The New Twelve at Hengshan Hotel

  • The pool at Twelve at Hengshan.

    The pool at Twelve at Hengshan.

  • A Premier Room.

    A Premier Room.

  • The lobby lounge.

    The lobby lounge.

  • The courtyard by night.

    The courtyard by night.

Click image to view full size

Shanghai’s newest Luxury Collection hotel, Twelve at Hengshan, is inspired by its charm-filled neighborhood of red-brick 1930s villas and lanes and overarching plane trees. The resulting design—masterminded by Swiss architect Mario Botta and New York’s Yabu Pushelberg—adds a boldly contemporary twist. Clad in 20,000 Italian terra-cotta bricks, the box-shaped facade acts like a courtyard wall in traditional Chinese homes, enclosing the treasures within. Beyond the porte cochère, radiant interiors dazzle with light marbles and whimsical nature motifs, from leaf-patterned carpets to swallows embroidered across walls. At the heart of the hotel is an elliptical courtyard, which harbors a “secret garden” of bamboo groves, plum blossoms, and streams. It’s a delightful oasis in the middle of Shanghai’s unrelenting urbanity. Of the 171 rooms, which come with 46-inch TVs and Hermès bath products, the courtyard-view rooms are the pick. The rooftop restaurant makes a fine spot for lounging, while the 712-square-meter Sen Spa is one of the best in town, featuring a Roman tepidarium and TCM consultant, plus a cavelike swimming pool bathed in sunlight filtered through the garden streams above. –Amy Fabris-Shi

This article originally appeared in the April/May 2013 issue of DestinAsian (“Style File: Shanghai”)

Share this Article