Hip hotels, the ultimate in luxury resorts and two exciting new theme parks – Shanghai promises all this and more within the next two years. 

Starwood will welcome its third W-branded hotel in China, W Shanghai The Bund (pictured below) in January 2017. The 383-room property will offer sweeping views of the Huangpu River and 5,300sqm of event space, spanning 17 meeting rooms, with the Grand Ballroom being the largest.

The St Regis Shanghai Jingan, also operated by Starwood, and close to the West Nanjing Road business area, is scheduled for completion around the same time. Part of a mixed-used development, the hotel’s 480 rooms will be located from the 29th to the 59th floors, with views of the Shanghai skyline. An al-fresco bar, wellness facilities including a spa and 2,000sqm of event space will be available.

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China’s first Bulgari hotel is also set for a 2017 opening in Shanghai, located in a riverside complex in the historic Zhabei District. Offering 120 rooms, the luxury hotel, housed in the upper 12 floors of a 40-storey building and with a design blending the modern and the traditional, will have an Italian-themed rooftop restaurant and bar.

Set to scale even greater heights is the J-Hotel Shanghai, from Jin Jiang Hotels, China’s biggest operator. Once complete – slated for sometime this year – the 258-room property will be the highest hotel in the world, occupying the 84th to 110th floors of the new Shanghai Tower in Pudong’s Lujiazui district.  

One of the most talked about projects in the city is the Shimao Wonderland Intercontinental resort, carved into the edge of an abandoned quarry on the outskirts of the city. With the property apparently now on track for completion in 2017, the resort will feature 328 rooms, with the lowest levels of the hotel, including a restaurant, located below water.

The Shanghai Hongqiao, Melia Hotels International’s eighth property in China, opened this month (July). The 190-room hotel, located in west Shanghai and close to the National Convention and Exhibition Center, will offer meeting space and executive lounges

The eagerly anticipated Shanghai Disney Resort welcomed its first guests last month (June), with the park showcasing six themed lands and two hotels, alongside Disneytown, a huge shopping, dining and entertainment district. A polar-themed ocean park is scheduled to open in 2017. Located near Dishui Lake in the Lingang area at the southeast of the city, Shanghai Haichang Polar Ocean World will include 12 display venues, four marine animal interactive programmes, three theatres and a further 15 entertainment facilities.