The world’s largest Starbucks cafe, located in the sprawling HKRI Taikoo Hui Complex in downtown Shanghai, has a new neighbour. The 30,000 sq ft Chinese flagship of the famous coffee chain boasts 400 staff. This crew will certainly be helpful when serving guests from the ultra-modern Sukhothai Shanghai, when it opens in the second-quarter of 2018.
However, guests at the beautifully contemporary hotel can count on being ensconced in luxurious privacy. The posh hotel’s 201 contemporary rooms are fitted with walls made of a soundproof material, which also purifies air within the guestrooms. Not a bad comfort for germaphobes visiting the notoriously polluted Chinese city.
The city sanctuary’s central location is ideal for its selection into one of the most exclusive portfolios in the world — The Small Luxury Hotels of the World (SLH). The collection of 520 independent hotels are cherry-picked for their “truly authentic way to discover a destination”. Similar to the Six Senses Group, the promise of each SLH property is simply to immerse guests in truly local experiences once they step out of the lobby.
In the case of the Sukhothai Shanghai, the famed People’s Park, located a stone’s throw away, is the ideal place to soak in local culture. Enthusiastic ladies in exercise garb dance in sync to cultural hymns. There’s also the controversial marriage market where parents try to find prospective mates for their adult children — by holding up photographs of their offspring.
Just a few minutes’ walk away lies Nanjing Road, the world’s longest shopping street. This browsing and haggling haven is 6km long, and home to an eclectic mix of towering modern malls and austere colonial buildings housing homegrown fashion brands. Rest sore feet by propping them on low stools as you enjoy the district’s famous pork dumplings.
The hotel itself is designed for elevated comforts and privacy.
Get your adrenaline running by swimming laps in a heated indoor pool. Ease those sore muscles with a soothing Thai massage complete with herbal compress at the in-house spa The Retreat, which specialises in Southeast Asian healing therapies, in a nod to sister hotel The Sukhothai Bangkok.
The property’s F&B options are rich with international flavours. Savour Southeast Asian delights of wagyu beef rendang and seafood laksa at Urban Cafe, or partake in traditional Italian at fine-dining restaurant La Scala, led by Chef de Cuisine Stefano Sanna and award-winning guest chef Theodor Falser.
The Italian restaurant is an update of the award-winning concept from its Bangkok property. The restaurant’s centrepiece is an open kitchen, where chefs turn the preparation of dishes like spaghetti alla chitarra and warm octopus salad into performance art.