After three years of meticulous restoration work, the Fairmont Peace Hotel has finally re-opened its doors to the public. This completes a string of five-star hotel developments this year along the Bund, Shanghai's most popular tourist attraction, including the Peninsula Shanghai and the Waldorf Astoria Club (accepting reservations for September 15, 2010 and beyond).
Though the Peninsula Shanghai does have a place in Shanghai history thanks to founder Elly Kadoorie, it is the Peace Hotel, even more than the carefully restored 1911 neo-classical Waldorf Astoria Club, that is the Bund's key historical icon (click link for more about the Fairmont Peace Hotel's colorful history). An icon Shanghai municipal government officials have long considered a top priority among the city's restoration projects.
As such, the bureaucratic hurdles to clear were stringent and numerous. Shanghai Peace Hotel Corp Ltd's Chen Hongjun explained how it took six-months and many consultations with both the National Administration of Historical Heritage and with Shanghai's own historical heritage authorities, just to get approval for the restoration plans .
Although many exciting additions to this Jazz-age classic were announced, including many new rooms filled with all the latest technologies and comforts in an expanded West Wing, a swimming pool and a spa, every effort was made to preserve as much of the prized historical building's character as possible; painstaking work at every step.
Specially formulated detergents were used to clean external surfaces. 10,000 cracks were sealed and filled in the facade alone, and specialists climbed scaffolding to peel off six layers of paint to determine the hotel's original color scheme. Consultations with restoration experts and heritage officials took place constantly.
In all, HKD 500 million (approx US 64 million) was expended over the course of the three year effort, but was the money worth it? See for yourself by taking advantage of a current Ctrip deal offering free nights at the Peace Hotel, or stay tuned for our Fairmont Peace Hotel feature article... coming soon.