5 Shanghai hotel bathtubs with incredible views

5 Shanghai hotel bathtubs with incredible views

Bathe like a king with majestic views of Shanghai's glittering skyline

There’s a lot to see in Shanghai, and the ogling shouldn’t stop once the day is done.

These five Shanghai hotels have bathtub views that are well worth holing up in the washroom and taking a long, leisurely soak.

1. Hyatt on the Bund (上海外滩茂悦大酒店)

Shanghai hotel bathtubsThe Chairman Suite tub provides a panoramic view of Pudong, the Bund and Huangpu River. Outdoor? No one will be peeking at this height.

Though this four-year-old hotel’s not actually on the Bund proper, its location just north of Suzhou Creek delivers staggering views of the Bund, the Pudong skyline and the curve of the Huangpu River.

On a clear day, you can see well into the neighborhoods on both sides of the river; and at night, the Pudong skyline lights up like an overflowing jewelry box with its lights reflected against the dark water of Huangpu.

To take in this view while taking a soak, book the Presidential Suite whose tub has a rain showerhead and jets, or the 300 square-meter Chairman Suite, which has a private roof deck, complete with Jacuzzi.

Both tubs come with U.S. Molton Brown products. 

Lazing in your personal al fresco hot tub, sipping a lychee martini and looking out at the glittering city spread below, you will feel truly like master of the universe.

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Nightly rate for the Presidential Suite is RMB 35,650, and the Chairman Suite RMB 45,650, plus a 15 percent service charge. 

Hyatt on the Bund, 199 Huangpu Lu, near Nanxun Lu 黄浦路199号, 近南浔路, +86 21 6393 1234, shanghai.bund.hyatt.com

2. Pudong Shangri-La (浦东香格里拉大酒店)

Shanghai hotel bathtubsShangri-La boasts a sweeping Puxi view stretching from the Huangpu River to as far as Zhongshan Park.

For a view from the other side of the river, slip into Shangri-La’s Lujiazui and Huangpu suites’ tubs.

If looking at the Pudong skyline is akin to seeing the future, the Puxi skyline is an odd juxtaposition -- the Bund’s impressive array of Old World architecture backed by a dizzying array of skyscrapers and high-rise complexes.

Depending on what suite you’re in, you either get the Puxi skyline, complete with cargo and cruise barges making their way down the Huangpu; or a view of Lujiazui, with the Oriental Pearl Tower a literal stone’s throw from your window.

If the dust and grime of a day of sightseeing has gotten the best of you, retreat to your plush suite, turn on the hot water tap and clean yourself off with bath products from L’Occitane.

The Ritz-Carlton Shanghai Pudong, which lies opposite to the Shangri-La, offers similar views from its suite tubs alongside Acqua di Parma products.

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Nightly rate for both suites is RMB 20,000, plus a 15 percent service charge.

Pudong Shangri-La , 33 Fucheng Lu, near Mingshang Lu 富城路33号, 名商路, +86 21 6882 8888, www.shangri-la.com

3. Portman Ritz-Carlton (波特曼丽思卡尔顿) 

Shanghai hotel bathtubsThe vista fit for a president.

Those wishing to bathe where Obama did can book into the Ritz-Carlton suite, Portman’s version of the presidential suite, on the 44th floor.

Its gargantuan, downy bed is where Barack Obama, Madeleine Albright and Roger Federer laid their heads when they came to Shanghai.

In the Ritz-Carlton suite, as in a number of the Portman’s other suites, the tubs overlook busy Nanjing Xi Lu -- along which people stroll with shopping bags, suitcases and babies -- and Yan’an Zhong Lu, Shanghai’s vehicle-packed main highway.

Right outside your window is Shanghai Exhibition Center. Built in 1955 and known formerly as the Sino-Soviet Friendship Building, the 80,000-square-meter compound is a pristine example of Soviet neoclassical architecture.

Use Italian Acqua di Parma products as you ponder Shanghai’s red past and future, easy enough when you’re looking at the Jing’an skyline, a mishmash of shiny new towers, and the roofs of low-rise houses.

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Nightly rates range from RMB 5,800 for an Executive Suite to RMB 120,000 for the Ritz-Carlton Suits, plus a 15 percent service charge.

Portman Ritz-Carlton, 1376 Nanjing Xi Lu, near Xikang Lu 南京西路1376号, 近西康路, +86 21 6279 8888, www.ritzcarlton.com

4. The PuLi Hotel and Spa (璞丽酒店)

Shanghai hotel bathtubsShower right above Shanghai's bustling traffic backbone -- it's a heck of a view when the lights come on.

Just down the road from Portman is PuLi, an independent designed hotel whose chic lobby positively teems with equally natty pretty young things.

The bathtubs in each of the 229 rooms are right next to the window.

If you’re planning on enjoying many a vista-rich soak, request a room that faces leafy Jing’an Park.

Some rooms also face Yan’an Lu highway, at its most eye-catching at night, when and endless parade of lit-up cars speeds east and west.

Windows in all rooms are noise-proof, so as you unwind with a big handful of bath salts and products from British Essentiel Elements subsidiary, you get all the sights and none of the sounds.

After your soak, take a whiskey in The Long Bar -- so named for its 32-meter bar -- in the lush garden terrace or, in Shanghai’s cold winter, the cozy library complete with fireplace.

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Nightly rates start from RMB 1,880, plus a 15 percent service charge

The PuLi Hotel and Spa, 1 Changde Lu, near Nanjing Xi Lu 常德路1号, 近南京西路, +86 21 3203 9999, www.thepuli.com/en

5. Hotel Indigo Shanghai (英迪格酒店)

Shanghai hotel bathtubsEnjoy a gentle bath right above Huangpu River while taking in Shanghai's impressive skyline.

Where to focus your eyes when you're in Hotel Indigo is a bit of a conundrum.

First, there's the lobby, which overflows with a revolving exhibition by local artists.

Then there are the restaurants -- Quay (pronounced "key,") on the sixth floor, serving light fare Western and Chinese -- and CHAR on the 29th-31st floor, where pretty young things slice into sirloin while sipping bubbly.

Both offer 360-degree views of the Huangpu, its grey-green water being traversed by colorful cargo ships.

The rooms look straight out of ELLE Decor with modular tables and vintage Chinese lanterns.

Situated right by the Shiliupu Dock, 31-story Indigo is the closest hotel to the Huangpu River on Puxi. Each window beckons you with a shot of Shanghai -- the Oriental Pearl Tower on one side and the proud, architecturally-rich Bund on the other.

The south and west-facing rooms look down upon the traditional architecture in Shanghai's Old Town.

To truly feel like the master of your domain though, you'll need to survey the skyline in the buff. Easy enough: 86 of the 184 rooms have tubs or showers overlooking the Huangpu and Pudong's silvery skyscrapers.

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Nightly rates start from RMB 1,580, plus a 15 percent service charge.

Hotel Indigo Shanghai, 585 Zhongshan Dong Er Lu, near Dongmen Lu 中山东二路585号, 近东门路, +86 21 3302 9999, www.shanghai.hotelindigo.com/

Sophie Friedman is an exiled New Yorker living in Shanghai. 

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