Jumeirah, the Dubai luxury hotel group, has opened its first five-star luxury hotel in China at the spectacularly shaped Himalayas Centre in Pudong, Shanghai.
The base of the Himalayas building that the hotel is in is in parts like a metallic tree-trunk.
Inside the lobby, LED lights bristling from the ceiling change colour to represent the sky above the hotel.
The hotel has 401 rooms, including 62 suites and residences, and a 24 hour indoor swimming pool and fitness centre.
However, the rooms are not standard five star hotel fare; they feature hardwood floors and Ming Dynasty-style furniture.
The hotel provides free wired and wireless high speed broadband for all guests, Illy coffee machines in the rooms, and "fast fill" baths, as well as rainforest showerheads.
There are four restaurants: contemporary Japanese, "The Grill Room" serving Australian Wagyu beef and antipasto, Chinese, and a cafe that straddles both "Shanghainese" big bowl noodle selections and international finger sandwiches and desserts.
The hotel's centrepiece is actually the roof -- a 5000 square metre rooftop "Infinity Garden", complete with barbeque pits and a stage as large as an average Australian family home.
The hotel was designed by the same people who did the rather spectacular Burj al Arab in Dubai.
In the same building as the Jumeirah Himalayas hotel, there's also an 1,100-seat DaGuan Theatre, Himalayas Art Museum, a luxury brand shopping centre and outdoor event venues.
The Himalayas building was designed by architect Arata Isozaki, the designer of the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Stadium, and Los Angeles MoMA.
The hotel is opposite the Shanghai New International Expo Centre (SNIEC) and Century Park, which provides a nice outdoor location for jogging.
The nearby Maglev train station offers seven minute transfers to Pudong International Airport.
Room rates for a stay in May 2011 are currently showing as $US242.50 per night in a Grand Deluxe Twin room.
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