The French Club was one of the most significant buildings erected by the French in Shanghai in the 1920's.

At the end of the Opium War in 1842, foreigners flowed into the port city of Shanghai. After the British built the British Settlement, the French established their own Concession. In 1900, about 600 French lived in the French Concession, but in 1920's, it was over 3,500. The French Club was built in 1926 by French architects along the main boulevard of the French Concession; Avenue Joffre, which is called Huai Hai Zhong Road.

In the 1920’s, the garden used to be a sports field. One could play tennis and “Petanque” in the Garden.

In the 1950’s, there was a domed pavilion built in the center of the garden to match the club roof, because formerly there were two on either side of the roof which were demolished in 1949.

The History of the Building

1926: the building was constructed as the French Club
1920’s - 1930’s: the building was used as the French Club
1940’s: the building was used by the U.S. Army and an indoor swimming pool was built at the place of the current Oasis Cocktail Lounge
1949: After the establishment of the P.R. of China in 1949, the building was used as a People’s Culture Palace with the garden as a sports field
1959: Mao Ze Dong, the Chairman of Chinese Communist Party, stayed here for a period and the garden underwent some changes so that he could have his leisurely walks.
1960’s and 1970’s: the building was vacant and guarded by the army
From the end of 1970’s: the building was renamed as the Jin Jiang Club
1985: the renovation project started to create the Okura Garden Hotel Shanghai
1989: the renovation was finished
20th March of 1990: the Okura Garden Hotel Shanghai opened and the building joined the new tower to incorporate the hotel, lobby, function rooms, business center and Rose Coffee Shop

  • Garden

  • Stairs

  • 2F Foyer

  • The Grand Ballroom

  • The Small and Medium Function Rooms

  • Balcony

  • Huaihai Road

  • Shanghai Xintiandi

  • Hengshan Road

  • Nanjing Road

  • The Shanghai Magnetic Levitated Train Line

  • Shanghai Grand Theater

  • Shanghai Circus World

  • Shanghai Science

  • Yu Yuan

  • The Bund

  • The Oriental Pearl Tower

  • Longhua Temple

  • Shanghai Museum

  • Tian Zi Workshop

Okura Garden Hotel Shanghai has always preserved its unique and elegant baroque style. In turn, distinguished guests, from all over the world have added glamour, sophistication, style and grace.

Okura Garden Hotel Shanghai has witnessed Shanghai’s great changes, yet always preserved its unique and elegant style. In turn, distinguished guests have made it possible to look back on many wonderful memories, each of them a flower in our blooming garden.

Welcome to the Garden

Located on South Maoming Road, Okura Garden Hotel Shanghai is a key component of Huaihai Road business circle known for its prosperous elegance in the central part of Shanghai downtown area. The hotel is easily accessible via Yan’an Elevated Road in the north, close to the West Nanjing Road business circle; in the south it is connected with Middle Huaihai Road, and adjacent to well-known department stores iapm Mall, Parkson Shopping Center, and UNIQLO Global Flagship Store.

A cultural landmark, Okura Garden Hotel is also regarded as a particularly noteworthy geographical location. As a classical case of Shanghai’s outstanding historical buildings, the annex building of the former French Club, standing amid historical building clusters of the former French settlement, features rich European Continental cultural atmosphere. Guotai Theater and Culture Square are performance sites for international film festival and international theatrical troupes. Quietly tasteful small avenues, street shops of assorted themes, bookstores and cafés, everything is fascinating in its own way.

There are a lot more pleasant surprises waiting for your discovery in the surrounding of Okura Garden Hotel Shanghai!

Overall View of hotel’s garden

Neighborhood street view

Overlooking view in the day

Overlooking view in the night

Night scene of Huaihai downtown


After the establishment of the people's republic of china, the club was used as the people's culture palace, the garden as a soccer field and sports field. In 1959, when Chairman Mao stayed here, a walking path was paved and trees were planted so that the garden became its present form. a domed pavilion was built there to match those on the club roof because formerly there were 2 domed pavilions on either side of the roof.


The stairs in the east entrance lobby leading to the second floor vividly reflect the popular art decoration trend of the old times of shanghai. The fine cut, metal railings were likely imported from France. On the landing of the staircase, there is a big window at the top. it was said that stained glass panes were initially used there. Sadly, all efforts to obtain drawings or data detailing these panes failed, so that the restoration could not be undertaken.

2F Foyer

Nude female figures once again grace the tops of columns in the foyer. During the “Cultural Revolution”, these sculptures were concealed under a protective measure. The light fixtures here have frames of punched steel plates, which have been fitted with cut glass. Such fixtures were common in buildings along the Bund. These lights, however, did not provide enough light for the foyer, and therefore chandeliers were designed and manufactured in Vienna to replace them. The inset lights, made of wood and painted gold, were unusual and also impractical.

The Grand Ballroom

Since the 1920’s it has been the most prestigious Ballroom in Shanghai. The prominent feature was the elliptical, sunken dance area with an ingeniously designed spring floor. The recessed floor is now protected, but should the enchanting waltz and passionate tango again rise to capture the hearts of the people, the ballroom may be restored to its original magnificence. Another notable aspect of this room is the oval, stained decorative glass in the center of the ceiling. Shaped like the bottom of a boat, its beauty is truly inspiring.

The Small and Medium Function Rooms

The function rooms retain much of their original splendor. In 1926, when the building was originally constructed, these rooms were connected by arched doorways. Later, they were divided into separate rooms by brick walls. The unusual wave-patterned plaster molding was added when the building became the People’s Culture Palace. The pattern is symbolic of rolling waves in the Yangtze River.


Originally, there were balconies across the front of both wings of the French club. It is said that the balconies had been enclosed with exterior walls and windows so that one could enjoy strolls in the rain. These walls and windows were removed to re-create the beautiful original balconies that now exist.

Huaihai Road

Distance from hotel 100 M
Formerly known as ‘Xiafei’ Road, Huaihai Road has since the 1930s become one of the world’s most distinguished and famed high end shopping streets. Huaihai Road represents Shanghai beauty to the fullest extent. Numerous shopping malls here provide ample reason for shopping day or night. Walking along Huaihai Road in the warm spring weather you can soak up and enjoy true Shanghai as it’s meant to be.

Shanghai Xintiandi

Distance from hotel 2 KM
Rambling in Shanghai Xintiandi, the vibe from the Shanghai Fair of old can be felt vividly. The modern designs and decorations in all the canteens, bars and galleries have not weakened the feeling of the place. The bricks, roof tiles and stone doors of that period have been kept as the surface of this “Shikumen” architectural complex, leaving impressions of times tracing back to the lives lived here in the 1920s.

Hengshan Road

Distance from hotel 3 KM
The Leisure Street at Hengshan Road was first constructed in 1922. In the 1920s and 1930s there had been many buildings from various European architectural styles. At present, luxurious parasol trees and dozens of entertainment sites flank Hengshan Road, making the road a well-known entertainment and leisure street in Shanghai.

Nanjing Road

Distance from hotel 4 KM
Known as the No.1 Street in China, Nanjing Road embodies the history and culture of Shanghai. The all-weather Pedestrian Walkway of Nanjing Road attracts hundreds of thousands of people daily from all parts of China and from abroad. They come here either to sightsee or to shop in the metropolis setting that can only be found in a megacity like Shanghai. The endless streams of pedestrians in the pedestrian walkway of Nanjing Road form a great pastime for people watchers.

The Shanghai Magnetic Levitated Train Line

Distance from hotel 16 KM
Longyang Road metro station: 2100 Longyang Road
Opening Hours: 7:00-21:00
Transportation: Metro Line 2(Longyang Rd. Station)
The whole MAGLEV Line runs only 7 minutes for 30 kilometers from Pudong International Airport to Longyang Road metro station to give its passengers a thrilling high-speed experience. At the start station of Longyang Road, the blue sunshade dome looks like a huge gun barrel ready to launch the flying dream that is the MAGLEV Line which welcomes passengers to experience the exciting maximum speed of 430 km/h.

Shanghai Grand Theater

Distance from hotel 3.5 KM
300 People’s Avenue
Shanghai Grand Theater is located on the west of People's Square. Designed by well-known French architects, it is concise and graceful in its geometrical shape which is exemplified in the crown-like white arc-shaped roof bending upwards towards the sky. On top of the theater are smaller outdoor theaters and a mid-air garden, shaped as a treasure bowl, symbolizing the broad-mindedness of Shanghai in attracting the cultural arts of the world. The grandiose theater has 1,800 seats and features performances of ballets, musicals and symphonies.

Sun Island Resorts, Shanghai

Nestled in lush greenery along the upstream of Huangpu River, is the only natural island in Shanghai, less than an hour’s drive from the city center. Splendidly blessed with natural hot springs, the 453-room wellness resort features European-style villas, two international 18-hole golf courses, a spa with geo-thermal indoor pool and a host of wellness activities, such as laughter yoga, meditation walks, assessments and therapy, healthy cooking classes, aimed to provide an ideal getaway for guests looking for a wellness getaway. The resort’s wellness cuisine is researched and planned according to season, with fresh produce from its Taisheng farm; provides a holistic approach to wellness, starting at the source of the food.

Shanghai Circus World

Distance from hotel 9 KM
2266 Gonghexin Road
Tel: 6652-7750
Shanghai Circus World is acclaimed to be China’s No 1 Circus World. Unique in architectural shape and with a golden dome-like roof, it is another landmark building of Shanghai. Shanghai Circus World is without a doubt the most impressive venue to sample China’s famed acrobatics which are on offer in a variety of acclaimed shows.

Shanghai Science & Technology Museum

Distance from hotel 15 KM
2000, Century Boulevard
Opening Hours: Tuesday-Sunday 9:00-17:15
Tel: 6862-2000
Transportation: Metro Line 2(Shanghai Science & Technology Museum Station)
Shanghai Science & Technology Museum has "Nature, Man and Science and Technology" as its theme, integrating exhibition, education, scientific study and exchange, exhibits collection and production, as well as leisure and tourism. The museum has seven exhibition areas. Moreover, the museum also has IMAX, a large 3-D screen cinema, a 360-degree circular screen cinema and 4-D screen cinema.

Yu Yuan

Distance from hotel 4.5 KM
With a history of over 400 years it is one of the most famous classical gardens south of the Yangtze River. It is known in Chinese as the "Top Beauty in the Southeast". The layout of the garden strikes visitors as being larger than the space it occupies; a typical artistic style of Chinese southern gardens. A visit here will show you the meaning of tranquility and transport you back in time.

The Bund

Distance from hotel 5.5 KM
The Bund rests against the Huangpu River on the east while a row of 52 unique buildings integrating Oriental and Occidental architectural styles rest on the west. The west’s multinational classic buildings have been a symbol of Shanghai for as long as it has been a true city. Pudong’s skyscrapers on the other hand symbolize Shanghai in the 21st century as the megacity ascends on the world stage. The stark contrast alongside the snaking river is truly a sight to behold.

The Oriental Pearl Tower

Distance from hotel 7 KM
1, Century Boulevard
Opening Hours: 8:00-21:30
Transportation: Metro Line 2(Lu Jia Zui Station)
The Oriental Pearl Tower, with 468 meters in height, is the third tallest TV tower in the world and the most striking feature of the Pudong skyline. You can have a striking panoramic view of the whole city when visiting the 263-meter-high observation ball. The Oriental Pearl Revolving Restaurant in the 267-meter-high ball is the highest revolving restaurant in Asia.

Longhua Temple

Distance from hotel 6 KM
2853 Longhua Road
Opening Hours: 7:00-16:00
Longhua Temple has the longest history and the largest scale among Buddhist monasteries in the history of Shanghai. The Longhua evening bell chimes on New Year’s Day ringing in the new and ringing out the old. Every New Year’s Eve thousands of Japanese and Southeast Asian tourists come here to listen to the bells chime. For over 300 years on the third day of every third lunar month on to this day, the temple fair has been carried out as one of Shanghai’s best known customary folk festivities.

Shanghai Museum

Distance from hotel 3.5 KM
201 People’s Avenue
Opening Hours: 9:00-17:00
Shanghai Museum matches in fame the Beijing Museum, Nanjing Museum, and Xin Museum, generally known as the four major museums in China. It resides in a traditionally styled structure with a vault ceiling and square base, with the implication of round symbolizing heaven and square symbolizing earth; a traditional concept of ancient Chinese folklore. It has an exhibition area of 12,000 square meters spread out over four floors and boasts a collection of 120 thousand pieces of precious, historic and rare works of art.

Tian Zi Workshop

Distance from hotel 2KM
210 Taikang Rd.
The building was an old factory in 1950’s. In May, 2000, some 20,000 square meters of the old building were renovated. Now featuring interior designing, visual art, arts & crafts it has attracted more than 70 units from 18 countries and regions.