Hong Kong, Macau, Shanghai Shopping Featured

Discover unique shopping malls that offer a dynamic experience
by 12 April 2011

By the time you read this article, you have probably made some purchases from the spring/summer 2010 collections already. In Hong Kong/China, shopping is such a big part of life that even travelers will find the local obsession a bit contagious. As the weather starts to get warmer (and muggier for those of you who have just arrived at your destination), spending an afternoon inside a sophisticated shopping mall, away from the crowd and the heat, is not a bad idea at all. Our guide to malls in Hong Kong, Macau and Shanghai will give you some useful insights.

Where: Above MTR Kowloon station (Tung Chung Line / Airport Express)
Why you should go: The MTR Flagship shopping mall in the heart of Kowloon has a unique designer feel

The five Chinese elements – metal, wood, water, fire and earth, – is the concept behind this mall, designed by Benoy Architects. Promoting a well-balanced lifestyle by means of its architecture, Elements has a 40,000 square-feet sunroof and a 700,000 square feet outdoor garden. Spread on two floors, this horizontal mall is a location where you can enjoy shopping, dining and cultural events.
This is where “smaller” brands such as Pringle of Scotland, Diane von Furstenberg and Mulberry stand shoulder to shoulder alongside the global brands: Gucci with its 12,000 square feet lifestyle store, Burberry’s 5,000 square feet retail space, and the 3,000 square feet Prada and Bottega Veneta shops and so on. For gentlemen who love shopping, Men’s street offers everything from cigars to ready-to-wear. What’s worth mentioning is that Elements offers Hong Kong’s widest selection of jewellery and watch brands, from Chaumet and Damiani to Montblanc and Rolex.

Restaurant choices range from casual, al fresco dining to formal dining. Elements is also a great place to go if you just want to see a movie. It has the city’s largest cinema complex with 12 screens. And you can even cool off on the ice rink, which offers a beautiful view of Victoria Harbour.

If you find yourself a little out of breath walking from one humungous store to another, why not take a break at the Chanel Beauté boutique? It offers professional skincare and personalized makeover with Chanel’s prestigious products and cosmetics. The avant-garde space features a black-and-white decor, with skincare, makeup, and perfume sections. Here, the makeup artists and aestheticians have been trained in Paris, offering great advice and service.

Where: In the Macau Peninsula
Why you should go: “Macau’s one and only flagship mall” is a great alternative to a day of sightseeing and entertainment

At first glance, One Central Macau looks like a futuristic condominium or a design hotel on the shores of Honolulu. Overlooking Macau’s Outer harbour and Nam Van Lake, One Central Macau houses the world’s leading luxury brands – either their largest flagship stores in Asia, their first opening in Macau, or their main location in the Asia Pacific region. 41 brands offer a sophisticated range of stores, with most occupying over 200 square metres.

Bulgari’s third store in Macau opened inside One Central Macau last year with a unique design concept. Marble diamond-shaped walls usher you into the boutique, where a special “gallery” displays the products like artworks in a museum. The gallery also has a back-lit wall, which reflects beautifully on the gold, silver and bronze painted leaves. Besides jewellery and watches, you will also find Bulgari’s complete accessories, eyewear and leathergoods collections.

The Dior boutique in One Central Macau echoes the same design concept as the Paris flagship on Avenue Montaigne. Designed by renowned American architect Peter Marino, the store façade showcases Dior’s celebrated “Cannage” pattern. Besides a full range of women’s ready-to-wear, footwear and jewellery, there is also a menswear section with the Dior Homme collections. With angled mirror walls, underlit black lacquered showcases and a floor-to-ceiling glass façade, this One Central Macau store offers an unparalleled design of light, space and depth.

Panerai, with its one and only Macau store in this shopping centre, has a marine-themed decor shared by all Panerai boutiques worldwide. The cosy setting is accented by teak wood, steel and porthole-shaped windows, which recall Officine Panerai’s origins as supplier of precision instruments to the Italian Navy, and its present-day role as the title sponsor of the Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge.

SHANGHAI ifc mall
Where: Lujiazui Finance and Trade Zone, 8 Century Avenue in Shanghai’s New Pudong Area
Why you should go: It is home to over 100 boutiques, many of which are premiering in China or Shanghai

Conceptualised by the famous American firm, Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects, the Shanghai ifc mall building is diamond-shaped, with a façade that reflects sunshine by day and is lit up by night, perfectly complementing Pudong’s modern skyline. Inside, the champagne-and-beige decor emanates a golden glow throughout the interiors, thanks to Benoy Architects’ minimalistic concept.

At Shanghai ifc mall, you will find all the international fashion brands such as Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Dior, as well as jewellery and watch brands such as Franck Muller and Chopard. Balmain is one of the global brands entering China for the first time. This new store at Shanghai ifc mall reflects the new look of the Paris global flagship, and carries the complete womenswear and accessories collections. Whether you opt for Balmain Paris’ classic glamour, or Pierre Balmain’s modern and elegant pieces, the Shanghai store promises a Parisian experience.

With the 1500-square-meter Apple Store and China’s first Citysuper, a 28,000-square-feet lifestyle specialty store, Shanghai ifc mall is not just a shopping centre. You can also get pampered at Clarins Skin Spa, or catch a movie at one of the six auditoriums at Palace Cinema. And when you’re ready to fuel up, choose from the many upscale dining options: the trendy Japanese restaurant Haiku by Hatsune; Enoteca, specialised in the best wines from around the world; Isola, the Italian bar and grill restaurant, well-known in Hong Kong; Jade Mansion, which offers Shanghainese and Huaiyangnese cuisine, and much more.

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