The best Shanghai hotels for the penny-wise traveler
Mid-range Shanghai hotel options
You couldn’t get more smack in the middle of downtown Shanghai then Le Royal Meridien’s location. This ultra-chic People’s Park tower (the tallest opposite Pudong) boasts 770 rooms and suites with some of the best floor-to-ceiling views. Four restaurants and two bars include a sky-high choice of cocktails (are there ever too many?) plus a ‘pink Champagne’ brunch worthy of a Sunday or two.
“Room keys that open more than doors,” says general manager Keith Hardie, “they can open minds. I hope we provide you not only a great stay but also a new perspective on our destination and on the way that you see the things around you. With the most exciting Expo 2010 Shanghai, we hope you take time to discover the world in Shanghai.”
The hotel’s artsy decor and other interior effects (eyes and ears take note) are not to be missed and offer an aesthetic distraction from the property’s infamous rabbit trails of elevators.
789 Nanjing Dong Lu, near People's Square 南京东路789号, 近人民广场+86 21 3318 9999, www.starwoodhotels.com
Offering five-star boutique service, China’s first carbon neutral hotel deserves true praise; not only for its environmental efforts, but for its dedication to the ultimate in customer service. This is one top spot for both indoor and outdoor dining and cocktails (don’t forget the roof) and home to restaurant Downstairs with David Laris.
Guests can enjoy a bit of culture and soul soothing during their stay with lessons ranging from Mandarin language and cooking to tai chi, yoga and in-room TCM treatments.
"URBN is an oasis in the heart of Shanghai, it's a place where you can kick-back and be yourself," says Victoria Hajjar, marketing director.
If you want a guiltier pleasure than the delicious and healthy clean eating fare, one of the city’s best kept -- and worst for you -- dining secrets is just across the street. Read up on “The Tonkatsu” place here.
183 Jiaozhou Lu, near Beijing Xi Lu 胶州路183号, 近北京西路, +85 21 5153 4600, www.urbnhotels.com
Hailing from the city’s west in up-and-coming Putuo district, Marriott’s newest behemoth boasts big rooms, bigger views and some well-needed peace and quiet with plenty of adjacent green.
501 rooms and suites offer something for everyone with top meeting and fitness facilities, Quan Spa and seven restaurants and lounges including newly opened rooftop Panorama Bar for cigars and cocktails in the sky.
“So much more than just a hotel room and restaurants,” says general manager Rauf Malik, “our entire associate family strives to provide our guests with the ultimate experience of lifestyle, and most importantly, making them feel at home.”
158 Daduhe Lu, 上海长风公园万豪酒店, 大渡河路158号, +86 21 2215 6666, www.marriott.com
4. JIA Shanghai
Historically located but far from traditional in décor and service, these 1920 boutique, designer digs (done by Philippe Starck) create that perfect fusion of classy, arty, and practicality, including plenty of homey bits with techno gym, fully-equipped kitchenettes and personal home theater.
A tempting combo of endless goodies and libations served throughout the day plus super comfy beds will have you never wanting to leave your room… except maybe to grab a tasty bite at Issimo downstairs. Decisions, decisions.
“What makes JIA Shanghai stand out from the others?” muses Richard Yap, general manager. “Our attention to unique details and our particular approach and attitude which really define JIA and help to deliver our own brand of service which is personal, yet without formality or intrusion.”
931 Nanjing Xi Lu, near Taixing Lu 南京西路931号, 近泰兴路, +86 21 6217 9000, www.jiashanghai.com
5. Ruijin Hotel
Once home to the famed Morriss media family (owners of now defunct English publication The North-China Daily News), this gorgeous French Concession property survived the Cultural Revolution as an official government guesthouse not meeting the public eye until 1979.
Comparable to a mini Central Park, traditional British-style rooms and villas dating from the 1920s sit smack in the middle of nearly 100 acres of green. Add to that a bunch of tiny ponds, pavilions and traditional gardens, and at times, you can easily forget you’re in downtown Shanghai.
118 Ruijin Er Lu, near Fuxing Zhong Lu 瑞金二路118号, 近复兴中路, +86 21 6472 5222, www.ruijinhotelsh.com
“To maximize its prime location on the western banks of the Huangpu River, our cutting-edge hotel has been angled so that most of the rooms benefit from a spectacular view of either the historical architecture down The Bund or modern skyscraper-lined Pudong,” explains Gottfried Bogensperger, Hyatt on the Bund general manager.
This gorgeous Hyatt property meets and keeps the standard with first-class eateries (Xindalu just might be the best Peking duck outside of Beijing), a bar you want to check out even if you're not staying there, smiles and friendly service. Although it’s still growing into its northern Bund location, it's a great choice for keeping fit with awesome gym facilities and massive Yuan Spa.
Tea lovers take note, if you’re missing your 'l'heure du the’ from back home, a familiar taste might be found in the Lobby’s aptly named Tea Room.
199 Huangpu Lu, near Wuchang Lu 黄浦路199号, 近武昌路, +86 21 6393 1234, www.shanghai.bund.hyatt.com
Budget Shanghai hotel options
1. The Longemont Shanghai
With a great central location, guests can reach either the French Concession or head northbound to Jing’an within minutes on foot from here. Rooms are big and stylish (suites massive) with decent views, and super keen staff. If you’re keen to stay put, its seven restaurants and lounges will keep you amply fed. Try the popular CO2 Cigar Lounge and Bar for lovers of the smokable leaf. It also has a great set of work-out facilities to stave off any stress or overindulgence boasting a 30-meter, heated swimming pool and full-service spa.
“Our stunning 53-story hotel boasts a unique feng shui-inspired modern design and exceptional features catering to the most discerning travelers,” says Angel Wen, assistant director of communications. “All 511 rooms and suites command unparalleled views over Shanghai 's striking skyline and offer the most luxurious amenities, including spacious and lavishly decorated rooms, a state-of-the-art fitness club with panoramic heated swimming pool and local and international award-winning restaurants, complemented by The Longemont's acclaimed bespoke service and premium conference facilities.”
1116 Yan'an Xi Lu, near Panyu Lu 延安西路1116号, 近番禺路, +86 21 6115 9988, www.thelongemonthotels.com
2. Radisson Hotel Shanghai New World
Wedged in the middle of People’s Square shopping district, this super central property is just blocks away from Nanjing Lu Shopping Street and the Bund. And, its revolving restaurant (Epicure on 45) and cool ‘George Jetson-esque’ Sky Dome Bar (47th floor) sport some of the best 360 degree views in town.
When you get the munchies, well-known food street Huanghe Lu is just minutes away on foot. Bright and flashy and full of treats ranging from delicious to disturbing, it’s an essential stop for a bona fide Shanghai experience.
“One key aspect that we demonstrate is the importance our hotel places on guest satisfaction and is proof that our ‘Yes I Can!’ service philosophy and our ‘100 percent Guest Satisfaction Guarantee or you won’t pay,’ contribute significantly to the success of the hotel,” says Maurice Cook, general manager.
88 Nanjing Xi Lu, near Fengyang Lu 南京西路88号, 近凤阳路 +86 21 6359 9999, www.radisson.com
3. Courtyard by Marriott Shanghai Xujiahui
If you’re heading south, here’s a property that deserves a shout.
“I believe what makes us special is that we put our service in motion by providing refreshing service for business and leisure travelers,” says Silvio Rosenberger, general manager, “in a landmark building with focus on business needs in a boutique chic, dynamic service in a dynamic city.”
Demonstrating the new face of Courtyard, it’s smart, stylish and completely wired and equipped for both business or leisure and all those fun bits in between.
Located in the middle of Xujiahui’s hustle and bustle, it’s minutes away from malls, markets and the metro. Hotel eateries MoMo Café and Lounge serve up yummy bits and cocktails including amazing wood-fired pizzas.
100 Hongqiao Lu, near Wending Lu 虹桥路100号, 近 文定路, +86 21 6129 2888, www.courtyardxujiahui.com
4. Astor House Hotel (aka the Pujiang Hotel)
Dating back to 1846 with old gothic charm, this is a great choice for history buffs with traditional decor and antiques galore. The hotel whose celebrity guest list once included Albert Einstein, Charlie Chaplin and U.S. President Grant also lays claim to the city’s first electric lights and telephone calls. Rooms are clean and spacious with some basic rooms refurbished.
Once a haven for the ritzy, now even shoestring travelers can brag about sleeping in China’s oldest hotel with online rates as low as RMB 400. Check out the hotel's website for some of the best rates around (including breakfast).
15 Huangpu Lu, near Dongdaming Lu 黄浦路15号, 近东大名路, +86 21 6324 6388 (ask for Simon Ye), www.astorhousehotel.com