Shanghai’s Peace Hotel Back in the Swing of Things

The Los Angeles Times writes about the refurbishment of Shanghai’s historic Peace Hotel:

There is no other landmark in Shanghai so closely associated with the city’s storied history. The hotel’s heyday lasted a scant eight years, from its opening as the Cathay Hotel in 1929 to the outbreak of fighting between Japan and China in 1937. The hotel, along with much of Shanghai, fell into disrepair.

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Today, it has returned to its boom-time roots. After three years, $73 million worth of refurbishment and more than a few delays, a meticulously restored and updated Peace Hotel reopened last month, hoping to offer visitors the modern equivalent of 1920s luxury. (At modern luxury prices: rooms start around $350 a night.)

And, as the hotel presents its shining old face to the public, the realities of modern Shanghai have rarely been so clearly juxtaposed with a picture of the city’s freewheeling past.

“Shanghai is one of the most difficult cities in the world to interpret,” said Shanghai historian Peter Hibbard, who consulted on the refurbishment of the hotel. “You never know what’s old or what’s new.”


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