Hilton Shanghai, Mainland China's First Hilton Property, Set to Rebrand in 2018!  


About two weeks ago, I checked my reservation for Hilton Shanghai - booked as part of my 2017 Year-end Asian Escapade(tm) which will begin in mid-December and last 4 weeks - and was both surprised and saddened to see this notice (click to show full size):

I was saddened because since 2007, I have been to Shanghai yearly, sometimes twice a year, and on all but two of those visits during which I stayed at the Waldorf Astoria Shanghai on the Bund, I stayed at Hilton Shanghai. As a result, I got to like place...a lot. Hilton had not yet announced the pending re-branding, so I have been Googling 'Hilton Shanghai' for news that might shed some light on why the property is set to rebrand. Today, Shanghai Daily published the following:

"HILTON Shanghai, the first Hilton hotel on the Chinese mainland and one of the city's earliest international five-star hotels, will be rebranded from next year after operating for nearly three decades under the Hilton brand as the property's management contract with Hilton Worldwide will terminate in four months.

From January 1st, 2018, the hotel on Huashan Road in downtown Jing’an District “will no longer be operated by Hilton Hotels & Resorts,” according to a statement posted on its official website yesterday.

It remains unknown yet which hospitality group, from home or abroad, will manage the hotel next year.

A stone’s throw from Jing’an Temple, the 714-room property was a synonym for luxury when it first opened its doors in June 1988 when the city’s hospitality industry was just starting to develop.

For the past 30 years, numerous celebrities from around the world had stayed at the hotel, which was extremely popular among Western superstars who performed in the city particularly during the 1990s. The late pop diva Whitney Houston booked 180 rooms and suites at the hotel.

Tennis stars including Andre Agassi, Lleyton Hewitt and Roger Federer also chose to stay at Hilton Shanghai when they made their debut in the Tennis Masters Cup in 2002. The hotel later served for more than 10 years as the official hotel sponsor of the Tennis Masters Tournament."

As the following set of pictures would attest, there were many reasons to like this hotel. It was extremely well maintained despite having been in operation for 3 decades; Hilton Honors golds and diamonds got free full breakfast, which was nothing short of a royal feast, either in the restaurant (Leonardo's) or in the exec lounge; I got upgraded to a suite nearly every time, most of which were on award stays; and the property was centrally located within the city. There are now a number of Hilton properties in the city, including the Waldorf Astoria on the Bund, which is a really nice property (elites get free full breakfast at this WA), but I will sorely miss Hilton Shanghai...:(

Above, counter clockwise: lobby; front of hotel at night; executive lounge; on-property bar, called "Penthouse" and located on the highest floor with a great night view of Shanghai.

Above: Free full breakfast for Golds and Diamonds could be had in this restaurant, Leonardo's.

Above: First row: Leonardo's also served succulent Shanghainese lunch and dinner...
Second row: typical entry-level, large and well kept "Panorama Suite" into which I was upgraded almost every time.

Posted : September 7, 2017 4:22 pm

Shame indeed.
Was a good hotel - close to the French Quarter,
but probably not greatly located for a business hotel these days, even though Shanghai is more spread out than many cities business wise

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Posted : September 8, 2017 11:25 pm

moa999, post: 2799993, member: 1032 wrote: Shame indeed.
Was a good hotel - close to the French Quarter,
but probably not greatly located for a business hotel these days, even though Shanghai is more spread out than many cities business wise

If one's traveling exclusively for business, then staying at the Bund may make more sense, and the Waldorf Astoria would be a great choice. Here's the view of "iconic" Shanghai as seen from the WA.

Otherwise, the location of the Hilton was perfect, precisely because it was not the Bund, which can be a bit too touristy. Getting around Shanghai is generally not a problem, except during rush hours as in any major city.

Posted : September 9, 2017 12:37 am