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The Peninsula Shanghai has three bars: Compass Bar, Sir Elly’s bar and Salon de Ning. Compass Bar is decorated in deep purples, a vibrant color not seen elsewhere in the hotel. It is a great spot for impressing clients and the drinks are expertly poured (a stiff gin and tonic is not to be missed). The bar also has a serene, green terrace that’s wonderfully quiet. Sir Elly’s chic bar is smaller and done in black and red, though when the weather allows, most drinkers head outside to the popular terrace.
Salon de Ning is unlike the other two bars at the Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star hotel. Its décor is fantastically eclectic — which you’ll immediately realize when a life-sized gorilla greets you at the entrance to the basement bar. Inside, there are enormous beaded chandeliers and a mish-mash of chairs and stools in bright animal prints. Salon de Ning also has four themed private alcoves, each of which aims to transport you back to 1920s Shanghai. One space has everything from paintings to book cases hanging upside down, and another alcove is all about water, with a deep-sea diver mannequin and a shark head jutting out of the wall. It sounds gaudy, but it all somehow works, especially when the band hits the small stage and belts out everything from Chinese ballads to rocking Rihanna tunes.