on the Bund
Melding this Norman Forster designed edifice are the essence of art deco plumped up with precious deco - jade flooring, mahogany doors, rock crystal table lamps, just to name a few - to resplendent effects. While an exercise of restraint this is not, we should be thankful that we are staring grand ostentation in some of its most ravishing forms.
River Drunk is an elegantly furnished restaurant serving Huaiyang classics with a modern twist. We are particularly fond of the baked chicken with trotters, which apparently takes 2 days to prepare. HE Japanese serves classical Japanese with cutting edge ambience. Proposals routinely take place at the star table pointing towards a stunning view of Pudong across the Whampoa.
Service is serious business here - it takes 2 butlers to conjure a bubble bath, to scintillating effects of course. Within the precincts of what constitute style and refinement in new China, Wanda Reign on the Bund has borrowed upon an old imperial ethos to spare neither expense, nor modesty, to facilitate one's rights to flaunt.
The staggering costs of raising this spectacle - purportedly US$516 million, has led to many commentaries on needless ostentation and the nouveau riche complex but honestly, if Versailles was built on humbler scales, who'd go to see it today? The richness may be a tad overpowering - waste bins inlaid with mother-of-pearl and a swimming pool paved with labradorite slabs - but a tasteless, vulgar flaunt this is not. At the very least, the rooms are sumptuous and the attention to details, sublime.