With its pulsing streets and wild, cloud-splitting skyline, Shanghai has a reputation as the metropolis on the edge. And walking into the new Park Hyatt hotel here feels like time travel. Through the door at the Shanghai World Financial Center - a 101-storey skyscraper with 20,000 inhabitants - is a nearly empty vestibule: A sole concierge awaits you before a massive abstract mural. From there, it's an ear-popping elevator ride 87 floors up.

Here, the open lobby by designer Tony Chi is based on the communal plan of a traditional Chinese home; Shanghainese young Turks hang out and network above the Lilliputian skyline. And in the rooms above, discreet technology is everywhere. Lights glide on as if awakening from sleep instead of snapping open with a mechanical pop, and one simple remote controls all media.

Welcome to the hotel of the future: Connected to the city and culture around it, built with the latest and simplest technology, and full of inviting public spaces. These ideas are emerging as hotels everywhere, from indie boutiques to multinational chains, experiment with ways to attract a new generation.

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