The Luxe List 2011, China: Hotel Indigo Shanghai on the Bund, Shanghai

Located at Shiliupu Dock, this South Bund hotel’s river-themed art and design emphasizes the importance of the dockside in the history of Shanghai’s development. Rising 30 floors above the Huangpu River’s west bank, Asia’s first Hotel Indigo offers sweeping skyline views, eclectic art installations and outsized photos of Bund area street scenes.

The 184 whitewashed rooms feature wall murals of Chinese pavilions, hanging lanterns, dragon-motif rugs, and blue-and-white mosaic-tiled bathrooms. Organic BaYanKaLa toiletries and tea leaves sourced from Hangzhou add neat local touches. Continuing the dock theme, Quay club lounge on the sixth floor offers a library, comfy couches, iMacs, and café refreshments, while the Char Bar and Grill on the 29th and 30th floors evokes the glamor of old Shanghai. Standing on the hotel’s high-rise river terrace after dark is to witness a visual compression of the city’s past, present, and future.

585 Zhongshan Dong Er Lu; 86-21/3302-9999;; doubles from US$186

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