[photopress:Victor_Lame_Sassoon.jpg,full,alignright]Hirsch Bedner Associates, which is probably the best known hospitality design consultancy in the world, will manage the historical restoration and adaptation of Shanghai’s landmark Peace Hotel. When renovated the hotel will be managed for Jin Jiang by Fairmont Hotels & Resorts and plans to reopen in 2010 as the Fairmont Peace Hotel Shanghai.
Michael Bedner, Chairman and CEO of HBA/Hirsch Bedner Associates, said, ‘The Peace Hotel has been a Shanghai landmark for more than a century and is the most famous hotel in China, and arguably throughout Asia. It is our intention to recreate the grandeur and majesty of this major Asian landmark, and restore it to its place as one of the world’s finest hotels.’
The press release states: ‘The Peace Hotel was first conceived by successful British trader Victor Sassoon in 1929.’ And, yes, he was a trader whose family had built its major fortune on opium and then become respectable.
Victor Sassoon, who once served in the British air force, became permanently lame as the result of a plane accident, and was know as Lame Sassoon. He was a formidable man — he opened more than 30 companies and became the king of real estate in Shanghai. The Peace was his crowning hotel achievement and opened on the Bund as the Cathay Hotel. In later years it was renamed The Peace Hotel and become the most enduring symbol of the decadent international glamor of Shanghai in the 1920s and 1930s.
How well will it be restored?
In 2003, HBA restored the Hotel Grande Bretagne in Athens, a hotel which was originally created in 1874. And they did a most wonderful job for it now looks like the original, only a lot better. The detailing throughout was inspired by the original 1843 palace, which had fluted columns, ionic capitals, mosaic floors and was generally quite the article. If they do the same with the Peace as they did with the Grande Bretagne it will be very splendid.