The Swatch Art Peace Hotel: A Shanghai heritage hotel with an artistic future
The latest addition to the ever-growing entertainment scene on Shanghai Bund is The Swatch Art Peace Hotel (斯沃琪和平饭店艺术中心), a red-brick building bringing three concepts under one hood -- shopping, artist residences and an amazingly arty hotel.
Not to be confused with the Fairmont Peace Hotel, which re-opened its doors in July 2010, The Swatch Art Peace Hotel is situated in the south building of the former Shanghai Peace Hotel and is a separate entity.
Founded by a British businessman in 1854, the building was once the site of Shanghai Palace Hotel (汇中饭店) and had no relation to its northern neighbor until 1949, when the Chinese government took over both structures and operated them under the Peach Hotel brand.
Artist residency program
The new Swatch Art Peace Hotel held its grand opening on November 1, and immediately caught the attention of local media and culture vultures.
The main draw of the newly restored architecture is the artist residency program. Swatch Group -- primary investor in the art hotel -- invites a limited number of international artists to live and work in the building for free.
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The company has revamped 18 rooms on the hotel's upper stories into workshop-apartments for the visiting artists, who can use the Shanghai skyline or streets below for inspiration for as long as six months.
All guest artists will donate one art work to the hotel at the end of their residency program. The hotel will collect and use these art pieces for future exhibitions in the hotel gallery.
(Scroll down to see how to apply for Swatch Art Peace Hotel’s artist residency program.)
Swatch CEO Nick Hayek is a fan of Shanghai's art scene and fusion of Eastern and Western cultures. The Swatch Art Peace Hotel is a unique project for Swatch. The Biel-based company says it has no plan to build a second such hotel.
Rooms, suites and facilities
In addition to artist studios, the hotel houses four watch boutiques affiliated with the Swatch Group -- Breguet, Omega, Blancpain and Swatch.
Boutique-style accommodation and food and beverage spaces occupy various floors.
The hotel's rooftop terrace has a stunning view of the Pudong skyline, and has become the city’s newest hot spot for al fresco drinking.
Three 40-square-meter guest rooms and four lavishly decorated suites (from 87 to 250 square meters) are currently in their final decorating stage, and are expected to open by the middle of 2012.
Each of the seven residences is referred to by the traditional names of Shanghai alleyways, such as Good Fortune (瑞庆里), Joyful (同乐里) and Prosperity (荣盛里).
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Chinese art doesn’t come cheap. Neither does the experience of hanging out with up-and-coming artists.
Nightly rates for the ordinary rooms will be around RMB 5,000. For the four themed suites, guests will need to shell out RMB 45,000-50,000 for a one-night stay.
Click here to apply for The Swatch Art Peace Hotel’s artist residency program. All applicants will be assessed by a special committee that includes Nayla Hayek and Nick Hayek, chairman and CEO of the Swatch Group, Swatch Group board member Esther Grether and actor George Clooney.
The Swatch Art Peace Hotel
23 Nanjing Dong Lu, near Zhongshan Dong Yi Lu
+86 21 6329 9905