Travel & Living

The Middle House Shanghai Is Your New Favorite Hotel

The latest in luxurious and stylish lodging.

There’s something about The Middle House, the just-opened, psychotically buzzed-about five-star hotel located in the heart of Shanghai.

The buzz surrounding the arrival of the break-from-the-bustle stylish sanctuary makes sense. In other words, it’s the latest property from Swire Hotels, the folks responsible for a slew of Asia’s hippest of hotels, including Hong Kong’s fashionable see-and-be-seen haven, The Upper House whose famous guests  include Gwyneth Paltrow, Katy Perry,  and Britney Spears (don’t ask us how we know these things because we’ll never tell). 

You’d think matching the success of The Upper House (along with the wildly popular The Opposite House in Beijing and The Temple House in Chengdu) must have been a challenge, but — spoiler alert — you’d never know it at this effortlessly cool home-away-from-home of a hotspot. 

It’s clear that The Middle House is something special before even stepping into the lobby. See also: those unmissable emerald-tiled columns and the towering bamboo that lines the driveway.

The Middle House takes first-impressions-are-everything thinking to another level via the holy grail of a glass chandelier which greets guests on entry. If you click on the location tag for The Middle House on Instagram, you’ll see that the chandelier is quite the hit.

But, phew, this isn’t Shangri-La over-the-top kinds of grandiosity. In fact, the chandelier feels more like a perfectly-placed piece of art in the airy, Zen-like lobby. That’s all thanks to Italian designer and architect Piero Lissoni, who brought his signature mix of modern opulence-meets-sophistication with a side of Shanghainese design elements to The Middle House, successfully capturing the spirit of modern-day Shanghai.

The Middle House boasts 111 modern studios, varying from 50 sqm to 100 sqm, as well as a gallery suite and a 660 sqm top-floor Penthouse, all of which, and this is very important, feature floor-to-ceiling windows replete with ample views of the city and to-die-for bathtubs.

For longer stays, there’s The Middle House Residences, which range from 55 to 110 sqm, offering all the comforts and modern luxury of The Middle House albeit with the convenience of apartment-style living.

Rooms feature silk panels, wall-to-wall benches, elegant light fixtures, dark-stained floors, and, did we forget to mention the walk-in closets and the fantastic beds? Let’s definitely not forget those cinematic city views. Stay in bed days never felt so right. Right?

Wrong! We suggest that you do eventually get out of bed, specifically to take the elevator to the bottom floor. Here you’ll enter a massive, moodily lit Nirvana where, if you don’t manage to get lost down the winding, futuristic-stylized and glowing halls, you’ll find a juice bar, a nail salon, a wellness retail store and so much more.

The heated pool is exquisite, and so is the just-opened MI XUN spa, which offers boutique CHA LING treatments that focus on “combined techniques of traditional Chinese medicine to re-harmonize energy flows and detoxify the skin.” These were founded by Laurent Boillot, President and CEO of Guerlain, and developed by LVMH Research in France. 

For those who aren’t in the mood to work out at the fully-equipped gym, there’s always the HYPOXI room, which gives off a high-fashion Judy Jetson-designed vibe. Clearly, there’s something for everyone in this treat-yourself paradise.

The Middle House is all about options when it comes to food as well.

The iconic Michelin award-winning Café Gray Deluxe, loved by visitors to The Upper House in Hong Kong, has been replicated at The Middle House, featuring a European menu by acclaimed Chef Gray Kunz and an extravagant cocktail menu.

In the summer evenings, go on and venture onto the wrap-around terrace, perpetually occupied by a fashionable crowd sipping on aforementioned fancy cocktails. In addition, there’s the Italian eatery, Frasca, brought to life by Chef Stefano Pace, who previously helmed the two Michelin star restaurant Gusto in Rome and who founded one of Shanghai’s all-time favorites, D.O.C Gastronomia Italian.

Sui Tang Li, The Middle House’s Chinese restaurant with a name meaning “happy, free and relaxed,” serves Artisan Dim Sum by Chef Tony Ye, who has more than 20 years’ experience. His curated menu is packed with creative and contemporary dishes influenced by Shanghainese, Sichuan, and Cantonese regional cuisines.

Unique, unexpected, delicious. Those three words are an apt description for The Middle House. Five stars all the way.

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