This gorgeous Chinese design hotel embodies ‘natural simplicity’

Nestled amid the picturesque landscapes of Shanghai’s Changxing Island, Shanghai Donggang Chengfu Hotel stands as a testament to the harmonious fusion of tradition and design

While traversing the world and hopping from one luxurious hotel to another can be incredibly thrilling, amidst the grandeur, there’s often a longing for the comfort of home. At Shanghai Donggang Chengfu Hotel, this desire for a ‘homely feeling’ is not just acknowledged but also catered to, alongside the luxurious comfort of the five-star hotel experience. Located in Shanghai, China, the hotel was designed by creative studio Shanghai Light and Shadow Design and embodies ‘poetic elegance born from an aesthetic of natural simplicity’.

The hotel is tucked away on Shanghai’s Changxing Island, providing a tranquil retreat far from the madding crowds. It offers visitors a chance to experience a more authentic, less-westernised side of China. Visitors of the region will discover quaint, rural lanes lined with blooming flowers and verdant trees alongside inviting beaches boasting soft sands and panoramic views of the expansive sea.

Creative studio Shanghai Light and Shadow Design pays homage to the site and Chinese traditions to create an initial impression for guests reminiscent of a moonlit night reflected on calm waters. In Chinese tradition, the moon symbolises peace and family reunion, evoking a sense of harmony and connection. The entrance and main hallway of the hotel emit a sense of comfort and tranquillity. Arched French windows maximise the amount of natural light, and a warm palette and incorporation of natural materials give the hall a warm atmosphere that is bright, restful and welcoming. 

The philosophy of Wabi-Sabi style permeates the overall design of the guest rooms, showcasing a minimal aesthetic with natural materials, earthy tones and soft textures that aren’t just tangibly soothing but appealing to the eye.

The guestrooms at Shanghai Donggang Chengfu Hotel needed to be comforting and deeply restful while overlaying a luxurious aesthetic. To this end, the rooms are adorned with contemporary accents and details, including carefully curated rounded furniture and artworks that bring a modern sensibility and aesthetic sophistication. Although the warm light and soft tones are reminiscent of Mediterranean interiors, Chinese customs are distinguishable in details such as the inclusion of a delicate timber table in each corner of the room, equipped with a custom tea set and book. This considered nook provides a quiet place to read and sip tea under an exquisite Chinese ink painting.

The dining venues in the hotel continue the Mediterranean-infused style of the other spaces, while the addition of Chinese design elements, such as raw and simplistic wooden chairs and tables, creates a seamless fusion of Eastern and Western aesthetics. 

The layout maximises comfort, with plush seating and tables placed within a softly lit environment, providing an aesthetically balanced and composed atmosphere while providing a pleasant dining experience for every guest. The dining venues serve Mediterranean and Chinese cuisine, including fresh seafood, fruits and vegetables, skilfully prepared by the hotel’s chefs. One of the hotel’s highlights is the Children’s Area, where the second and third floors take the theme of swimming under the sea and invite children into a marine-inspired world. Blue and white bubble balls, wave-like decorations, seaweed murals and other elements bring the space to life, giving children the feeling of a mysterious ocean world. 

The starry sky-themed fourth floor brings a futuristic aesthetic; a collection of astronomy-related devices and ornaments invite children into a world of exploration and mystery as if entering a portal into the wider universe. Children can gaze upon a simulated night sky and use high-powered telescopes to observe celestial phenomena firsthand, providing them with an educational and memorable experience of the universe.

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