As the hospitality trade matures in China, hotels are competing hard with little luxuries in the rooms, attentive service throughout, better food and beverage, spas, gyms … and swimming pools. Xu Junqian reports from Shanghai.
As the mercury rises and summer's scorching heat settles over the whole country, it's the season to take a dip into cool, crystal-clear waters. While the local residents may head for the lakes, rivers, sea or the neighborhood pools, guests of hotels have the advantage of in-house pools. And they can be pretty spectacular pools.
In Shanghai, topping the list is "the first hanging swimming pool in China". Sitting on the 24th floor of the Holiday Inn Pudong Kangqiao, the jaw-droppingly awesome pool seems to float off the building into space when viewed from a distance. While swimming in the pool, guest get the impression that they are floating above the city, as the sides and the bottom of the pool is all made of glass.
Proudly named Sky Fall by the hotel, aviation experts were called in to ensure the safety of the structure.
Another impressive facility is the Water Edge pool at the Park Hyatt Hotel in Pudong, a heated indoor infinity poor on the 85th floor (pictured above). It is the world's highest indoor pool according to the hotel. The 20-m-long pool boasts a breathtaking vista that stretches as far as the Expo Park. The pool and has appeared in a James Bond movie.
While Mr Bond didn't manage to take a dip in the pool, anyone can do that even if they are not hotel guests. It will cost them 500 yuan a visit, or 3,000 yuan a month to swim "on top of the world". The fee also includes a light lunch box.
To ensure the quality and quantity of the water at that altitude, the hotel has a "reservoir" on the lower floor to pump and recycle the water.
Water safety is a major concern after many five-star hotels failed the water quality tests by the municipal authorities.