Jewel of the Bund

Updated: 2015-01-17 07:00

By Wang Ying(Shanghai Star)

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Jewel of the Bund

Victor Sassoon (center) with actress Greer Garson and actor Laurence Olivier. [Photo provided to Shanghai Star]

In 1952, the Shanghai government turned the hotel into an office, where the city's first mayor Chen Yi worked. "All the major decisions for the city of Shanghai probably evolved here in this hotel," says George Wee, general manager with Fairmont Peace Hotel.

Four years later in 1956, the hotel acquired its current name, Peace Hotel.

The name Cathay was chosen by Sassoon, which is a European word for China. The name Peace was to commemorate the first international symposium successfully held by the new Chinese government. The symposium had the theme of world peace. "(They) wanted to name their favorite hotel Peace Hotel," says Wee.

Since 1956, the hotel has accommodated lots of foreigners, but it remains a mysterious place to the general public.

The hotel was closed in 2007 for a meticulous restoration, and was re-opened in 2010 as the Fairmont Peace Hotel.

Its grand renovation is thanks to the excellent work of designers, architects, historians and management experts, as well as cooperation between its owner Jinjiang International Group and operator Fairmont Hotels and Resorts.