D and I arrived at Shanghai’s Pudong airport after our 10-hour flight from Paris. I was excited to be in China. Visiting any part of Asia wasn’t on my roadmap so when D said that we may need to go to Shanghai I was surprised but raring to go.
My excitement at being in Shanghai was lessened a little by the killer jet lag. We had spent several hours at CDG airport in Paris and the late flight combined with the 7-hour time difference meant that our long night was only getting longer. Arriving at the Langham Xintiandi Hotel undid most of the fatigue. Luggage was whisked away while we, still slightly dazed from the flight, checked in at the reception desk.
I wasn’t spoiled as a child. My parents didn’t call me “princess” or dress me up in pink tulle. I’ve never owned or worn a tiara but I was ready to pop over to Harry Winston next door to buy one. That’s how the Langham made me feel. I was ready to don the tiara and tulle and add a title to my name if only for this stay. This lovely hotel in Shanghai’s Xintiandi quarter brought out the princess in me.
I chose the hotel because of its proximity to the office in Shanghai and its location close to shops, restaurants, and the metro.
The tired traveller in me loved the king size bed, the double dose of pillows, the cocooning duvet. The princess in me loved the unabashed pink touches, the gold damask pattern, the modern touches. Where the Langham Xintiandi excels, however, is in their attention to detail in both the amenities they provided and in the customer service they offer. How many light settings can you have in the bedroom? At least 4. Heated toilet seat with automatic flush? Bien sûr! Light sensor so that when you wake up in middle of the night you don’t trip over something on your way to the loo? Most definitely.
At every occasion I was made to feel that whatever I requested would be possible. Oh, I didn’t ask for anything crazy but still, I had the feeling that if I had asked for a jar of pixie dust to sprinkle on a slice of cake they would have called Tinkerbell herself and have her fill a cut crystal candy dish to the brim with the best pixie dust in Shanghai and served it to me on a silver platter.
On our first night I dined solo as D had a dinner meeting. While not served on a silver platter, I did enjoy it when the server asked “may I?” before removing the silver cloche covering my meal. Such gracious service for my not-so-Chinese burger with a side of fries. Dessert was a chocolate fondant. (You can take the girl out of France…)
Of course, I didn’t come to Shanghai to eat hamburgers every night. My immersion into Chinese food meant that I indulged in a few baozi (buns). If we arrived early enough at the restaurant we would get to see the chefs preparing the various buns. We ate well and at the end of the evening, before retiring to our room, we drank well too. We took our nightcap at Cachet, the hotel’s martini bar, where I sampled Hakushu, Japanese whiskey. Certainly, a good digestif is needed after a night of eating.
We’re planning our next trip to Shanghai, perhaps early in 2014. I think I may need to buy a tiara for that trip!
The Langham Xintiandi
99 Madang Rd, Huangpu