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Combining business and leisure

KERRY Hotel Pudong delivers a memorable experience to all guests due to its novel approach of becoming an integral part of the community, writes Victoria Fei.

Former NBA star Yao Ming selected Kerry Hotel Pudong as the venue to announce his retirement, giving the hotel great worldwide exposure. It already seems to have paid off. NBA most valuable player Derrick Rose, who plays for the Chicago Bulls, chose to stay at this five-star hotel during his recent trip to Shanghai.

While star athletes help boost the hotel's image, the property's great location is the real reason why it is such a popular choice among guests.

Kerry Hotel Pudong also offers the largest portfolio of hotel meeting and banqueting facilities in the city, with more than 7,300 square meters of space. It also offers a seamless link between business, entertainment and recreation to ensure guests enjoy their stay.

The hotel has 574 rooms and suites ranging in sizes from 42 to 168 square meters, each with sweeping views of Century Park and surrounding villas.

"It is an excellent destination with great views of the park and a relaxed environment," said Ed Brea, general manager of Kerry Hotel Pudong.

"Our facilities, our surrounding community and our engaging, individualized service make it easy for guests to combine work with leisure, to travel and yet not leave the rest of one's life and all its pleasures and comforts behind."

The hotel provides access to shops and boutiques, dining and entertainment facilities within the Kerry Parkside shopping mall as well as to the office tower and serviced apartment - Residences at the Kerry Parkside.

The hotel is directly above Huamu Station on Metro Line 7, a strategic link connecting the new landmark to the rest of Shanghai.

With an enclosed footbridge and walkway, the hotel is connected to Shanghai New International Expo Center, the city's largest trade exhibition venue offering more than 300,000 square meters of exhibition space.

The Maglev station with direct high-speed rail services to Pudong International Airport is a mere seven-minute ride on the hotel's complimentary shuttle service. Alternatively, Pudong International Airport can be reached in approximately 30 minutes via the airport expressway.

With such fabulous location, the new five-star hotel brand by Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts appeals not only to celebrities, but also event organizers and meeting planners.

"We are a hotel, but not just a hotel. We provide facilities that can serve 'more people,' and space is no longer a restriction for functions such as annual meetings, weddings and press conferences. We bring the community into the hotel and the hotel into the community," Brea said.

The hotel's MICE spaces feature more than 7,300 square meters, including the Grand Shanghai Ballroom and Pudong Ballroom.

Both on the third floor, the two ballrooms are the hotel's top banqueting and conference venues.

Inspired by the Chinese philosophical belief about the duality of human nature, yin and yang, the Grand Shanghai Ballroom and Pudong Ballroom are designed for "harmonious events," with each venue retaining its own distinctive ambience.

The Grand Shanghai Ballroom, at 2,230 square meters and a ceiling height of 9 meters, is the city's largest hotel-based pillar-free ballroom, with a pre-function foyer area offering natural daylight.

Nine chandeliers created out of nearly 6,000 pieces of hand-blown crystal, imported from the Czech Republic, light up the expansive Grand Shanghai Ballroom, offering a subtle feminine touch.

For flexibility, the Grand Shanghai Ballroom can be divided into three sections. The ballroom is equipped with built-in LCD projectors and four motorized wide screens, plus a mega portable LED mobile screen (40 square meters, 8m by 5m) - a first in the city.

Dedicated event team

The Grand Shanghai Ballroom is adjacent to the Grand Shanghai Ballroom Foyer, which can be used as a pre-function area and partitioned into two, with one section leading to the outdoor Balcony Garden.

It is also connected to the 1,018-square-meter Pudong Ballroom by an 8-meter walkway, which can be opened to optimize traffic flow between the hotel's two largest ballrooms.

The Pudong Ballroom is adjacent to the Pudong Ballroom Foyer and can be subdivided into seven sections. Each section has its own separate entrance.

Betty Lau, director of sales and marketing said: "The hotel's banqueting and conference venues evoke a welcoming and gracious atmosphere.

"From complicated global conventions to high-powered boardroom meetings and grand celebrations, the hotel's events management team collaborates closely with experienced culinary professionals and a well-trained banquet services team to ensure no detail is spared in executing successful events for guests," Lau added.

In addition, the hotel features 26 multi-purpose function rooms, majority with natural daylight. The Balcony Garden on level three offers a refreshing outdoor alternative, overlooking the vibrant courtyard of the Kerry Parkside complex. At 195 square meters, it is ideal for small meeting breaks or private gatherings.

Meetings and event organizers benefit from a dedicated events manager, a meetings butler and an audio-visual technician on standby at all times.

Complementing the diverse selection of venues, the hotel also offers the Business Center and Office Suites, with 16 fully furnished service offices and four meeting rooms. The round-the-clock operation is dedicated to meeting the needs of business travelers and guests on the go.

Extensive leisure facilities are designed to become a social hub for both hotel guests and the local community.

The hotel houses the city's largest sports club - Kerry Sports, a recreation destination spanning 6,000 square meters over three floors.

The facilities include a 24hour gymnasium with studios for aerobics, spinning, Pilates and yoga (including hot yoga), a 25-meter heated indoor swimming pool, an outdoor basketball court and tennis court, and an outdoor roof garden with jogging track.

"Our sports club is open 24/7. It brings convenience to those who suffer from jet lag," the general manager said of the sports center. "But it's not just a sports center. People come here all day and take a day of leisure."

The 700-square-meter Adventure Zone, an indoor children's fantasy playground, features a two-story-high slide, age-appropriate play "zones" and three party rooms, ideal for birthday celebrations.

A 275-square-meter wellness day spa with nine treatment suites, specializing in health, beauty and physiotherapy, provides traditional Chinese medicine treatments based on ancient wushu (martial arts) healing traditions.

The hotel also introduces one of Shanghai's most innovative dining concepts. It is an integrated three-in-one venue at The Cook, The MEET and The BREW.

The Cook, with 11 "live show" kitchens and a gourmet delicatessen, has seating for 365 people, including an outdoor patio.

Offering a feast for the senses, chefs at The Cook follow the philosophy of uncomplicated, home-made preparation accentuating the flavors of fresh, organic ingredients.

Dining experience

The culinary experience offers a global snapshot of cuisines ranging from Chinese wok and steam baskets to an Asian noodle station and the Japanese sushi, sashimi and yakitori kitchen.

The Brew is a lively, contemporary pub, with handcrafted beer created by the hotel's resident brew master. It also offers gastro pub cuisine and live music.

Beer connoisseurs can unwind, watch sports on flat-screen TVs or relax on the outdoor terrace.

Diners at The Meet, a contemporary steakhouse and speciality grill, are greeted by a theatrically lit "Meat Aging Room" window at the entrance. Here diners can see the restaurant's butcher preparing various cuts of meat.

"It's really a hotel. But it has so much more to offer," said Brea. "The community has embraced us, being pleased with what we're doing so far. I believe in the future, the area will become the center of Pudong."


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