The Kerry, Shanghai, China
1388 Hua Mu Road, Shanghai
In the most populous country in the world, Shanghai is the largest city. With nearly 18 million people, we’re talking more residents than New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Houston combined. With that many people, it’s no wonder there’s an oasis such as The Kerry, billed as “lifestyle hotel,” in a skyscraper in the Pudong district. As one would expect, luxury comes at a price, which in this case is about $365 a night double occupancy.
Designed for business and recreational travelers alike, this hotel is the real deal. Adults can find endless ways to exercise or just relax at The Spa while kids can be entertained for hours at The Adventure Zone. More importantly are the offerings to whet your appetite and whistle at The Cook (restaurant), The Meet (lounge), and The Brew (1,200-liter brew system surrounded by glass with a spiral staircase that leads up to the fermentation cellar.
Brewmaster Leon Mickelson has 14 years of experience throughout Australasia and his seven house taps range from a low carb lager and a classic pilsner, to an IPA, Belgian wit and a vanilla milk coffee stout. But that’s not all. Mickelson always has a seasonal beer, anything from traditional English styles to unique Asian-inspired beers such as his Green Tea Lager. He says the Sichuan Peppercorn Hotpot Ale “was created from my love of the Chinese spicy hot pot that is so easily available throughout the city.” To brew it, he added the five popular Chinese spices: star anise, cinnamon, cloves, fennel, “and of course Sichuan pepper corn” to the kettle for an ale that comes out a rich, ruby red like the peppers but is still on the malty side. It comes in at 6.3 percent alcohol for a beer he both locals and ex-pats appreciate. He also makes hard cider in house. While the beers are best enjoyed in The Brew, hotel guests will find two complimentary bottles in their minibars.
Because Mickelson actively promotes craft beer in China, he’s quick to point out that Boxing Cat and Dr. Beer are two other breweries near The Kerry, each an inexpensive 20-minute cab ride away. For non-beer pursuits, Lisa Low, The Kerry’s director of communications, offers some tasty suggestions. Visit Tian Zi Fang among the alleys that make up Tai Kang Lu, the quaint art-deco district with galleries and bistro cafes aplenty. Take a tour of the city in a vintage side-car. And, though you’ll probably fill up on Shanghai-style dumplings, she insists you “do not leave Shanghai until you’ve had a meal at Jesse and/or Chun, two of the best holes-in-the-wall Shanghainese restaurants.” But make a reservation.