Built in 1911 on the Bund waterfront, the gentlemen-only Shanghai Club was the most exclusive private club in the city’s “Pearl of the Orient” heyday. A century later, Asia’s first Waldorf Astoria has updated this neo-classic beauty for travelers with a taste for old-world charm. Styled with updated vintage glamor, the towering white marble columns, spiral staircase, and oak-paneled lounges have been faithfully restored.
The 20 heritage suites boast canopied beds and superlative river views (the best is from Room 304). Peacock Alley, a two-story promenade of deluxe dining and lounging, inspired by the original Waldorf-Astoria in New York, connects the old building with the new tower at the back. More alluring still is the legendary Long Bar, meticulously restored with Jacobean wooden walls, sepia-tinged portraits, dark leather sofas, and a replica of the famed 24-meter marble bar (plus a new oyster counter). A stiff drink here remains a Shanghai rite of passage.
2 Zhongshan Dong Yi Lu; 86-21/6322-9988; waldorfastoria.com; doubles from US$315
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Also: read more about the lobby and long bar.