Banyan retreat on the Bund

Shanghai's Bund is a waterfront boulevard famous for its architectural mishmash of buildings from the art deco period to neo-gothic and romanesque styles. Many buildings house hotels, among them the legendary Peace Hotel, the Waldorf Astoria, Astor House and the Hyatt.

They are to be joined by a new kid on the North Bund, Banyan Tree Shanghai, which claims it will trump all by becoming the first hotel to have Shanghai River views from every suite.

When it opens in October, 130 suites will have large french windows opening to the river panorama. Few details are available about the room styles, but the signature suite will have its own swimming pool.

The hotel will have four restaurants and bars: the Western-style Oceans seafood, the Cantonese-style Ming Yuan, the Japanese Tai Hei and an alfresco rooftop restaurant and bar called Stars. A new service level, known as Banyan Tree Host, will be available, consisting of a dozen senior concierges of various nationalities on call to provide service.

The hotel group is also opening another hotel in China, the Banyan Tree Tianjin Riverside, on the east bank of the Hai River in the country's sixth-largest city. It will have 159 suites, a spa and restaurants, and it is due to open in November.

Both are part of the hotel group's urban resort concept that seeks to combine resort-style features in city-based retreats. The concept has been rolled out in Bangkok, Seoul and Macau. Rates are not available for either hotel yet.


Peppers on Dinner Plain

Peppers has moved into the snow with the purchase of the alpine lodge Rundells at Dinner Plain, near Mount Hotham in the Victorian Alps. It is the first ski destination for the boutique operator. Peppers also took over Cradle Mountain Lodge in Tasmania this year and two properties in New Zealand.

The chief executive of the Peppers-owned Mantra Group, Bob East, says the company has 28 properties in Australia and New Zealand. More central city properties are likely to be bought, as well as the group's first property in Fiji.

Three nights' stay, with breakfast daily and a five-course degustation dinner at Rundells' Graze restaurant, costs from $258 a night, twin share. See

The story Banyan retreat on the Bund first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.

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