Shanghai's Top Rooftop Bars: A Preview
Cloud 9 (Grand Hyatt Hotel, Shanghai)
Grand Hyatt's slick elevators shot up quickly and slid open to cloud 9. A cool and classy entry after the swelter of touring Hangpu river's north side and spectating porcelain artefacts at the Aurora museum. Arriving shortly before sunset was the right decision. I was escorted from the lounge to the tea room to enjoy a selection of cakes before its evening bar conversion.
Being alone, I sipped on oolong tea, scooped a light mouthful of chiffon cake, and watched the thick, misty sky travel; sometimes wiping off the peripheral skyline before gently revealing sections.
It's a shame it wasn't a clearer day for air quality. I ordered a cocktail, watched sunset and sat against the window facing the skyline which fell into darkness, as surrounding buildings lit up one by one. The city glowed, as did a feeling of completeness. At the time, Shanghai was an aspiring work location.
Hearing two others chat, I realised I was no longer alone with barmen and women. English it also was. A skyline photo evolved into a conversation which led me to discover that the others were travelling on business. Upon discussion of my background, they commented that an increasing number of young Chinese were looking to study sciences in Taiwan due to its subject area strength. I was surprised as I thought the movement would have been reversed by then. The view eventually quietened us. Distracted by window reflections drawn from the light behind, our attention was then pulled back to the city from dizzying heights of the 87th floor.
Sir Ellys Bar (Peninsula Hotel, Shanghai)
An 'Ibiza Party' was taking place on Saturday night. Not in Europe. Rather, at Sir Elly's rooftop bar of the Peninsula Hotel next to the Bund. A queue formed with elegantly dressed men and women; a mix of locals, tourists and expats constructed themselves carefully. There were groups of friends, couples, and I had the feeling that few were alone. A welcome drink meant many huddled by the lower bar, and any impatience was met by the barman's message that Saturdays were always busy.
A DJ played away summertime techno mixes and sounds of conservative laughter, chatter and clinking tripped over one another. The Sir Elly's upper tier drew those who eyed the stunning riverfront Bund view; an exclusive, beautiful, end-to-end display of the iconic oriental tower, banks and twists of the Shanghai Tower. At night, the Bund appeared proud.
Floating around, as many did, locals, expats and tourists seemed to take partake equally; a group of young women exclaimed their surrealism of being there, and a young man who claimed to have visited to expand his automotive business in China, spoke of his early adaptation. Just as the music needed to match the riverfront views, Lana Del Rey's Summertime Sadness spread into the night.