Written by: Emma Tang
Photo by: Emma Tang / Le Royal Méridien
Shanghai, China, March 11th, 2016 – Le Royal Méridien is excited to announce the official opening of HU Bar & Lounge, Shanghai’s newest nightlife destination. Over 800 distinguished guests came to the grand opening party. The internationally famous DJ Javi Kolero headlined the party and played vocal and funky house.
I missed the opening party when I saw my friends posted so many photos. As soon as I flied back from Europe I went straight there despite with jet lag.
The fashionable hotel Le Royal Méridien is located on Nanjing Road East; it’s not difficult to find among those old buildings.
It was Friday evening. The pedestrian area of Nanjing road was busy as usual. You could see local people and tourists from all walks of life.
When I arrived the 65th floor of Le Royal Méridien, streetlights were just coming on. Standing by the windows, you could see the whole city lighting up. It’s my favorite time of the whole day, my heart and minds has been absorbed by the fabulous view.
It was not the busiest time for the bar yet, I took this opportunity to have chat with Mr. Dirk Cornelis, director of HU Bar. Mr. Dirk Cornelis has over 15 years of expertise in Hospitality and Bar Management. Prior to this appointment, he served as the General Manager at several top bars in Singapore and the Four Seasons Hotel at The First Residence, Cairo Egypt and Marina Bay Sands Pte Ltd. He takes over HU Bar with his strong F&B operational, conceptual and management skills, which I believe will drive positive business results.
The newly decorated HU Bar & Lounge is located on the 64th, 65th and 66th floor. It is named for and built to reflect the past, present and future glories of its home city. Split into three parts, the concept includes an exclusive penthouse-inspired event space, a classically styled bar and a modern nightclub. The inspiration for each comes from the character of Madame Hu, a longtime resident whose life and family personify the old and new of the city.
Let’s visit HU Bar layer by layer with Mr. Dirk Cornelis.
The 64th floor is divided into two parts, HU’s Atelier and HU’s Penthouse. It’s the most exclusive section of the venue. Inspired by the HU’s love of hosting their artistic and creative friends in their penthouse, the Atelier is a unique residential-style venue featuring stunning views of the Shanghai skyline.
The Atelier is just like a modernly decorated apartment, which was designed according to where the HU’s lived for many years in France. It includes a reception area, a living room, a dining room, a creative boardroom called “the Atelier”, bar and an open kitchen. It is designed to tap the fuzziness between work and life, leveraging workplace happiness to boost creative productivity, for up to 8 guests.
The HU’s Penthouse is perfectly suited for meetings, social gatherings for group, even for fashion shows. You can’t imagine that it can hold up to 100 guests.
Back to the 65th floor, the old typewriter, the boardroom sofa and the jazz music dragged me back to the 1930s-Shanghai. Even the plate has a golden morning-glory flower shaped amplifier which has become an emblem of old Shanghai.
What impressed me the most is the bar area where there is an exclusive collection of wine and spirits. It’s cozy and nostalgic, decorated with Chinese elements.
And there is a dedicated whisky area. It is the best place for you to spend a loafing night.
Also taking center stage is a live open street food kitchen built to serve lavish feasts inspired by the iconic food culture of Shanghai’s old days.
If the 65th floor represents the past, the 64th floor represents the present, then the 66th floor represents the future. Ascending the stainless-steel stairs, the metallic feeling makes you feel coming back to the present from 1930s. The 66th floor is like a time tunnel that takes you to the future.
This top floor is destined to become a home for the city’s young trendsetters, a cosmopolitan group that appreciates the finest things from all around the world. Menus are stacked with exclusive Champagne selections and cutting edge cocktails, while there is live DJ’s with a dance floor and modern booth seating.
The decoration of the 66th floor is rather simple and plain while there is creation behind the simplicity. When night falls, the feast for the senses begins to raise its curtain. The nightclub is equipped with laser beam projection and a unique backdrop of music and scents. Mr. Dirk Cornelis said this floor is built to represent the HU’s “wild grand-daughter” and is the place to experience the best nightlife 21st-century Shanghai has to offer.
After visiting the whole bar, I tried 3 signature cocktails of HU Bar.
This is called “Fall in Love with Shanghai”. All recipes (Havana 3 years, raspberry puree, strawberry puree, cranberry juices) except champagne are shaken together, strain in champagne glass. Then top up with bubbling champagne.
It looks like a delicate tulip, even like petite and charming Shanghai lady in graceful Qipao. It could be Maggie Cheung in “In the Mood for Love”, it also could be Wang Jiazhi in “Lust or Love”. That’s why it’s called “Fall in Love with Shanghai”. It tastes rich, fruity and lush.
This joyous “Sichuan Lantern”, with real lantern, is full of Chinese elements. In spite of Chivas 12 years, cinnamon sugar, lemon juice, apple juice and mint leaves, they boldly add some Sichuan pepper into the cocktail that increased the sense of hierarchy. It’s wild Mademoiselle Hu’s favorite.
When this beautiful “Shanghai Tiki Time” is brought in front of you, you can even feel the tropical breeze. It’s mainly made with spicy rum, muddle fresh lemongrass, apricot brandy, pineapple juice, orange juice, lime juice. When the waitress serves the cocktail, she will kindle the homemade lemongrass cube sugar on the spot. With the sugar being molten, the room is filled with the relaxing aroma of lemongrass. It’s great for enjoying in the summer months. You can pretend you’re sitting on the beach with your toes in the water.
Several other cocktails.
Every Wednesday to Sunday, there is live jazz band from 9:30 at night. A cozy atmosphere and talented singers make HU Bar & Lounge the perfect spot for those seeking an intimate jazz club experience.
Hotel：Le Royal Méridien
Bar：HU Bar & Lounge
Address：64th, 65th and 66th Floor, No. 789, Nanjing Road (E), Huangpu District, Shanghai