A room with a view: Hotel opens atop world’s 2nd tallest building

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If you’ve got a head for heights, how about resting it here?

J Hotel opened on June 19 atop Shanghai Tower, China’s tallest skyscraper and the second tallest building in the world at 632 meters – 196 meters short of record holder, Dubai’s 828-meter Burj Khalifa.

It has 165 rooms from floors 86 to 98. The hotel lobby is on the 101st floor.

There are also seven restaurants, one of which, named Heaenly Jin, is on the 120th floor and is one of the highest restaurants in the world.

The hotel is believed to be the highest of its kind above ground, but as it sits upon a mixed-use tower, it’s unlikely to take the title of world’s tallest hotel from Dubai’s dedicated Gevora Hotel, which stands at 356 meters.

J Hotel offers a bird’s eye view across all of Shanghai.

Beginning at the meandering Huangpu River and cutting through the heart of the city below, guests can glimpse Shanghai’s diverse urban scenery, from The Bund waterfront area and Oriental Pearl Tower, to the districts of Puxi and Pudong.

“We offer a bird’s eye view of Shanghai and the expanse across the skyline of Shanghai, not only in one direction, but also in 360-degrees view of the entire Shanghai,” says the hotel’s general manager Richard Yap.

“So, rarely you have such a place that offers such an impressive and stunning view of Shanghai.”

Having lived in the tower for four years, Yap says he has viewed countless spectacular sights:

“I have seen the whole of Shanghai is clear sky, but there are sections of Shanghai raining. I have seen the sun ray shining to one spot of Shanghai, the rest is gloomy, it’s in dark,” he says.

The Jin Yan restaurant on the 103rd floor features classic shades of Chinese red.

The entrance corridor is made from red glaze and takes inspiration from traditional Chinese architecture.

Inside, a crystal art installation displays a dragon playing with a pearl, an auspicious symbol in China.

It also boasts special private rooms, featuring bespoke artworks in glaze and enamel.

“It gives me a very strong patriotic feeling, the sense of belonging is there, very powerful Chinese culture,” says Yap.

The hotel, which opened on June 19, is run by Jin Jiang International Hotels, China’s largest and the world’s second-largest hotel group.

Yap says guests are invited to explore a carefully curated art exhibit which spans different floors.

He says it’s a unique and challenging location, not only because of its height, but also because it’s a super high-rise building, conventional building materials cannot be used.

J Hotel had to follow special fire protection standards not used in many other hotels. All combustible materials, including fabrics and wallpaper, could not be used.

“We use a lot of metal, glass – man-made glass – mosaic, laminated wood, and metal to marbles, stones to build this structure,” explains Yap. 

“As you are in this kind of situation and restrictions, so you need to be creative on finding things to make it nice and make it look different.”

Located on the 120th floor of Shanghai Tower – 556 meters above ground – Heavenly Jin is one of the world’s highest restaurants.

It’s a fusion of several culinary styles, including modern European, Japanese, and fine Chinese cuisines.

Besides a rare perspective on the nearby Oriental Pearl Tower and The Bund, the horizon stretches from Hongqiao Airport in the west to the Yangtze River’s entrance into the East China Sea.

“When the guests leave the hotel, they will carry part of it, not just a stay experience, but it’s a full experience,” says Yap.

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