Wednesday, March 14, 2012


Did you know the eighth tallest building in the world is in Nanjing, China? Nope, I wouldn’t have thought either, but Zifeng Tower, also known as Greenland Center is a super tall 450 meter (1,480 feet) skyscraper that joins the ranks of the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, Tapei 101 in Taiwan and the Petronas Towers in Malaysia as one of the Top Ten Tallest Buildings in the World.

Last weekend, I got to experience this awesome building firsthand upon staying at the InterContinental Nanjing, located on the 45th floor upwards. The 89-story building also consists of offices and retail stores in the lower sections, a few restaurants and a public observatory at the very top.

Back in 2010, Marc at the Ming City Walls
with Zifeng Tower in the background (far right).

Another view of Zifeng Tower from the ground
At first staying in a hotel this high up did not really appeal to me. Heights are not something I am too crazy about. Let’s just say I prefer being as close to the ground as possible. But I had to try it at least once; as a lot of hotels these days are taking advantage of the great views that come with being in a super tall building.

Building entrance of InterContinental Nanjing
As promised, InterContinental Nanjing could not have chosen a better location. It is located in the middle of Nanjing’s Gulou Square. This is a highly commercial district with lots of good shopping (Hunan Road and Xin Jie Kou), restaurants and tourist spots such as the ancient Drum Tower. You also get unbelievable skyline views of nearby Zijin Shan (Purple Gold Mountain) and Xuanwu lake. 

InterContinental Nanjing's lobby
Marc beside a beautiful birdcage at the hotel lobby
At the hotel lobby
Our room was located in the 63rd floor and as we rode the elevator up, I felt my ears pop reminding me that the ground was far, far away! The amazing views of the room made up for it though…and so did the food the next day!

Breakfast was definitely something to look forward to. The Horizon CafĂ©, the hotel’s international all day restaurant is located on the 45th floor surrounded by floor to ceiling glass windows so you get breathtaking views while eating. The breakfast buffet features a live cooking station and a dish spread of mostly Indian, Italian, Chinese and Japanese cuisine. 

The live cooking station of Horizon Cafe at the 45th floor

The breakfast buffet layout at Horizon Cafe
with Italian, Indian, Chinese and Japanese cuisine
The Sky Lounge Bar was quite unique as it features a very futuristic, space-age and ultra-modern design. It is suspended in the air on the 45th floor and gives the same amazing views of the city from its glass windows. My favorite was the floor's gel-like blue substance that moved and created shapes as you walked on it.

Sky Lounge Bar's outer shell is suspended in the air on the 45th floor.

Sky Lounge Bar's unique blue gel floor
All in all, staying at InterContinental Nanjing was an interesting experience, although I was incredibly happy to be back on ground level on the way back to Hefei.

One last view of Nanjing from the taxi to the train station.
The city is even greener now than when I remembered it.
Nanjing is one of my favorite cities in China (I may be a bit biased after having lived there for a whole year in 2010). But it is a city certainly worth visiting just to see its many historical sights and cultural landmarks.

In case you want to take a trip to Nanjing in the future, here’s a list of some of the best sights to see:

  • Nanjing Ming City Walls
  • Confucius Temple
  • Presidential Palace
  • Ming Xiaoling Dynasty Tombs
  • Dr. Sun Yat Sen’s Mausoleum
  • Xuanwu Lake
  • Nanjing Massacre Memorial Hall

InterContinental Nanjing
1 Zhong Yang Road, Gulou District
Nanjing 210008, China-P.R.C.
Front Desk: +86-25-83538888
Fax: +86-25-85518888