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Straddling the eastern end of Nanjing Lu is one of the most famous hotels in China, the Fairmont Peace Hotel (和平饭店, hépíng fàndiàn), formerly the Cathay Hotel. The place to be seen in prewar Shanghai, it offered guests a private plumbing system fed by a spring on the outskirts of town, marble baths with silver taps, and vitreous china lavatories imported from Britain. Noel Coward is supposed to have stayed here while writing Private Lives. The Peace today is worth a visit for a walk around the lobby and upper floors to take in the Art Deco elegance.

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