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Reality Check ➔ HOTEL KERRY HOTEL PUDONG, SHANGHAI


THE HOTEL: Opened in February 2011, the 31-storey, 574-room hotel is in Kerry Parkside, one of Shanghai’s newest areas. This is the first Kerry brand hotel, unashamedly five-star Shangri-La but with a more vibrant and relaxed ambience. It is around 30 minutes from Pudong International Airport. THE CHECK-IN: Swift, friendly and efficient in a large but welcoming lobby. My bag arrived in my room just moments later. THE ROOM: My Premier Park room was one of five categories across 31 floors and offered an exceptionally bright and welcoming feel across its 69 square metres. It had sweeping views across Shanghai from huge picture windows on two sides of the room. Features include a large work desk, separate sitting area, free minibar for soft drinks and a spacious bathroom, again with city views. THE BUSINESS: Complimentary broadband and wireless internet is available, and there's also a business centre, 16 furnished serviced offices and four meeting rooms. There are 26 multipurpose function rooms including Shanghai’s largest ballroom. The Balcony Garden offers an outdoor alternative. The hotel adjoins the Shanghai New International Expo Centre (SNIEC). Seven floors have Club accommodation with round-the-clock butler


and concierge services, complimentary breakfast and evening cocktails. THE FACILITIES: There's a three-in-one integrated restaurant/bar called The COOK, The MEET and The BREW. The COOK has 11 show kitchens and diners simply take their pre-programmed card to any of the food stations and the food is delivered to the table. The MEET is a contemporary steakhouse and grill, while The BREW is a craft brewery with a choice of beers and a cider. There’s also a COOK Lounge for tea/coffee and evening cocktails. Kerry Sports is the city’s largest hotel-based sports club and includes 24-hour


gym, studios, 25-metre heated indoor pool, tennis court and spa with treatment suites. THE VERDICT: An outstanding hotel that ‘provides a seamless link between business, entertainment and recreation’. It has its own metro station and is an ideal base for those on business in the Pudong side of Shanghai. THE DETAILS: Rates range from around £154 per night including breakfast, tax and service. A Premier Park Room is from around £235. 1388 Hua Mu Road, Pudong, Shanghai 201204, China. Tel: (86 21) 6169 8888 or 0800 028 3337 for UK enquiries; www.thekerryhotels.com. ALAN ORBELL


➔ HOTEL QUALITY HOTEL AMBASSADOR, HAMBURG


THE HOTEL: Part of the Choice Hotels, this 124-bedroom property is centrally located and conveniently only a few minutes’ walk from a metro that is only one stop from the city’s main train station. THE CHECK-IN: The check-in was prompt and friendly and no queues for this quiet, mid-afternoon check-in. THE ROOM: The size and smell of this room took me back momentarily, as it was a tiny single room – with even smaller bathroom – and the previous occupant had been smoking. Nonetheless, it was well-designed, squeezing in all that you could want for a short stay: a corner desk with minibar underneath and old-fashioned TV above (cable and pay TV), single bed, luggage rack, small wardrobe and a corner shower cubicle in the room. A sliding frosted glass door thankfully cordoned off the toilet and basin. Décor was modern and simple; definitely more function than form. No safe but there is a secure storage facility at reception. THE BUSINESS: Free wifi throughout, 24/7 reception and seven meeting rooms accommodating as few as 12 people or as many as 110, depending on configuration. Room-only rates vary between 125 to 500 euros, depending on size, and delegate


packages are approximately 55 euros. THE FACILITIES: There's car parking behind the hotel; the cavernous Focus restaurant with separate street entrance and a private dining room offers affordable hearty pasta and meat dishes that were surprisingly good; a funky bar called LUX behind the reception area with small outdoor terrace; a pleasant, albeit small lobby lounge; and fitness centre with pool, sauna and sunbed. THE VERDICT: This hotel is in a great


location both for the city centre, airport and the Messe. Apartments for longer-stay guests and friendly service make it an inexpensive option for city centre accommodation. THE DETAILS: Heidenkampsweg 34, 20097 Hamburg, Germany. Room rates from 85 to 129 euros excluding breakfast (at 14 euros). Guests can collect Choice Privileges. Tel +49 (0)402 388230: www.choicehotels.eu; mail@ambassafor-hamburg.de. GILLIAN UPTON


FIND MORE REALITY CHECKS AT WWW.THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.COM I 87


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