Sugared & Spiced

pâtissière in paris, now shanghai

[Shanghai] The Waterhouse at South Bund

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The Waterhouse at South Bund

Add: 1-3 Maojiayuan Lu, near Zhongshan Nan Lu / 毛家园路1-3号,近中山南路
Tel: 6080 2988
Visited:  Mar 2011

The Waterhouse at South Bund, a venture of Singaporean hotelier Loh Lik Peng, is a 19-room boutique hotel reconstructed from a 1930s warehouse. Designed by Shanghai-based  Neri & Hu, this thoughtful restoration successfully infused modern touches to the original structure, resulting in sharp contrasts of the new and the old. Broken tiles, exposed bricks, rough edges, and plenty of rust, complete with eclectic furnishings and random phrases written haphazardly all over the building, The Waterhouse design is undoubtedly one of the most unique in town.

For pictures of the River Suite where I stayed at, click here.

The design of The Waterhouse has been applauded by those in the know – it is on the Conde Nast “Hot List” for 2011, as well at the list from Travel + Leisure, CN Traveler, and

Starting at the lobby reception, you will be greeted by a Mooi paper chandelier, Tracey Emin‘s ‘You should have loved me’ in fluorescent yellow, and an eclectic chair collection.

There is a central skylight that lets in plenty of sunshine, creating sharp lines and dark shadows in the winding concrete walkways, all originals from 1930s.

Writings on the floors, the walls, and the windows – some are quite philosophical, and some are just plain random. Walk around and explore. Climb up and down the staircases, and you’ll find inspirations in the most unexpected corners.

The hotel features a significant collection of designer furniture, including selected works by leading names such as Arne Jacobsen, Finn Juhl, Hans Wegner, Antonio Citterio, and Kana Ishikawa.

There is also a meeting room event space on the 2nd floor, and with access to an outdoor patio.

Glimpse through this slender window, and see Shanghai’s old and new sit side by side. What a contrast!

The rooftop is currently closed for renovation, but when it reopens as the weather warms up, sipping cocktails here at dusk will almost be mandatory.

Back on the 1st floor, the courtyard right outside the lobby lounge is perfect for drinks, snacks, full meals – anything you like, all served from the kitchen of Table No. 1. Click here to see my dinnerlunch 1 and lunch 2.

Waterhouse after dark.

The Waterhouse concept is not for everyone, but to those design-oriented people looking for something more unique than the standard hotel experience, this might be exactly it. Lyndon Neri of Neri & Hu explains the design ethos for The Waterhouse: “This is a hotel that puts the emphasis on the traveller in search of some meaning, and not just the luxury component of living.” As for the rooms and suites, all 19 are different, and all go far beyond the standard approach in terms design and decor. I tried the River Suite during my visit, click here to see pictures.
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Written by sugarednspiced

March 26th, 2012 at 7:13 pm