Peace Hotel

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Fairmont Peace Hotel
Sasson House The Bund.JPG
The Fairmont Peace Hotel
General information
Location 20 East Nanjing Road, Shanghai
Coordinates 31°14′27.9″N 121°29′04.5″E / 31.241083°N 121.484583°E / 31.241083; 121.484583
Opening 1956
Owner Jinjiang International
Management Fairmont Hotels and Resorts
Technical details
Floor count 13
Other information
Number of rooms 270
Number of suites 39
Number of restaurants 6
The North Building and The South Building
The Swatch Art Peace Hotel

The Peace Hotel (Chinese: 和平饭店) is a hotel on The Bund in Shanghai, China which overlooks the Huangpu River.[1] The hotel today operates as two separate businesses. The North Building, built as Sassoon House, originally housed the Cathay Hotel and is today the Fairmont Peace Hotel run by Fairmont Hotels and Resorts of Canada. The South Building was built as the Palace Hotel and is today the Swatch Art Peace Hotel. The two buildings both face the Bund, but are divided by the famous Nanjing Road, known as one of the busiest streets in Shanghai.[2]

North Building[edit]

The larger North Building, located at Number 20, The Bund, is called Sassoon House. It was built by Sir Victor Sassoon, of the notable Sassoon family, which built a Shanghai business and real estate empire in the early 20th century. He was a British Sephardic Jew of Iraqi origin, educated at Cambridge and Harrow. His family managed extensive business holdings in Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Calcutta. Sassoon House was the first high-rise building built by Victor Sassoon, and one of the first skyscrapers in the Eastern Hemisphere. It was designed by P & T Architects Limited (Palmer and Turner), with a reinforced concrete structure. Construction began in 1926, and was completed in 1929.[3]

The building occupies 4,617 square meters (15,148 square feet), and offers 36,317 square meters (119,150 square feet) of floor space. The building is ten stories in height, and the tenth floor is a penthouse, where Victor Sassoon once lived.[4] The North Building is 77 meters (253 feet) high to the roofline, and 83 meters (272 feet) to the spire.

The builders followed a consistent art deco scheme, from exterior design to interior decor. The exterior features extensive use of straight lines, with decorative patterns at pediments and eaves. Most of the building features granite facing, while the ninth floor and the roof are surfaced with terracotta. The eastern facade (facing the Huangpu River and the Bund) features a pyramidal roof with steep sides, and a height of about 10 meters (33 feet). The pyramid is faced with copper, which now boasts a light green patina.

Banks and shops leased the ground floor space until 1949. This space became the Shanghai branch of Citibank in 2002.[5] The fourth through ninth floors once housed the glamorous Cathay Hotel,[6] with rooms decorated in exotic international themes.

The rest of the ground floor featured a shopping arcade. Two main walkways crossed in the center at an octagonal hall. The first to third floors were leased as offices. Sassoon's companies and subsidiaries had their offices on the fourth floor. The eighth floor housed the main bar, a ball room, and a Chinese restaurant. The ninth floor is a night club and a small dining hall. The tenth floor was Victor Sassoon's private apartments. Within the pyramidal roof was the large dining hall.

Before 1949, the Cathay Hotel was regarded as the most prestigious hotel in Shanghai. Many international envoys visiting Shanghai would stay in the hotel. After the Communist takeover in 1949, some of the offices were used by the Municipal Finance Committee. In 1952, the building was taken over by the Municipal Government. In 1956, it once again became a hotel under the name "Peace Hotel". During the Cultural Revolution, the hotel was used by the Gang of Four, most famously by Zhang Chunqiao as he headed the Shanghai Commune from headquarters in the Peace Hotel.[7]

In 1992, the Peace Hotel was listed as one of the famous hotels of the world by the World Hotel Association, and remains the only hotel in China to have received this recognition. It has become particularly renowned for its Old Jazz Band, which was recently the basis for a movie, "As Time Goes By" a film by Uli Gaulke,[8] and its roof terrace restaurant, overlooking the now booming district of Pudong across the Huangpu.

In 2007, the hotel closed for an extensive three-year renovation of both the exterior and interior, including the guest rooms, the lobby, and the dining and entertainment venues. The North Building reopened in 2010, as the Fairmont Peace Hotel Shanghai.[9] The hotel now offers 270 deluxe guestrooms and 39 suites, with a selection of six restaurants and lounges,[10] including Victor's Café, named for Sir Victor Sassoon. The eighth floor hosts the Peace Hall, famed for its sprung-timber dance floor,[11] plus several meeting rooms, and an outdoor terrace.

A low-rise extension has been added to the rear of the hotel, housing guestrooms as well as a sky-lit swimming pool and spa. The renovation also preserved many elements of its historical past,[12] and 1920s glamour.

South Building[edit]

Separated from the North Building by busy Nanjing Road, the South Building dates back to the 1850s, when it was known as the Central Hotel. In 1903, the hotel was restructured, and renamed the Palace Hotel. When built, the six-story hotel was the tallest building on Nanjing Road. The building that stands today was completed in 1908, and offered two elevators, the first building in Shanghai to do so. It was also once home to a Kuhn & Komor shop.

The hotel occupies 2,125 square meters (6,972 square feet), with a floor space of 11,607 square meters (38,081 square feet). It has a brick veneer, with its six stories reaching 30 metres (98 ft) in height. The exterior boasts a Renaissance style. The hotel has eighteen artist residences, and seven guest rooms.[13]

In 1909, the first meeting of the World Anti-Narcotics League was held here.[14] In 1911, after the success of the Xinhai Revolution, Sun Yat-sen stayed at the hotel and advocated commitment to the revolutionary cause. During World War II, the building was occupied by the Japanese army. In 1947 it was purchased by a Chinese company. After the revolution in 1949, it continued trading until 1952, when it was confiscated and used by the Municipal Construction Department. In 1965 it resumed trading as a hotel, as a wing of the Peace Hotel.

Similar to its counterpart to the north, the South Building was renovated in preparation for the 2010 World Expo. It emerged as the Swatch Art Peace Hotel.[15] It plays host to gifted artists from around the world who live and work for a limited time in apartments/workshops. The heritage facade and public rooms of the building have been restored to their original splendor,[16] while the building also features boutiques, a Swatch showroom and the Shook! Restaurant.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Shanghai Hotel: Luxury Hotel in Shanghai, China -Fairmont Peace Hotel". Retrieved 2 January 2015. 
  2. ^ "Shanghai's Shopping Venues". Retrieved 12 August 2015. 
  3. ^ "Fairmont Peace Hotel – A History". Fairmont Peace Hotel. Fairmont Peace Hotel. Retrieved 12 August 2015. 
  4. ^ "Fairmont Peace Hotel – A History". Fairmont Peace Hotel. Fairmont Peace Hotel. Retrieved 12 August 2015. 
  5. ^ Ni, Ching-Ching (22 March 2002). "Citibank Enters China's Consumer Banking Market". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 12 August 2015. 
  6. ^ "Fairmont Peace Hotel – A History". Fairmont Peace Hotel. Fairmont Peace Hotel. Retrieved 12 August 2015. 
  7. ^ Lonely Planet. "History of Shànghǎi – Lonely Planet Travel Information". Retrieved 2 January 2015. 
  8. ^ "As Time Goes By: Uli Gaulke & Helge Albers". Retrieved 2 January 2015. 
  9. ^ "Fairmont Peace Hotel". Fairmont Peace Hotel. Fairmont Peace Hotel. Retrieved 12 August 2015. 
  10. ^ "Fairmont Peace Hotel FactSheet". Fairmont Peace Hotel. Fairmont Peace Hotel. Retrieved 12 August 2015. 
  11. ^ "Peace Hotel—New Design". The Most Famous Hotels in the World. The Most Famous Hotels in the World. Retrieved 12 August 2015. 
  12. ^ Thomas, Stephanie (28 July 2010). "The Fairmont Peace Hotel: The reawakening of a Shanghai legend". CNN. Retrieved 12 August 2015. 
  13. ^ Staff, CNNGo (9 November 2011). "The Swatch Art Peace Hotel: A Shanghai heritage hotel with an artistic future". CNN. Retrieved 12 August 2015. 
  14. ^ "A Century of International Drug Control". World Drug Report (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime). 2008. 
  15. ^ "The Swatch Art Peace Hotel". The Swatch Art Peace Hotel. The Swatch Art Peace Hotel. Retrieved 12 August 2015. 
  16. ^ "The Swatch Art Peace Hotel". Design Hotels. Design Hotels. Retrieved 12 August 2015. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Tallest Building in Shanghai
1929 – 1934
Succeeded by
Park Hotel

Coordinates: 31°14′27.9″N 121°29′04.5″E / 31.241083°N 121.484583°E / 31.241083; 121.484583