Thirty-seven years ago, Shenzhen, China, was a sleepy place—a fishing village in Guangdong Province due north of Hong Kong, and the diametric opposite of the super-city (pop. 11 million) it is now. In the generation since reformist leader Deng Xiaoping opened the region to foreign direct investments and private enterprises, Shenzhen has become an economic and innovation hub, drawing young professionals from across the country with tech sector jobs (it’s known as “China’s Silicon Valley”) and some of China’s cleanest air (50 per cent of its streets are lined with trees and green spaces abound). Of course, becoming a global powerhouse means attracting—and accommodating—global power players. And so, the Langham Shenzhen was established in 2012; a purveyor of old-world service to suit the needs of a very new city.
The Langham’s British heritage suffuses the hotel, which sits amidst subtropical greenery, a castle-like anomaly flanked by super-tall skyscrapers (Shenzhen saw the completion of more skyscrapers in 2016 than the U.S. and Australia combined). One of three Chinese Langham properties (the others are located in Shanghai and Guangzhou), the hotel comes complete with iconic flourishes—a baby-pink taxi ready to chauffeur guests at a moment’s notice and the availability of authentically English afternoon tea key among them. Regional specialties are given their due as well—signature restaurant T’ang Court offers expertly prepared Cantonese cuisine and plenty of discreet, private rooms designed for business dinners and family gatherings, while Silk dining room offers an impressively thorough pan-Asian buffet, from soba to congee to made-to-order Indonesian crepes.
The Langham’s Chuan Spa comes decorated as a city favourite (the jet lag revival treatment is unsurprisingly popular) and the pool a turquoise oasis amid towers. Room are spacious and decorated in cream and toffee hues, complete with soaker tubs overlooking the rapidly densifying skyline.
As China’s central planners work towards their goal of expanding Shenzhen and its nine neighbouring cities in the Pearl River Delta into an ultimate megalopolis by 2030, the region’s significance to investors is set to grow, and correspondingly so is its influx of business travellers. A top five-star hotel in the regional market, the Langham Shenzhen is an elegant place to call home while exploring the future.
The Langham, Shenzhen, 7888 Shennan Ave, Futian Qu, Shenzhen Shi, Guangdong Sheng, China, 518040.
Photos courtesy of the Langham, Shenzhen.
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