Continuing the theme of 1930s Shanghai (it’s not going away), I’m excited to see new images of the refurbished Peace Hotel.
Three years ago it closed for massive renovations. After much anticipation, it re-opened last month.
Built in 1929 by Victor Sassoon, the north building was called the Cathay Hotel back then (image on left). Just south of Nanking Road (Nanjing Lu today) stood the Palace Hotel (which was built on the site of the 1850s Central Hotel). Interestingly enough, the south building became a wing of the Peace Hotel in 1965, a year before the Cultural Revolution.
When I stayed at the Peace in 1995 (in the north building; but I ate in the nondescript ground floor restaurant in the south building), the greatest luxury in my room was a bathroom scale.
On that trip, my parents enjoyed listing to the Old Jazz Band at the Peace, one of the remaining throwbacks to the Peace’s glorious past. I remember standing on the rooftop terrace (just under the bottom of the green copper roof), looking over the Whampoa (Huangpu River) to the construction jungles of Pudong.
The Peace played up its decadent past even back in the mid-1990s. The postcards sold in the sparsely-stocked hotel gift shop featured sepia photos of 1930s Shanghai. So that’s what I sent to family back in the US.