Thursday, August 5, 2010

Shanghai Nights

About a month ago, we took what will now go down as one of the most memorable trips I've ever been on. We started off in California and then ventured over to the Orient, stopping in Beijing first. I was really, REALLY hoping to see the Great Wall and Forbidden City but unfortunately, the weather was not cooperative. The air was so muggy and foggy, it was hard to see past 20 feet.. Not ideal conditions for seeing a wall. At the very least, we stayed in an awesome hotel and ate amazing food! On our first night, we had reservations at Made in China, which is well-known for their Peking Duck. We somehow finagled our way into the table inside their private wine room-if you know this group, this does not come as a surprise. Savory food, several bottles of Malbec's, and great friends on an adventure halfway across the world--life does not get any better than this. After a few days in Beijing, we flew down to Shanghai and had the time of our lives! I have been to Shanghai several times but had forgotten why I loved the city so much. It feels like New York, only 10 times larger. We had the good fortune to stay in one of the best hotels in the city, Peninsula on the bund. Words cannot express how to-die-for this hotel was. The service? Impeccable. The view: Breathtaking. The room and hotel ammenities: The best in the world. The hotel is located right on the curve of the Huangpu River and overlooks Pudong. I don't know if we'll always get to stay there after the economy recovers in full, but I'm so glad I was able to experience it when we did! I won't go into specific stories of the unbelievable service that we experienced, but will say that the friendly staff knows your needs and desires the moment they pop up as thoughts in your brain and are already there by your side to serve you.

Here is a picture from the outdoor terrace of the hotel bar:

And here are pics of our room:

Isn't that amazing!! We had our own DRESSING ROOM! Complete with a built-in nail dryer.. So sick. Our days consisted of working out, eating a fabulous breakfast, either indulging in the spa and having lunch by the pool, or sight-seeing the city by way of taxi's that nearly killed us every time we entered into one. Oh! What fun! Here are some pics of the Yu Gardens:

And then there were the culinary treats we indulged ourselves in every evening. We hit several restaurants that are consistenly listed in the Top 10 restaurants in the city from Laris to Lost Heaven. It was marvelous. Here's a photo from Laris:

We had such an amazing time over there and I'm just thanking my lucky stars to have been able to experience all that we did. I think we'll probably visit Hong Kong the next time we make a trip to the Orient but Shanghai certainly surpassed every expectation I had and more.
Safe travels!

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