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Inside Shanghai’s Seven-Star Hotel: Wanda Reign

The Wanda Reign on the Bund certainly does live up to its lofty standards when compared to the world’s most exclusive hotels.

Designed by Foster Partners and Heatherwick Studio the exterior of the hotel is a mix of glass and steel which exudes jaw dropping beauty and architectural inventiveness. When guests enter the grand lobby, they walk across the Art Deco inspired inlaid floors to an abstract painting by Shi Qi of the Shanghai.

Art takes centre stage at this property.

Other paintings and artwork reflect Shanghai in the early periods of 1920-1930. The ceiling is 10 meter high and large marble columns extend to them, creating an atmosphere of palatial grandeur.

Patterns of Mongolia and amber shaded rhinestones, 3D mosaic wall paintings and exquisite weavings are altogether joined by a lot of stone, jade, and marble. If the designer’s plan was to bring colour into the world through the lens of exotic lands – it certainly has worked.

New Wing of the Bund

After three long years of construction and $516 million spent, the hotel opened in June. It is an addition to top hotels of the Huangpu River. It is Wang Jianlin’s 51st Hotel and has become a place for the elite class of China in just 6 months.

The brainchild behind the idea of this hotel is the son of Wang Jianlin, Wang Sicong, who has gained the spotlight for this display of wealth, style and ultimate luxury.

G2’s – Generation 2 wealth.

The clientele boasts a healthy mix of old money, with a larger presence of G2’s – as they are passionately referred to – or Generation 2 wealth. A younger, more well-travelled and  worldly group who understand luxury and quite honestly, dont know how how to live any other way.

Seven-Star Authenticity?

As there has not yet been any official seven-star standard authorized, many in the know are still a little puzzled and curious. Like most things in China, if it’s new and has a special feel of exclusivity around it, it will become popular.

Saying that it’s a 7 Star hotel can only be clever marketing at the very least.

Those in the hospitality industry are still asking questions about the rating, and from whom they received it. That said however, this remarkable property has held up her role as a show-stopper and continues to shine and dazzle all who are lucky enough to experience her.

The Private Club 

Shangahi (very similar to London) is known for it’s ultra-exclusive private members clubs. One such private club is available for those that have a membership of the Wanda Hotels and Resorts. The club is a beauty in itself, with chandeliers that hang over leather armchairs and stained glass windows.

A 24-hour personal butler is always available. The bar never runs out of bottles of Chateau Lafite and Louis XIV cigars. A three room spa and KTV room are fitted with the latest professional audios and mauve lights so guests can recreate a dance club experience without having to go to one. From BMW 5 series to Rolls Royce, depending on how much you want to spend, car services are available and a click of a finger away.

Even the uniforms of the staff are made of the best silk with traditional motifs designed by Laurence Xu that were showcased at the Paris Haute Couture Fashion Week.

Marc Meneau, two-Michelin star chef operates the kitchen at MARC, and everything is imported from Japan, the crockery, the food items, the water and even your soda cans.


One is spoilt for choices for unbelievably high-end hotels in Shanghai, and this one certainly will be added to the list. If it tops the list remains to be seen. Regardless of her magnetism and allurement, the Wanda Reign on the Bund has still got a little way to go to truly create the experience one might associate with a 7 star hotel. In the meantime, she will continue to be a playground for China’s corporate elite and G2’s and serve as another feather in the cap of a city that is fast becoming synonymous with wealth & luxury globally.


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