Rest Your Head

Shanghai is not short of top-end hotels. On the contrary, deluxe properties seem to be popping-up in China’s biggest city at breakneck speed. Just this year alone has seen stunning Amanyangyun, health and wellness-driven Anandi Hotel & Spa, and Las Vegas’ famous Bellagio all open in Shanghai, the latter minus the casino but replete with all the glitz of its American namesake.
Located in historic Dazhongli neighbourhood in the heart of Shanghai’s popular Jing’an district, the newest addition to Swire Hotels’ hospitality portfolio and the fourth property from the super-stylish House Collective (the group behind the gorgeous Upper House in Hong Kong which The Cultured Traveller reviewed in issue 8, The Middle House was inspired by the city’s rich heritage of craftsmanship and culture.
Courtesy of renowned Italian designer and architect Piero Lissoni, contemporary design has been blended with traditional Asian elements in 111 guest rooms and suites plus 102 serviced apartments, throughout which bold lines and clean silhouettes prevail by way of custom furniture inspired by traditional Chinese pieces, transparent room dividers and original Chinese artwork alongside rich dark woods and sumptuous white linens. Whilst the result is a chic blend of Shanghainese decor and a contemporary Italian approach to interiors – offering guests a much-needed sensory respite from the pulsating metropolis outside and a veritable oasis of calm in one of the world’s busiest cities – the overall style is sealed by the outstanding art collection which runs throughout the hotel.
Curated by Alison Pickett, who is responsible for all House Collective’s art-centric hotel interiors, the theme at The Middle House is ‘I Dream of China’, which has been brought to life via more than 650 cutting-edge pieces liberally scattered throughout the property: from an extraordinary Chinese robe covered in 12,000 ceramic butterflies which hangs in the lobby, to striking by Richard Winkworth paintings in Café Gray Deluxe restaurant, overlooking buzzing Nanjing West Road, where guests can indulge in New York¬-based chef Gray Kunz’s signature mix of modern European cuisine made with Asian ingredients. Elsewhere there are two further restaurants for guests to feast in: homely Italian Frasca and contemporary Chinese Sui Tang Li.
The Middle House’s seemingly immaculate design aesthetic flows into the hotel’s basement, which accommodates a swimming pool, sauna, steam room, gym, yoga studio, juice bar and HYPOXI room, plus a superb spa, where a signature Chi Ling Lian facial will almost certainly put you right post-flight.