Hotel Hubris: New Property Awards Itself 7 Stars

Open Jaw

Not content to open theme parks that directly challenge Walt Disney World Resorts in both Paris and Shanghai, Wang Jianlin has opened a new hotel property in Shanghai – and awarded himself 7 stars.

Wanda Hotels & Resorts opened its new $516 million property Reign on the Bund on Sunday. It’s calling itself Shanghai’s first “7-star” hotel. Dubai’s Burj Al Arab and Milan’s Hotel 7 Stars Galleria have also been described as “7-star” – also without any official sanction.

In each case the star ratings are either self-awarded or not recognized by an established body. Internationally, “stars” or “diamonds” and other accolades are typically granted by editorial or marketing groups – and they universally top out at 5 stars.

In countries such as France and Italy, stars are used to denote measurable levels of quality and require inspections by government officials.

Reign on the Bund was built by 28 yr. old Wang Sicong, son of the richest man in China, Wang Jianlin, chairman and founder of Dalian Wanda Group. Wang Jianlin is estimated to be worth $31.3 billion. British architect Norman Robert Foster designed the hotel, which features a restaurant by French chef Marc Meneau.

The hotel’s grand opening immediately followed the opening of Shanghai’s new $5.5 billion Disney resort, the largest foreign investment yet from the world’s biggest theme park operator. Disney’s park opened one week after Wanda Cultural Tourism City park, also in Shanghai.

On its website, Wanda Reign on the Bund is offering rooms from about $800 per night. It also reports guest ratings of 4.7 out of 5. It’s unclear how that translates to a 7 star universe.

You can watch a video from CNBC on the new Reign on the Bund here.

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