Shanghai Hilton

Discussion in 'Hilton | HHonors' started by gemac, Feb 5, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. gemac
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    gemac Silver Member

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    This is one of my favorite hotels. Checkin went very smoothly, and we were upgraded to an Executive Floor. The room was spacious, well appointed and very comfortable. Wireless worked extremely well. The Executive Lounge was being remodeled, so they had converted the Penthouse Bar on the 39th floor into an Executive Lounge from 6 to 8, and served Executive Lounge breakfast in the Sichuan Court restaurant every morning. This worked very well and the staff was very attentive and helpful. The hotel is in the French Concession area, close to a major street but traffic noise was nonexistant. We are big fans of the Asian Hiltons, and this one was top drawer.
     
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  2. YVR-Flyer
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    YVR-Flyer Silver Member

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    I'll agree - the Shanghai Hilton although being one of the original western hotels in Shanghai is still a very well run and managed property. Status is always recognized whether on a paid or PL stay.

    Surprised to hear that the Lounge is being remodeled again - I could be wrong, but I thought it had been remodeled 3 or 4 years ago...
     
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  3. gemac
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    gemac Silver Member

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    That's what they told me in September 2010.
     
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  4. gemac
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    gemac Silver Member

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    I forgot to mention this: when we had picked up our checked bags and cleared customs, and emerged landside there were a bunch of drivers with signs. There was a guy dressed in a 1950s bellman uniform, complete with little pillbox hat, and a sign that said Hilton. We told him we were going to the Hilton, and he took us to a kiosk where they very quickly arranged a car for us to take us to the Hilton. Charge was 600 Yuan, well worth it after a very long day and long flight.
     
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  5. AHN
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    AHN Silver Member

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    I must just have missed the remodeling as I was there the same month and the lounge was open. Lovely hotel, great staff and excellent lounge.

    My only issue was that a number of taxi drivers had no idea where the hotel was. This embarrassed and annoyed the hotel staff when I brought it to their attention. One driver even tried to drop me off at the Ritz Carlton Portman twice! After being told to drive on by the doorman when he stopped the first time, he stopped again 50 meters down the road. Only a very persuasive bellman convinced him that this was not the Hilton.
     
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  6. gemac
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    gemac Silver Member

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    We took the car service to the hotel from the airport, and the car service driver knew where it was (of course, the airport people talked to him in Chinese before we left). When we took taxis, we got the card from the hotel, where the hotel wrote our destination on one side of it, and the hotel name and address and a mini-map on the other side. The taxi drivers we encountered had no problem finding it from that.
     
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  7. Jim
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    Jim Silver Member

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    One of my favorites as well. Even though it is a throwback in time, spotless with super staff. Kind of an old world elegance. I guess that is the better word for it, elegant.
     
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  8. AHN
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    I got the card too, and saw a number of taxi drivers scratch their head and reread it several times. My guess is that there were a lot of new drivers in town for the expo.
     
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  9. gemac
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    gemac Silver Member

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    We had that once or twice - Chinese writing isn't like our writing. A subtle difference in one stroke can change the meaning of a character. I'm guessing that taxi drivers aren't scholars, and may not be that used to reading. What you said about the Expo is probably true too. We went when we did especially to see the Expo. We found it pretty ordinary, but we had been to most of the countries whose pavillions we entered. It must be more exciting if you have never been there, and don't have much chance of going, because the place was packed.
     
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  10. JDiver
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    JDiver Silver Member

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    I've always been treated well at the Hilton, though it is admittedly a bit off the beaten path for the tourist venues; they have been welcoming and accommodating of early check-in situations and have nicely turned out, spacious rooms. Soon there will be a Conrad, and that will offer a wider range of choices.
     
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  11. TRW

    TRW Active Member

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    I thought the Conrad SH project has been terminated already, the original building is scheduled to open as an Andaz.
     
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  12. TRAVELSIG
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    TRAVELSIG Gold Member

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    It is a nice hotel- I agree- but some of the newer competitors seem to be better overall?
     
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  13. gemac
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    gemac Silver Member

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    Different people will be looking for different things in a hotel. Better is definitely a value judgement, and therefore is in the eye of the beholder. I found the room to be well-appointed and without signs of wear, absolutely up to or exceeding my expectations. The lounge (in temporary facilities when I was there) was comfortable, both breakfast and evening drinks/snacks were well-done, a nice assortment of Western and Chinese items. The staff at the lounge, the desk, and the concierge were attentive and polite. We did not eat at the hotel except for in the lounge, so I don't have an opinion of the restaurants.

    I've stayed at a couple of Sofitels in Shanghai (the one on Nanjing Road and the one in Pudong, and I like the Hilton better. I won't deny the possibility that there might be a hotel in Shanghai somewhere that I would like better, but I have difficulty believing I would like it a lot better. Your evaluation could vary.
     
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  14. JDiver
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    JDiver Silver Member

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    Hmm! Sorry to hear that, and this property is no longer on the New Conrad Hotel & Resorts Openings page - but it's not terribly unusual for projects to go haywire (like the Conrad Buenos Aires, unfortuntaely).

     
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  15. gemac
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    gemac Silver Member

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    We're in the Shanghai Hilton this week, in an Executive room on the 31st floor. The view is fabulous. The lounge, which was temporarily closed when we were here last year, is open again. The lounge staff is great, the room is quite nice, and overall we are very content.
     
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  16. SST
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    SST Silver Member

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    Currently in the Shanghai Hilton on the second of two stays this China trip. My feelings about the hotel are generally positive. First, its public spaces don't look particularly tired, but when one enters the guestrooms (I've had three now, over time) there's a slight feeling of disappointment despite the generally nice materials used in the rooms. The bathrooms, in particular, seem to have been designed sometime between the heyday of Holiday Inn and the advent of Motel 6. They are small to the point of feeling cramped, which does not seem to be the case in more modern Shanghai hotels. In the first room on this trip, you couldn't shut the bathroom door while seated; there's no room for your knees! On this return visit, I asked for a bigger room, and after much searching they came up with a "corner room" which has a gorgeous curved window, but which they warned me had elevator noise. It does, but I didn't find it particularly bothersome. I DEFINITELY like the corner room better.

    The location is on the edge of the French Concession, a really prime place to be for walking in the city. Line #2 of the metro, which comes DIRECTLY FROM PUDONG AIRPORT is only about two blocks away. Note to folks above: the fare is something like 6 RMB, rather than the 600 your taxi charged. To each his own, but I'm glad I saved the $100 by using public transit. Details below.

    Didn't try the hotel restaurants because both my stays this time were short. DID visit the excellent health club and pool--- well worth using. The rooms were nicely appointed, modern clean furniture. One room was touted as an "upgrade" by the lounge checkin, but was really nothing other than a King bed standard room on floor 35. I see nothing that would warrant such crowing. It was a good, well-appointed but small standard room. Wireless worked fine, TV reception was standard def but acceptable (I dislike the stretched format, but the remote didn't have a control to fix it I could find). Room was quiet, A/C worked well, view was nice despite their inability to give me a river-facing room (I can't see why this is so difficult to prebook a Diamond Member into the view side).

    The cigar bar in the lobby was inexplicably closed at 9:30 pm when I arrived; the jazz bar on top was open, and had a nice jazz trio, 50 RMB draft beer, no cover and decent sound (you were able to talk over the music. The act was actually quite good, especially the bass player who did a mean Louis Armstrong impression on one song.) Smoking is permitted, which means it may be necessary to move if you don't--- I didn't find it objectionable, but the bar was half full. The lobby bar was dead on my arrival on a weekday. I scoped out the bars and restaurants across the street from the Hilton, thinking I might have a small meal, but I was immediately accosted at most of them by young women who were obviously not interested in my having a quiet meal. Apparently it's sort of a pick-up strip, with hostess bars, and not the sort of dinner-out I'd imagined. Passed. Especially on my first night in town, after a 14 hour flight, this was unwanted and I decided peanuts at the Hilton's Jazz Bar was in order.

    The proximity of the metro is fair to good. The Jing An Temple stop of Line #2, which runs east-west from Pudong airport to Hangqiao airport thru the center of Shanghai, is two blocks north. There's a massive intersection halfway, but there is a flyover pedestrian bridge, which has escalators up (but not down) from the street level. Exit Line 2 at Door 5, and come up the escalator from the metro, and you can walk your small, wheeled luggage to the Hilton with minimal hassle (either logistical or human...) I did encounter one fellow selling phony Mont Blanc pens, who wouldn't desist. He starts at 150 RMB apiece, but quickly falls down to about 20 RMB. They're not very good quality copies. You do have to carry your luggage DOWN the stairs, so this is not recommended for those who aren't light travellers (I usually have only a 22" carryon, and maybe a softcase with a strap, so it works fine.)

    Metro #10 is a twenty minute walk south, not recommended with any luggage. Follow traffic around to Urumqui Road, which has a nice foodmarket district some days a few blocks south, and enjoy the Shanghai neighborhood vibe. Walking into the French Concession is enjoyable, traffic on the side streets is less, trees abound, and the older buildings are refreshing. Found a spa south on Donghu Rd (off Changle Rd. down near the Huaihai Rd end) which did marvelous foot massages (150RMB) which included a shoulder/neck massage for the first 10 minutes or so, in a darkened candlelit setting. Its name escapes me, but it's the nicest looking one on the block. I've visited three times.

    The remarkable "Face" complex of restaurants set in a mansion off Ruijin Rd is no more, RIP. They have a location in Pudong, but it's not clear how you'd get there on the metro and getting a cab to understand where you're going is a big crapshoot for a non-Mandarin speaker like me. Sadly, I gave that a pass. Did eat in Xintiandi, excellent dim sum at Ye Shanghai, superb Thai at Simply Thai. Luna looked good but I ran out of meals. I notice there's a "Visage" bakery there, which was the title of "Face"s bakery in Bangkok, but I didn't locate it to stop in and ask more specific directions. Have no idea whether it's related. Xintiandi is reachable for cheaps by using metro #2 to People's Sq and coming back on Metro #1, about 20 min, 3RMB. A taxi costs about 20 RMB and takes a little less, so you really have to be committed to public transit to bother. Still, every yuan counts, no? One of these days, it'll be 1 RMB:US$1 according to analysts, and that will change the vacation equation really fast....

    On this trip and my last trip, I stayed at the Four Points Pudong, Le Royal Meridien, Sheraton Hongkou, and here at the Hilton. Le Royal Meridien is the nicest, and has the best treatment (by FAR) for top-tier loyalty plan visitors (Starwood almost always offers a suite; Hilton only infrequently offers any meaningful upgrade). I walked thru the newly re-opened Peace Hotel on the Bund; marvellous (Fairmont operates it) but I need to requalify for HHonors.... I must say I like the Hilton's location the best (despite the girly bars!) The LRM has a nicer lounge, but the Hilton's lounge food was just as good. Hilton's lounge is a lot more crowded feeling. In general, I give top marks to the Hilton if it's a short stay, but for several nights as a top-tier member you'll be far more comfortable in the rooms at the LRM. Both the other hotels have location or operations flaws that put them a step (or two) below.

    I went for a drink at the Grand Hyatt in Pudong; impressive spaces, inflated wine prices, and really the view wasn't all that great. Shanghai looks best from the Puxi side, on the Bund, looking AT Pudong. Positive marks for M on the Bund, two places in 3 on the Bund (the French Wine Bar on, I think, 5, was a great addition--- and the mushroom soup at that floor's restaurant, with the view, can't be beat.)

    Enjoy your trip to Shanghai; hope this fleshes out some of your questions about lodging etc.!
     
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  17. gemac
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    gemac Silver Member

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    We have been upgraded both times we were at this hotel, for 7 nights each time. We are Gold. The executive rooms have a quite normal sized bathroom, about 4 feet from the front of the toilet to the door.

    We took a metered cab from the airport, it was 160 RMB. You can pay 600 if you take an unmetered cab pushed by the hawkers at the airport. The Hilton will arrange a car to take you to the hotel from the airport, also 600 RMB.

    We took taxis everywhere - they are very inexpensive. Tell the concierge where you want to go, he will write your destination in Chinese on one side of a card. On the other side is the Hilton name, address, and a small map, written in Chinese. Give the taxi driver the card, destination side up, he will look at it, hand it back, and take you there. When you want to go back to the hotel, flag down a cab and give the driver the card Hilton side up.

    The taxis painted white, green, or yellow seem to have lower meter rates than other cabs. We took a white cab to the botanical garden, and a burgundy cab back, the burgundy cab was twice as much for the exact same trip. Of course, neither was expensive.
     
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  18. infoworks
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    infoworks Silver Member

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    Been a while since I stayed there, but except for the small room, whcih they changed when I requested it, everything else, exec floor access, etc excellent.
     
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  19. theskyflyer
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    theskyflyer Silver Member

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    Staying here currently. The room is OK - bathroom is tiny, but worst offender is the wifi speed in room. It is hideously slow.
     
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  20. tomphot

    tomphot Gold Member

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    I had one of the newer rooms in the hotel and it was very nice.
    We also had very slow Internet at first, called down and they sent a tech who installed an additional router under the desk which totally fixed the speed issue.
     
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  21. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    I have stayed at this Hilton at least once every year over the past 5 years and like it a lot because it has just grown on me. It is not one of the "glamorous" properties but it has a great location from which one can easily reach every corner of the city. As someone said, taxi rides in Shanghai (and across China, in general) are quite inexpensive and that is how I usually get around, except to and from the international airport, PVG (as opposed to SHA), when I take the MagLev (high-speed train) that takes just 8 minutes! Within the Hilton Shanghai, I like going to the "Penthouse", which is a lounge on the top floor of the property that doubles as a cigar lounge and jazz club. You can see and admire a great deal of the city from up there. Just next to the 'Penthouse' is a Sichuan Restaurant that is superb and truly authentic. It is a good value hotel.
     
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  22. TRAVELSIG
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    TRAVELSIG Gold Member

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    Thanks NYCUA1K- even though I have stayed at this hotel a few times- I never knew there was anything on the top floor.

    And a good jazz club in Shanghai? Great find- the Four Seasons used to have good jazz 6 days a week on the top floor- however unfortunately they discontinued this about 4 years ago now.
     
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  23. jparker

    jparker Silver Member

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    SST did a great and comprehensive review of the property. I'm here now and once again experiencing outstanding service. Executive lounge is open and headed there now for evening canapes.
     
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