Shanghai’s  five-star  The Middle House  

The location 

The Middle House is a five-star hotel in the heart of China’s bustling metropolis of Shanghai. It is the epicenter of the lively Jing’an District, yet it manages to strike the ideal balance between the contemporary and the traditional. The hotel is situated in a convenient location close to Nanjing Road, which is considered to be one of the best shopping avenues in Shanghai, as well as Jing’an Temple, which is a historical and cultural landmark.


The aesthetic 

The Middle House, created by renowned Italian architect Piero Lissoni, exhibits a distinctive architectural style that effortlessly combines elegance and modern aesthetics. Lissoni incorporated various materials, such as bamboo, porcelain, ceramic and lacquered textures. The refined interiors skillfully blend Chinese history and craftsmanship with Italian ingenuity, resulting in a beautiful tribute to modern-day Shanghai.

The hotel’s public spaces are filled with an abundance of natural light, which creates a warm and peaceful atmosphere that is welcoming to guests. The design of the hotel showcases a dedication to crafting a balanced atmosphere that incorporates the vibrant urban spirit of Shanghai and the peacefulness of a high-end getaway.

The room

We stayed in a Studio 60 with floor-to-ceiling windows facing a bustling street. During the course of our stay, I would sit on the couch and watch people cross the street. I would sit outside the Starbucks Roastery at different times of the day. The view was exhilarating and relaxing at the same time. A similar design philosophy carries through to their luxurious dwellings and presents an amazing showcase of contemporary design and modern renditions of traditional Chinese elements.

Guests staying in any room can enjoy features like a rain shower and free-standing bathtub, exclusive artisanal bath and body products, premium bathroom accessories, luxury down bedding, high-speed Wi-Fi, a state-of-the-art Bluetooth speaker and the use of Mr. Goodnight, the hotel’s signature blue tassel master light switch. A complimentary maxi bar and an espresso machine with a selection of beverages are also present for use.


The breakfast 

As you step into Cafe Gray, you’ll be greeted by an elegant and modern interior, adorned with sleek furnishings and large windows that flood the space with natural light. The inviting atmosphere creates a sense of tranquility, making it an ideal spot to enjoy a leisurely morning meal.

The breakfast menu at Cafe Gray is a culinary delight, boasting a wide array of options to suit both my palate and my husband’s. I went from Asian one day (Shanghai specialty xiao long bao and shen jian bao) to Western the next day (honey-glazed ham with hashbrown is a winner!), then back to Asian (the laksa is fantastic!).

My husband Berg, on the other hand, indulged in fluffy pancakes drizzled with maple syrup one day and waffles the next day.

View from Studio 60. The Middle House is located in the lively Jing’an District and is connected to the Taikoo Hui mall.

The art collection 

Entering the hotel takes you to a place with a flair for the dramatic. The space was designed by Lissoni with a deliberate emphasis on contrast. This was achieved by employing dark colors and striking jewel tones for the walls and furnishings, which served to accentuate the carefully selected art works from the hotel’s art collection titled I Dream of China, by both local Chinese and international artists, serving as a representation of the artistic intersection that characterizes the city of Shanghai.

The installation Vases in a Steel Cage by Shanghai artist Liu Dao of the neighborhood art group Island6 creates a thought-provoking contrast between delicate porcelain vases and a rigid metal enclosure in one area of the property.


The service 

When it comes to service at the Middle House, one word immediately comes to mind: dedicated. From the moment we arrived and stepped onto the property to our experiences at the various outlets, even while waiting outside for our ride back to the hotel, and throughout our check-out process, the service we received at every step of the way was truly dedicated. It is a testament to the art of hospitality at the Middle House. The commitment of the Middle House team to ensuring a memorable and seamless experience for each guest is remarkable.

Shanghai, although both familiar and unfamiliar to us, has undergone significant changes in the past three years since the pandemic began. It has become a new place for us. Are the places we used to frequent still there? Most of our friends in Shanghai have left, but staying at the Middle House and engaging in conversations with the team provided us with answers, insights and new recommendations. This helped us appreciate the city even more.