Sister hotel to the Hong Kong legend, the 235-room Peninsula is a living example of how to do opulent heritage glamour, and is possibly the most elegant hotel in the city. A prime Bund location and detail-obsessive decor - from the old-fashioned dials above the lifts to the plush, squishy carpets and quality antique reproduction furniture - are key to its success.
The ground floor houses the Peninsula Arcade (a collection of upscale designer boutiques), the Compass Bar, and the sumptuous light-filled lobby restaurant which serves afternoon tea to the tinkling strains of a live piano. Other dining and drinking options include Yi Long Court, a traditional Cantonese restaurant; Sir Elly's, which serves stunning modern European cuisine (we gave it a five-star rating when it opened), and Salon de Ning, an underground nightclub/bar. Leisure facilities range from the ESPA spa and personal trainers in the well-equipped gym, to one of the city's best indoor pools and a spacious sun terrace.
Guestrooms are big on space (the smallest is 54sqm), with separate bath/shower and dressing room, and decorated in a soothing palette of eau-de-nil and white. Every whim is catered for, from the 24-hour valet service box to the dressing table 'nail dryers' - indeed, there's such a multitude of buttons in the guestrooms that first time visitors get a personal tutorial on arrival. It's worth paying the extra 400RMB for a deluxe room, which feature river or garden views, as the cheapest standard rooms have no view to speak of. Rooms from 3500RMB/night, plus 15 per cent service charge.