Hotels: Time for a new Shanghai star

Hotels: Time for a new Shanghai star

A new Shanghai hotel is taking the artist-in-residence idea to a whole new level. Watchmaker Swatch has taken over the former Palace Hotel, on the Bund, and turned it into an exciting new space that’s part hotel, part gallery, part artists’ live-work studios.

The multifunctional building, a turn-of-the-century landmark, will reopen this spring as the Swatch Art Peace Hotel. It has been sensitively restored and fitted out with seven guest rooms and suites alongside 18 artists’ studios and residences.

The project aims to bring art closer to the residents of Shanghai. Local artists are invited to stay for up to six months; during that time, they will interact with guests and the public through common leisure spaces and exhibitions.

Guest rooms have been designed by Parisian agency Jouin Manku, and are minimalist in style. The restaurant, Shook!, serves Asian and Western cuisine; cocktails are served on the roof terrace. A ground-floor boutique sells watches by Swatch Group brands Breguet, Omega, Blancpain and Swatch.

The 18 artists will be chosen by a selection committee that, as well as executives from Swatch and YTL hotel group, includes George Clooney, ambassador for Omega.