Shanghai: A Room with a View

Gochugaru Girl had so many choices when considering where to stay in Shanghai.

This is a city where, literally, the sky is the limit.

Having stayed at Hyatt hotels on our recent trip to South Korea, I looked into staying at the Park Hyatt or Grand Hyatt in Shanghai. The latter, housed in the Jin Mao Tower, describes itself in vague terms as “one of the highest hotels in the world”. The former surpasses it, occupying floors 79 to 93 of the Shanghai World Financial Center. Both are located in Pudong, which means it is on the side of the river opposite to the Bund.

The modern world loves skyscrapers and it appears so did the ancient world. The first book in the Bible, Genesis, tells the story of a plan to build a tower with its top in the heavens:

Now the whole earth had one language and the same words. And as people migrated from the east, they found a plain in the land of Shinar and settled there. And they said to one another, “Come, let us make bricks, and burn them thoroughly.” And they had brick for stone, and bitumen for mortar. Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city and a tower with its top in the heavens, and let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be dispersed over the face of the whole earth.”

And the Lord came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of man had built. And the Lord said, “Behold, they are one people, and they have all one language, and this is only the beginning of what they will do. And nothing that they propose to do will now be impossible for them.  Come, let us go down and there confuse their language, so that they may not understand one another’s speech.”

So the Lord dispersed them from there over the face of all the earth, and they left off building the city. Therefore its name was called Babel, because there the Lord confused the language of all the earth. And from there the Lord dispersed them over the face of all the earth (Genesis 11: 1–9, English Standard Version).

What exactly did God fear? Was he a spoilsport? Since God made man in his image, surely he should be happy they were creative, inventive and forward thinking?

It is not unreasonable to ask these questions.

The clue is in “let us make a name for ourselves”. It is crediting their own enterprise and cleverness instead of acknowledging that God is behind everything. Status is at the heart of it, whether ancient or modern: glory be to us and not to God.

God does say that “nothing that they propose to do will now be impossible for them”. Seen from God’s view, perhaps he was trying to save them from themselves. The tower was only the beginning. There was no holding them back, whether they would then do good or evil things.

Given the ability, money and power to do anything our hearts desired, very few of us would be wise or disciplined enough to control our greed, ambition and downright megalomania.

Coming back to accommodation in Shanghai. We finally opted to stay at the JW Marriott, located in the tallest building in downtown Puxi (a mere modest 60 floors). Since I had already been to the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, earlier this year I didn’t feel the need to stay in or visit Shanghai’s tallest building. I really wanted to be near a convenient metro station.

Based on our stay, I would highly recommend this hotel. Everything, from the time we checked-in to the time we checked-out, was perfect. A huge bonus was the view from our bedroom window. I wonder if there will be buildings in the new creation, or whether all we will have is green fields. I hope not, because at the end of the day I really am a city girl at heart.








Click for links to the following skyscraper hotels in Shanghai:

Park Hyatt

Grand Hyatt

JW Marriott