Monday, 19 November 2012

China Trip - Day 9 - Shanghai - 19 November 2012‏

7.30am wake up call
9.00 meet with Director of Sales & Marketing and Director of Marketing Communications
9.30 breakfast
10.30 check out of Westin Bund Center Hotel, walk, take metro, walk to new hotel
11.30 check into Hongta Hotel, A Luxury Collection Hotel, Shanghai
1.00 meet with Director of Sales & Marketing, hotel tour, lunch in hotel Italian restaurant
explore local area, dinner, swim in pool, spa

The Day
Time to say goodbye to the Westin Bund Center Hotel. Before checking out I had the opportunity to meet with the Marketing personnel before enjoying the sumptuous breakfast for the last time at the hotel. Another never ending range of Chinese and Western style food seated at a table the vast hotel lobby.  Then it was time to walk the 5 blocks to the closest Metro underground rail station with my over-heavy bags. With the help of a station assistant I purchased the $3 ticket from the ticket machine. It was fun getting myself and the bags through the turnstile. The train was not overcrowded and I managed to get a seat for the short journey of 3 stops to the other side of the Huangu River. Helpful announcements were made in Chinese and English informing of approaching stations. I had to change trains from line 2 to line 6 which was no drama. This train was more crowded, so had to stand. A kind Chinese couple offered me a seat, but as it was only one station I remained standing.

It was only one blocks walk to the new hotel - the Hongta Hotel. This was one of the first high rise hotels on the Pudong side of the river and opened 11 years ago as the St Regis Hotel. This year it was re branded into A Luxury Collection Hotel. Upon check in I was pleasantly surprised to be upgraded to a guest room on the Executive Level on the 30th floor. This meant I had had my own Personal Butler access to the Executive Lounge.

I was greeted by the Director of Sales and Marketing and given a personal tour of the impressive hotel. The three course lunch was in the Italian Restaurant at the hotel. This was my first non-Chinese meal since arriving in China and was mouth watering delicious. A walk around the local streets revealed that Pudong did not exist only of skyscrapers. There were houses, apartments, shops and restaurants. A night market was operating in one of the laneways with many stalls selling freshly cooked food, live fish and crabs, fruit and vegetables, birds and plants. Next to the Metro station was a large supermarket selling clothing, electronics etc in addition to grocery items.

After dinner it was time to experience the hospitality of the Executive Lounge and the indoor heated swimming pool and spa. Then back to the guest room for channel surfing on the TV to glimpse the many Chinese and English TV stations. Then to sleep in preparation of another busy day in Shanghai.

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