Truly historical yet still modern

Updated: 2012-06-04 14:57

By Yang Yijun (China Daily)

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Truly historical yet still modern

The Cathay Building, which gives a sense of old Shanghai, is the favorite of most foreign guests. Provided to China Daily

Hotel profile | Shanghai

The hotel where the Shanghai Communique was signed still appeals. Yang Yijun reports.

On Feb 28, 1972, former US president Richard Nixon and former Premier of China Zhou Enlai signed the ice-breaking Shanghai Communique at the Grand Hall of Jin Jiang Hotel.

The moment President Nixon toasted Premier Zhou has been the very first image that appears in most people's minds when speaking of the hotel.

"Our hotel witnessed history," James Zhang, the hotel's general manager, says.

Since it formally opened in 1951, the hotel, which is the first State Guest Hotel in Shanghai, has received more than 500 state leaders and government heads.

Today, the hotel is still the major hotel to receive State guests to Shanghai. For instance, during the 2010 Shanghai World Expo, many visiting state leaders stayed at the Jin Jiang Hotel.

"Our hotel has a time-honored tradition of receiving state leaders, which has shaped the quality service until now," Zhang says.

"We are the first hotel in China to provide butler service. In our archive room, we still keep the notebook where the staff members had taken down the preferences of all the distinguished guests," he says.

As the flagship hotel of Jin Jiang Hotel Group, the hotel boasts three Gothic-style buildings and two gardens, the oldest of which was built in 1927.

It covers an area of more than 30,000 sq m and overlooks 16,500 sq m of greenbelt.

While the tradition of personalized service is carried on, the facilities of the hotel have been renovated, including the LCD televisions, Internet and audio systems.

The most renowned meeting venue, the Grand Hall, is the only independent hotel auditorium in Shanghai. With a garden and a foyer in front of it, it's a favored venue of high-profile meetings and wedding ceremonies.

"Many of our foreign guests, who are interested in the culture of old Shanghai, always stay at the oldest Cathay Building, where they can feel the true old Shanghai," he says.

He says the company is planning to build its own reservation system and loyalty programs to improve the guest experience and the hotel's image.

"Jin Jiang is a brand that represents quality and reliability. I believe with our premium location, detailed service and constant improvement, we will stand out among the competition in the Shanghai hotel market," he says.

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