Contemporary Culture & Heritage Blend at the Shanghai EDITION

The Shanghai iteration of Ian Schrager’s iconic hotel has become a hotspot for locals and tourists alike, and while it makes a perfect base from which to explore the city there’s plenty to discover before even leaving the hotel 


The second of only two EDITION hotels in Asia (the first is in Sanya), the Shanghai EDITION opened late last year. Positioned between the shopper’s heaven that is Nanjing East Road and the charming European-style architecture of the Bund along the Huangpu River, this iteration is housed within two buildings that reflect the city’s heritage and its modern context. With one half housed in the refurbished Art Deco former headquarters of the Shanghai Power Company (built in 1929) and the other conjoined — via a lobby, lounge and bar — in a new skyscraper, the hotel is a slick combination of heritage and contemporary culture and design. 

Schrager called on Shanghai-based Neri&Hu to translate his vision of simple sophistication into the public and private spaces, including the custom furniture and lighting that figures throughout. Public spaces range from moody Art Deco to neon-lit club vibes, and the residential-style guestrooms are left light and elegant, with a palette of pared-back neutrals, white marble and light oak. 

Schrager’s vision has always been to create hotels that draw in locals as much as tourists, and the key to achieving this lies in the drinking and dining destinations — here there are an impressive eight to choose from. Michelin-starred chef Jason Atherton is behind two: Shanghai Tavern on the ground floor and the Japanese HIYA, with its sinuous curved staircase and floor-to-ceiling windows offering breathtaking views of the cityscape. Punch Room, first made famous at the London EDITION, serves up various combinations of its namesake drink, while the Club Room offers more in the way of choice, including lounge areas, a cinema and karaoke room. Hong Kong’s Black Sheep Group makes its China debut with Canton Disco, a contemporary take on Cantonese fare served alongside a greatest-hits playlist that keep the energy high and patrons jovial — though that might be partly thanks to the ‘disco cocktails’ on offer. Topping off the EDITION is ROOF, a rooftop garden bar with unparalleled views of Shanghai, and Studio 54-inspired nightclub Electric Circus. 

If anyone understands that a hotel should be more than just a place to sleep, it’s Schrager, and here — true to the ethos of EDITIONs around the world — he’s created a vibrant social centre within the buzzing metropolis. 

Text / Simone Schultz 
Images / Courtesy of the Shanghai EDITION