Hotel Review: The Middle House, Shanghai in China
With over a dozen 5-star hotels opening in Shanghai just in the last 12 months, you are more than likely to find the latest innovative, super lux hotel within the Pearl of the Orient. One upmarket hotel to consider when visiting the city is The Middle House; from The House Collective group that brought you the fabulous The Upper House in Hong Kong.
It has an unbeatable location right in the thick of the action in Jing’an district and directly connects to a stylish shopping mall with numerous eateries and local transport connections. With such proximity to the main sights, you won’t have to worry about searing weather conditions even in the summer months.
However, the hotel itself is an oasis of urban calm in this fast-paced metropolis. The bamboo-themed design from Milan-based interior designer, Piero Lissoni, and architecture by Lissoni Architettura and Wong and Ouyang, ensures a soothing serenity throughout your stay and conveniently shields the hotel guests from the hustle and bustle of nearby Nanjing Road West.
The hotel is an art connoisseur’s paradise from the moment you walk into the lobby with the jaw-dropping 3,760 Venetian Chandelier to an astounding Chinese robe displayed in the lobby that ha been adorned with 12,000 ceramic butterflies. There are over 670 art pieces in the hotel, with a significant number coming from Chinese artists.
The rooms are conveniently named according to their size, so you have studio 50 up to 90 or, budget permitting, you can opt for the penthouse which is 660sqm and occupies the whole of the 14th floor. There is generous use of glass to make the rooms feel airy and welcoming from the glass partition that separates the bathroom to the floor-to-ceiling glass windows. There is a harmonious mix of the East and the West with subtle touches like bamboo drawings on the headboard and a huge, silky bell pull called Mr. Goodnight that is the master switch to turn everything off before you go to bed. Only top-quality brands are used here, from Lululemon yoga mats to artisanal bath products from Bamford.
The hotel has some of the most invigorating, spacious spa features you will find – not just in Shanghai, but in any major city around the world. Spread across 2,600sqm, there is a heated indoor pool, 24 hr gym, and a state-of-the-art HYPOXI room to help with weight loss. Their LAB treatment room is the first hotel in China to offer boutique spa treatments using CHA LING Esprit du Thé products, the new Sino-French cosmetics brand from the mighty LVMH group. The facial massage is highly recommended leaving you thoroughly refreshed and helping to combat any jetlag fatigue.
Their culinary options are much like the hotel: refined without being ostentatious. Breakfast is served at the fashionable Café Gray Deluxe with a well-balanced à la carte menu offering between Eastern and Western choices, whilst the bar area with the gorgeous terrace is the place to see and be seen for the stylish locals in the evenings.
Their contemporary Chinese restaurant, Sui Tang Li offers Cantonese, Sichuan and Shanghainese-inspired cuisine with a twist. You can sample noodle-wrapped dumplings (instead of the usual wrapper) or xiao long bao where the outer wrapper has been infused with umami-rich ham. In a part of the world where Michelin-stars can make or break restaurants, they must surely be a leading candidate for one.
Not to be outdone, their Italian restaurant, Frasca, has a much-sought-after Josper oven which runs only on organic cherry and applewood that brings out an authentic country wood-grilled flavour to their dishes. Seafood and pasta are also very strong points at the restaurant and they only use the finest ingredients, including a delightful Verrigni linguine paired with Boston lobster, and a spaghetti filled with Mont St Michele bouchot blue mussels.
If you think Shanghai is all glamour but no culture, you would be very wrong. There is a growing clamour of theatrical experiences waltzing towards Shanghai with the likes of secret cinema opening very soon. However, the hottest ticket in town is currently Sleep No More, co-produced by the industry-defining immersive theatre group Punchdrunk International and SMG Live. Loosely based on Macbeth, audiences are masked-up and free to roam around 5-floors of the McKinnon hotel and follow various characters’ intertwining stories as they please.
If you can get past the substantial gatherings of people that follow the main characters, there is much to savour here with every minute detail meticulously put together, a Chinese tea shop and tailors particularly stood out. There are genuinely spine-chilling moments, as Lady Macbeth (leads?) people to the top-floor asylum, and scenes of genuine beauty as the Macbeths expressed their romance, power, and fear through the medium of dance.
The rise and rise of Shanghai shows no signs of deceleration, so look out for increasing coverage of this magnificent city in the months and years to come.
Address: China, Shanghai Shi, Jingan Qu, No. 366 Shi Men Yi Road 邮政编码: 200041
Phone: +86 21 3216 8199