Look closely and you’ll find hidden within this modern mecca a city deeply devoted to its roots. For evidence of this taste for tradition, look no further than the city’s newest hotel, Amanyangyun, set to open this month. You You won’t find it at the top of a gleaming skyscraper or teetering on the edge of the congested Bund; instead, the 37-room property occupies a collection of Ming- and Qing-dynasty structures in the quiet Minhang District. In lieu of neon-infused city views, the hotel will overlook a 1,000-year-old camphor forest and offer traditional tea service.
Aman isn’t the only one looking to the past to build Shanghai’s future. The lavish Cantonese Sense 8 pays tribute to Hong Kong’s famous Luk Yu tea house with antique chinoiserie and intricate woodwork embellished by artisans who worked on the Forbidden City’s restoration. Club 3 1/3 is the city’s answer to the global speakeasy trend with belle-epoque style and a strict dress code. Ateliers like Han Feng and Spin Ceramics are dipping into the past too, with the former applying modern cuts to traditional Chinese silks and the latter creating elegant and organic versions of the classic porcelain tea set.