The URBN Hotels in Shanghai is remarkable for its carbon-free commitment, its design and the amenities available at this five star boutique hotel.
The URBN is a 26-room boutique hotel with localized extra services to enhance your stay. Guests can participate in tai chi and yoga classes, book in-room spa treatments, enjoy unique bike and walking tours, Chinese cooking classes and basic Mandarin Chinese lessons.
With all these positives, it is not surprising that URBN made the Condé Nast Traveler’s Hot List Hotels 2008 for Asia.
The hotel spatial concept, interior and facade design are the works of AOO Architecture, an architecture firm founded by three Canadian architects based on Shanghai. A00 Architecture is also known for their research in environmental sustainability.
The Brazilian-born woman architect Tais Cabral fashioned the interior design around a sense of luxury, modernity and comfort. The international trail does not stop there.
URBN Hotels is the brainchild of two foreigners. California native Barrack and the Australian Kwan united their skills and know-how to create a totally new concept in the upscale hotel market in China.
The studio lounge is open plan with the king size bed sitting on a low platform in the middle of the room. The Garden View offers a multifunctional living space with a sense of nature. The Courtyard Suite featured a private outdoor courtyard and treatment room.
For the royal treatment, book one of the two penthouses. Each penthouse has a 120 square meters rooftop terrace garden.
The New York Times said last December that rates start at 2,000 Yuan, about $293 USD at today’s rate. It includes breakfast and Wi-Fi.
The environmental concerns started at the construction since they renovated an existing building, used recycled and locally sourced materials such as reclaimed hardwoods and old Shanghai bricks, and installed eco-friendly solutions like passive solar shades.
The energy consumed by the hotel operations, including staff commutes, food and beverage delivery, and the energy used by each guest, is tracked to calculate the carbon footprint. Patrons can buy carbon credits. We have to salute companies that try to be more responsible.
The Shanghai hotel is only the beginning. URBN Hotels plans to open a total of 20 design-centric, carbon-neutral properties in China over the next 3 to 5 years. If you interested to know more, Jill Stalowicz of Fell More Human did an insightful interview with one of the owners.