We’re fresh from announcing our record-breaking number of Forbes Travel Guide Five- and Four-Star hotels and spas in Shanghai, where 25 exquisite properties accepted top honors during an awards ceremony at Waldorf Astoria Shanghai on the Bund on Wednesday.
It was a fitting place to celebrate the announcement, as the Bund-side hotel nabbed one of the coveted Five-Star ratings in Shanghai, the fourth Chinese city to be rated by Forbes Travel Guide. More than 80 of the city’s top hospitality professionals gathered for a cocktail reception under crystal chandeliers and rich crown molding in the hotel’s ballroom, located in a 101-year-old Heritage Building that was lovingly restored before the Waldorf opened its doors in 2010. The dinner menu included sautéed whitefish, but the buttery-soft, slow-roasted Australian beef was the hot dish of the night.
The overall excellence of Shanghai hotels was impressive, says Shane O’Flaherty, Forbes Travel Guide President of Global Ratings and Inspections. “Not only have the properties performed exceptionally well in high-end facilities and services, but the destination as a whole is truly one of the most exciting cities in the world.”
O’Flaherty teamed up with Forbes China president Zhang Ying to present mainland China’s first Five-Star hotel awards to The Peninsula Shanghai and Waldorf Astoria Shanghai on the Bund. The Peninsula Spa by ESPA, Shanghai also earned Five-Star status, and 20 additional properties collected plaques for Four-Star ratings.
“There were so many award winners they all barely fit on the stage,” says Forbes Travel Guide Director of Inspections and Ratings Amanda Frasier, who helped hand out 20-pound plaques to the honorees.
Our travel experts added a twist to the proceedings with the addition of five editors’ awards highlighting outstanding hotel attributes: The popular Kerry Hotel, Pudong, Shanghai took home an Editors’ Choice award for Top New Hotel, while Fairmont Peace Hotel — which evokes the romance of Old World, 1930s Shanghai — snagged the title of Top Historic Hotel. To see the other winners, click here.
Photo courtesy of Thunder Communications