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The Middle House

Personal notes by Paul Hicks

Scene

The much-awaited fourth in the House Collective series of cool hotels for grown-ups, The Middle House brings sophisticated chic to China’s liveliest city. Set as part of Taikoo Hui, a tasteful and expansive new shopping and office complex, it’s a short, pleasant walk to a larger retail heaven including the world’s biggest Starbucks. It’s also perfectly located in Jing’an, which locals say has the best dining and nightlife worth sampling in Shanghai; should you ever choose to leave this Piero Lissoni-designed oasis of calm, that is – there’s a good chance you may not.

Rooms

There’s an impression of scale and space even with just 111 guest rooms and suites. They are more like loft apartments with bright floor-to-ceiling windows, a bed in the centre and dark wood floors giving a young, informal flavour. The categories are named for their sizes, with Studio 70 and 90 the most popular. There’s also a handy pull-down rope next to the bed to switch everything off in one go – just be careful not to yank too hard.



Food and Drink

Café Gray Deluxe, the signature from Hong Kong sister property The Upper House, has been expansively reinterpreted across a much larger floor space with wrap-around outdoor terraces added. The menu focuses on a small selection, but high-quality delivery, which is wise.  

Prices are relatively affordable and it claims to be the first hotel in the megacity to do away with a 10% service charge. The adjacent Middle House Residences has Frasca, a fabulously flavourful Italian restaurant. Then there’s Sui Tang Li for exceptional Chinese dishes from Shanghainese, Sichuan and Cantonese cuisines.

Standouts

We loved the cavernous subterranean indoor swimming pool and spa facilities. And the two for one champagne happy hour at Café Gray Deluxe – long may it last.

Summing Up

This new House is the real deal and certainly belongs in the distinguished company of its well-established and much-loved siblings, The Upper House, The Opposite House and The Temple House, whose warmth and spirit it shares, even though it’s still in its infancy.



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