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Shanghai – and all that Jazz

Fairmont Peace Hote

Fairmont Peace Hotel is still a ‘must visit’ landmark property

The most famous hotel in Shanghai is the one that first catered for international guests – the Fairmont Peace Hotel. It was opened as the Cathay Hotel in 1929 by Sir Victor Sassoon, one of the Sassoon family of bankers. Unfortunately he had to leave his property behind when the Sino-Japanese War hotted up in 1937. It eventually was re-named the Peace Hotel because it was the venue for the peace talks that ended the hostilities.

These are commemorated in the hotel’s Nine Nations Suites. These are individually designed and furnished in the style, respectively, of the USA, England, China, Italy, Japan, France, Spain, India and Germany. Because of the popularity of the hotel, only the French Suite was available long enough for an ITCM inspection. The suites each measure 178sqm and have views to Pudong across the Bund and the Huangpu River.

‘The Peace Hotel became a Fairmont property three years ago’, says Antony Box, the property’s Director of Sales & Marketing, ‘and it is still one of the famous landmarks in the city, as it has been for over 80 years.

‘We have a very high year-round occupancy in our 270 rooms and, of course, our function rooms are very much in demand. The very room in which the peace talks were held, the historic Peace Hall, can be used for corporate events.’

This ballroom is very impressive and has the added glamour of its history that endows meetings and banquets with an aura of importance and excitement.

On the same floor, the 8th, are three salons for small meetings or break-out rooms, whilst on the 2nd floor, the Heritage Room and the Shanghai Room, can each cater for around 50 guests.

This hotel is full of interest and surprises, not least because it is home to the Old Jazz Bar. A 6-man band, the average age of the players being in the mid 70s, provides nostalgic entertainment whilst guests enjoy drinks and light meals. ITCM found this one of the most endearing Shanghai experiences, listening to authentic Jazz whilst eating authentic spring rolls and rice and drinking locally brewed beer.

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