offers 285 rooms designed by Richard Farnell, ranging from 50 meters squared to 400 meters squared for the Ritz-Carlton suite, all offering a modern interpretation of 1930s Shanghai art deco, a tribute to the restored Shanghai Bund (of which the hotel offers sweeping views).
From the 58th floor Flair restaurant, guests can look out over Shanghai from indoor or outdoor seating areas or admire the restaurant's interior, designed by Takashi Sugimoto's cult Japanese interiors firm Super Potato.
Other restaurant options include the Aura Lounge and Jazz Bar, fine Chinese dining at Jin Xuan and Italian-inspired cuisine at Scena Italia.
The opening of the Ritz-Carlton Pudong makes Shanghai one of only seven world cities to currently boast more than one Ritz-Carlton (there are 73 globally), with the company's area vice president Rainer Burkle saying the exponential growth of the city makes it "strategically viable for The Ritz-Carlton to be located on both sides of Huangpu River.”
However, the chain will face stiff competition from brands already operating - or scheduled to open - in the area.
InterContinental opened its own Pudong site in April, ahead of the World Expo, while the famous Shanghai Peace Hotel is set to reopen soon after a three-year renovation.
The Sofitel Shanghai Jing’an is scheduled to open in 2011 and Dubai-based Jumeirah has also announced that it intends to target the city, opening a new lifestyle hotel there by 2012.