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The World's Highest Hotel...but Not for Long!

If a gob-smacking view is your thing—and heck, it's mine—you could do worse than check in at the Park Hyatt, Shanghai, which has just taken the mantle of the world's highest hotel. See that nice pagoda-shaped building you're looking down on out the window? Yeah, that's the Jin Mao Tower, and it's about 40 meters taller than the Empire State Building in NYC. The Park Hyatt Shanghai occupies floors 79 to 93 of the Shanghai World Financial Center, the tallest tower in China at a massive 492 meters—and it's shaped like a giant bottle opener. Rack rates start at around US$320 per night, and ramp up to nearly US$13K for the stunning Chairman Suite.

It's all well and good if you can afford to buy a place at the Burj Dubai, which at more than 800 meters tall currently obliterates all opposition as the world's tallest building. But those of us who aren't squillionaire sheikhs have to be content with renting a view for the night. And while there may be hotels with nicer views, there's no hotel on Earth that lets you look down from a greater height than the brand spanking new 6-star Park Hyatt Shanghai.

Situated on a bend in the Huangpu river, every room at the Park Hyatt makes full use of its positioning, with floor to ceiling glass windows. You can look out on the smoggy city below, the enormous Jin Mao tower across the road—which is the second tallest building in mainland China—and the Oriental Pearl TV tower.

The Park Hyatt had best make use of the "world's highest hotel" title while it can—because once the International Commerce Center is finished in Kowloon, Hong Kong, Ritz-Carlton are going to open a 300-room, 7-star hotel that will be even higher up. Potayto potarto, the view from both will be staggering.

Further info: Shanghai World Financial Center Official Site, Mori Building.

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