Shanghai’s PuLi Hotel and Spa Review – Relaxing Oasis for US Business Travelers

It was no accident that the fellow guests we met in the halls of PuLi Hotel had just attended Art Basel in Hong Kong.   PuLi is a magnet for those who love design.

 

PuLi exterior. Photo courtesy of PuLi Hotel and Spa Resort

 

If you too like to linger over copies of the likes of Metropolis magazine, Shanghai’s PuLi Hotel and Spa is your go-to destination for an Asian-inspired architecture and design playground.  

 

PuLi slows down your pace and pulse -- unlike the Shanghai surrounds

 

From the very busy commercial street chock full of the designer label stores that likely are a major draw for the majority Chinese guests at the hotel, you make a few turns to get into the private entrance space that signals a new world. 

 

Entering the lobby foyer you immediately feel the difference in the space

 

Lifting a trick from the Frank Lloyd Wright playbook, the first foyer compresses your sense of space such that when you walk into the lobby it feels quite spacious, though it is reported to be diminutive in scale compared to its competitor upscale Shanghai hotels. 

 

Bamboo shades provide a luxurious and restful lighting

 

It’s the tasteful use of materials throughout the hotel that especially succeeds in conveying you to your inner sense of peace, even without a trip to the spa within the hotel. 

 

The hotel is adjacent to a large park akin to Manhattan's Central Park, replete with a running track you can use or watch others use as you have breakfast

 

Bamboo shades give the Central Park like expanse outside a dream like feel when viewed from its second floor restaurant. 

 

PuLi has many staff on hand to anticipate your every need

 

Similarly, the green spaces outside the lobby are cast in the feel of an impressionist painting. 

 

Lobby. Photo courtesy of PuLi Hotel and Spa Resort

 

The Long Bar in the lobby is one of three possibilities for breakfast. Room service-- no added charge- is also an option besides the large buffet in the second floor restaurant. Photo courtesy of PuLi Hotel and Spa Resort

 

Rare stones line the lobby floors. 

 

Deluxe Suite Dining Room. Photo courtesy of PuLi Hotel and Spa Resort

 

Textured linens are encased in glass where one would want a more antiseptic feel –kitchen areas and bathrooms—and otherwise revealed in naked textures. 

 

Deluxe Suite Living Room. Photo courtesy of PuLi Hotel and Spa Resort

 

Lighting is muted.  Chinese antique furniture anchors the lobby library area. 

 

Grand Room. Photo courtesy of PuLi Hotel and Spa Resort

 

Pan-Asian artifacts spot common areas and decorate rooms alike. 

 

The spa is actually outsourced to another company, with the caveat that they stick to the interior design of the PuLi brand. It feels quite the reverse-- as if the entire hotel is an extension of the spa rooms, even in the fragrances you find. Photo courtesy of PuLi Hotel and Spa Resort

 

Both spa and swimming pool seem to be barely used, such that you could likely have a private swim without much trouble. Photo courtesy of PuLi Hotel and Spa Resort

 

Tasteful, soothing, uncluttered yet fully loaded with amenities – this is PuLi.

 

The full breakfast menu omelet option that lists healthy egg white omelets as a first choice caught our attention, as did the tasty and healthy beet, carrot etc fresh juice concoction. The breakfast buffet has so much variety that there is little need to order anything additional from the menu, though that is an option

 

How interesting that this most-Chinese and Asian feeling of spaces that in every detail aims to define Chinese luxury was actually created by Australian design firm LAYAN DESIGN GROUP, and award-winning Australian lighting design firm THE FLAMING BEACON, in conjunction with an Indonesian design firm.  

 

Breakfast buffet features both Chinese and Western fare

 

The second floor restaurant, Penix (French spelling of Phoenix, the hotel symbol) is set to re-open soon, serving French cuisine, like many high-end Shanghai hotels

 

Difficult business trip to China?  A brief stop at this self-described urban resort to re-charge your energies is a good pick.

 

For more information visit the PuLi Hotel and Spa Website

 

-30-

 

Photos:  Peter Kachergis, unless otherwise indicated

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