Sometimes in life you have to pinch yourself to check what you’re experiencing is real. I had one such moment last weekend when I had the chance to visit the Presidential Suite of Le Royal Meridien in Shanghai. It just so happened to coincide with my birthday so was a pretty special occasion. Read on for the gory details.
When was the last time your hotel room took up the entire floor of the building? The 63rd to be exact.
Beyond the double doors, you’re greeted by an amazing open-plan lounge with panoramic views out over Shanghai. Even though it was cloudy the vista below was breathtaking. The sofa alone could probably seat eight people comfortably and in its entirety, the suite covers a staggering 377-square meters.
A short corridor lined with various original art pieces, including this impressive beast, takes you into the main room.
The room is centred on an enormous dining table inlaid with carvings and presided over by a massive chandelier. The style seemed to be a fusion of western and eastern influences.
To one side a seating area fit for an emperor to recline is located. Curious antiques were scattered on surfaces throughout the suite. This is one place you probably don’t want to let young children or small animals loose.
A gold and red velvet chaise lounge sits seductively in one corner commanding a view of the city below.
The master bedroom is a mix of rich textures and patterns. Apparently, Putin was particularly taken with the leopard-skin pillows the last time he stayed.
I’m not sure whether you should call this a bath or a small swimming pool. I suspect the massive water shortages in southwest China this year might have something to do with this.
You think you have a nice sink? Think again. Imagine brushing your teeth in this baby! The toilet was similarly designed although I’m not sure I found the motif so attractive in that particular location.
Should you fancy penning a best-selling novel or a letter to Barack then there’s the perfect desk to do it at, complete with brushes to show off your calligraphic skills.
A dragon stands majestically on the desk – my favourite shot from the day. A Chinese friend once asked me in all seriousness whether dragons really existed!
After a busy day running the country what better place to sit and rest your weary legs with a mistress (or two)?
Is it a bomb or just an ornately-shaped candle? Better ask your security detail to check.
While snapping away some minions appeared from the servant’s entrance. They delivered these beautiful purple flowers (does anyone know what they are?).
All good leaders/dictators should have at least one shark or piranha-infested aquarium in which to dispose of rogue MI6 agents. This one was outside the hotel restaurant and consisted of four interconnected plexiglass arches.
Joking aside it was a very special experience and the party in the evening was verging on legendary. While the decor is not to my taste it is opulent in the extreme and can be yours for a cool 88,888 RMB per night (£8,400). More Shanghai shenanigans soon.