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Discussion in 'Luxury Hotels' started by tw116, Sep 14, 2011.
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Looking forward to a December trip to Shanghai. Any hotel suggestions?
Location? Preferences? Price range?
Large hotels? Small hotels? Which brand? Any preference?
Not sure at all. Just looking for luxury and convenient tourist location. I like Peninsula, FS, MO.
You basically have your choice of staying along the Bund which can have nice views, but having to walk everywhere (which isn't too far in Shanghai) or staying a little closer to the tourist attractions but like four or five blocks over from The Bund.
I'd pick the latter for convenience
The JW Marriott at Tomorrow Square is in an ideal location and is a nice hotel. The Peninusla and the Fairmont Peace hotel (which was being renovated when I was in Shanghai but has now opened) are in the former.
The Peace Hotel is a gorgeous hotel. And it has a famous history. See Trip Advisor for the reviews. But the J.W. Marriott is a little more convenient
For a convenient location, I'd go with Le Royal Meridian. If you don't have Plat with SPG, think about booking a club floor room or junior suite. The Peninsula is wonderful. The Peace Hotel is a stunning restored historic hotel in a great location, but it's surrounded by crowds and has had severe service problems since its opening as a Fairmont. Given this, I would never stay there at their prices. On the Pudong side of the river, the Park Hyatt is a modern high hotel, crowded with trendy young people. It wouldn't be for me, but some love it. The Okura would be an interesting choice as it's located in a large garden on the edge of the French Concession. Almost across the street is an older Chinese hotel, used for diplomatic visits, but it seems to be suffering from neglect. There's a similar smaller boutique hotel more in the French Concession that has its fans, but it's probably not in the luxury category, nor are the historic hotels beyond the Peninsula. (Sorry, I don't remember names of these.)
I've stayed at a few Shanghai hotels and here are few recommendations: Park Hyatt, Peninsula, Waldorf-Astoria, Puli. Service can be imperfect sometimes, but those are nice properties.
I've also stayed at Westin and Le Royal Meridien - they are not luxury per se, but quite nice as well.
I haven't stayed at JW Marriott, Shangrila Pudong or Peace.
I have stayed at both the JW Marriott and the Hyatt on the Bund.
I've been in the Park Hyatt.
I just don't like the Pudong location. While you are likely to spend part of one day on Pudong, you end up having to take the subway to get there and back (as opposed to walking to your hotel if you are on the other side of the river). I tend to like hotels where you can easily stop back to drop something off or for a break and the issue with the Park Hyatt is that to do that, you have to take the subway back to the hotel and then get back on the subway to resume sightseeing.
But the Park Hyatt is a nice hotel
I am a big fan of the PH but I concur the Pudong location isn't as good as a location in central Shanghai would be, although there is a lot more going on around the area of Pudong where the PH is located than there was even a few years ago. It's worth noting that Shanghai doesn't have any world-famous tourist attractions like Beijing has, so there really isn't anyplace you need to be close to for touristic reasons.
Pudong is a great location for working- it is also nice to see the bund side of things from Pudong as that is where the best views are (looking into Shanghai). Depending on the time of day- moving from one side of the river to another can be a time consuming processs by car. For Tourism, location wise the best bets are still probably the LM and JW or the two new hotels in Xiantindi. Four Seasons location is not too bad either- however the hotel is not really up to FS global standards of service.
Speaking of Xintiandi, I forgot to mention the new LANGHAM and the-soon-to-be-opened ANDAZ. I look forward to trying ANDAZ on my next visit. I doubt it'll be open on my next month's visit, but maybe sometime in very late 2011. Typically these 2 are not top luxury brands, but I have high hopes for ANDAZ.
Xiantindi is convenient for tourism- the hotel story here is a bit strange isn't it- once it supposed to be a Jumeriah? And then switched to Langham? I have only stayed in a couple of Langhams (Hong Kong and London near Portland Square) however they were just both pretty ordinary 4*. ANDAZ I don't really know where it is supposed to fall in the Hyatt scheme of things- but Park Hyatt it is not.
There's also a St Regis in Pudong, but it seems far from the things tourists do in Pudong. You would take taxis everywhere, although there's a new subway line (built for Expo?) with a stop much closer than the older subway lines were. The hotel has a residential feel and I like it, although it could use a freshening/update. The executive lounge, which all Plats get and some others such as AmEx FHR also do IIRC, is very nice and has good views, although its food offerings have been cut back during the last several years with the former nightly cooking demonstrations (fresh sauteed fish, for example) unfortunately gone. You also get a choice of the huge hot and cold breakfast buffet downstairs.
Although not really luxury I am partial to Le Meridien because of location (next to Peoples Square) and consistently good amenities, plus being in walking distance of many things. Were I working in Pudong I'd still prefer to be on this side of the river because Pudong is too sterile for me. I do like the Peace Hotel but you stay there for history, not for Fairmont quality because it does not deliver on that basis IMO. I have not stayed in the Okura but have been there several times and i think that would probably be a high choice for me. FS etc do not really deliver what you expect from the brand, but all the top hotels are attractive properties. If you must get high the Hyatt in the WFC will do it for you with zero question about it.
Grand Wing Horizon Club Rooms come up quite high on most peoples list at the Shangri-La Pudong- personally I prefer the River Wing- as the club is smaller/more intimate- but both do work out quite well.
Location for tourism wise the LM and JW are the two choices- however neither are luxury hotels. Some people actually do still like the Portman Ritz Carlton- however the only logic I can see behind this is their excellent Sunday brunch and the fact that every taxi driver in Shanghai knows where it is owing to it being the first luxury western hotel to have opened in Shanghai.
As a shanghai native, I do recommend peninsular or waldorf . Nice view, convenient to get around