Kerry Hotel Shangri-La, Shanghai review: Brewing up the beer essentials

Read our writer's views on this property below

There's much to toast at this new Shanghai hotel, writes Guy Wilkinson.

I might have expected to see this in Portland or perhaps even Brussels. But not here. It's the first thing I notice when I walk through the airy, glass-fronted lobby of the Kerry Hotel, Pudong: an onsite microbrewery.

Bloody marvellous.

With China currently consuming around 50 billion litres of beer annually - that's about 25 per cent of the world's total - you'd think someone might have thought of this earlier. But when Brew Master Leon Mickelson was recruited from his native New Zealand to set up shop here, he became one of only seven craft brewers in the whole of China.

His facility, known simply as "The BREW", is one of four craft breweries in Shanghai.

As much a design feature as a fully functional brewery - the tanks are displayed attractively inside a glass atrium at the back of the bar - Mickelson is already drawing a sizeable expat crowd as well as a slew of awards for his beer.

But this is just one idiosyncratic aspect of a hotel that prides itself on doing things differently.

It starts with the rooms.

My own - a spacious Club Premier parkview room - comes with views across Century Park to the glittering Pudong skyline. Everything inside the mini-bar is complimentary (no there aren't any spirits before you get any ideas of going all Hunter S Thompson). There is, however, free high-speed Wi-Fi (why on earth do more hotels not offer this?) and a Nespresso machine.

On the fourth and fifth floors you'll find the largest hotel gym in Shanghai. When I say gym, it's actually more of an Olympic training facility. Next door, the 25-metre indoor pool hosts regular fitness classes and an outdoor basketball court and jogging track circle the entire complex.

Its indoor supervised kids playground has become a hit with busy parents. For about yuan 50 ($9) a day, in-house guests can have their children professionally cared for while playing on slides, ropes and climbing frames.

Dining facilities throughout the hotel have been carefully considered. To clinch a business deal, The Meat Steakhouse and Grill balances chic decor with a casual feel but for me, The Cook is the stand-out. Comprising 13 cooking stations under one roof, it's essentially an upmarket food court showcasing culinary styles from around the world. Behind each station, chefs whip up regional dishes to order.

Though the Kerry Hotel may not be as centrally located as its sister Shangri-La property, the Jing An West, the added space has certainly paved the way for more innovative facilities.

And with Shanghai's infrastructure developing at an unprecedented rate you're anything but cut-off.

A few minutes walk away, the Metro line will have you at The Bund in less than 15 minutes, or the urbane French Concession in about 25 minutes. The slick new Maglev train takes 30 minutes door-to-door to Pudong International Airport.

As a trade-off for these brief commutes, you get the city's largest park on your doorstep and a spacious, relaxed hotel offering unique facilities.

The writer was a guest of the Kerry Hotel Pudong.



Kerry Hotel Shangri-La Shanghai


1388 Hua Mu Road, Pudong, Shanghai, phone +86 21 6169 8888


Rooms starts from yuan 1650/1850 ($286/$321), breakfast for one person/two people) plus 15 per cent service charge.


The Cook/The Meat/The Brew.


Service at The Cook was periodically too slow.


Sampling a few beers at The Brew.