Sheraton Shanghai Hongkou Review

Discussion in 'Starwood | Preferred Guest' started by kiu92, Feb 28, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. kiu92

    kiu92 Active Member

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    I recently visited Shanghai, arguably the most international city in China. I chose to stay at the Sheraton Hongkou as it is one of the newest SPG hotels in Shanghai, the rate was really good as part of a promotion for all Asia-Pacific hotels, and I also qualified for the SPG Q4 promotion which gives double points as well as 500 bonus points for each weekend night.

    Because the hotel was so new, there are no actual pictures on SPG’s website, instead the website shows artist rendering which usually exaggerate when compare to reality. The hotel itself situates away from the business centre of Shanghai, to the north of the Bund. However, it is literally 2 minutes from the Hailun Road metro station on line 4 and 10, meaning it is only a short ride to downtown Shanghai. When I exited the metro station, I saw the hotel building right in front of me, it really stands out as it is the tallest building in the area, the driveway leading to the hotel front door is not yet completed, and I found the surrounding lacks the green space as illustrated by those pictures on the website.

    The reception hall of the hotel is grand and welcoming, I was immediately assisted with my luggage and check-in was a breeze. To the left of the reception hall is a sitting area and Sheraton Links (i.e. computer lounge/business centre), which is being installed in most Sheraton hotels by now. I was a little bit concern about the odor given the hotel has opened for only about a month, but I was assured by the duty manager that he has personally visited the room and everything should be spotless. I have to say that the check-in experience was great. The duty manager took us to our room and asked us to provide comment regarding our stay at this new hotel.

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    My stay overall has been satisfactory. I was given a corner room on the 10th floor (the hotel has at least 30 floors), it was well appointed. The feature of the room seems to be the bathing area, as it is located right in the centre of the room, a floor to ceiling glass separate the bathing and sleeping area. The large LCD TV is sharp but does not feature any HD channels, however, they were thoughtful enough to have installed a satellite speaker in the bathroom. The towels provided are some of the best I’ve seen at a Sheraton, soft and fluffy. Of course, the hotel was far from perfect, especially consider that it is brand new and they must be still working on some logistics.

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    A few quick notes on the negative side as follows:

    • The new building odor still presents, while it did not bother me that much, I can see that being an issue for some
    • The minibar/fridge wasn’t stocked and it did not look like we could order any drinks, nor I saw any vending/ice machines
    • We were informed that internet is available in-room, later we found out it’s only by ethernet cable and not wireless
    • I really like having the French press rather than a typical coffee maker, however, milk/cream/whitener were obviously missing

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    • The hairdryer was placed bed-side rather than in the bathroom, later we realized it was possibly due to the fact that there are no proper outlets in the bathroom
    • As the hotel was brand new and most guests would not be very familiar of its features, the lack of guest directory prevented us from learning more about the hotel, I tried to look throughout the room as I was hoping to find out about the health club facilities. In addition, TV guide was not available.

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    Taken as a whole, the “hardware” side of the property is up to my expectations for a Sheraton hotel, although a few minor tune-ups may make the stay more comfortable, though understanding this property is only one month old, I acknowledge that it takes time for the hotel to get up to speed. Thank you for reading and happy travel!

    More pictures available here.
     
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  2. SST
    Original Member

    SST Silver Member

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    I'll comment on the hotel to provide another data point, as I'm sitting in the lounge right now:

    The district apparently has some universities in it, but I didn't see anything close that looked like some sort of student scene; in fact, it's pretty clear they are tearing things down around it and I suspect large buildings and residences are going in over the metro station. Right now, the immediate neighborhood is somewhat bleak. The gardners are STILL working on outside plantings; the hotel has a "just opened yesterday" feel to it when you walk up. (By the way, use Exit 5 from the metro stop off line 4 or 10, to be closest to the hotel. That'll save you up a walk.)

    The hotel is well laid-out and decorated: immense entry hall, and almost "W"-like dim lighting in the very contemporary guestroom hallways. The lounge is open full time, on the 38th floor. Service is good, very personable staff. I was given an immense suite which is gorgeous--- the best room I have ever had in Shanghai bar none. It has a living room, boardroom, large bedroom and bath with separate tub, shower, and toilet room. There's also a walk-in closet. The minibar is partially stocked; this is fine with me because it gives me room to place the complimentary drinking water inside.

    Now the oddities: asked at the front desk about a Pudong view; that's because the Four Points in Pudong just wouldn't give me a Pudong view no matter if I asked twice and moved rooms. Guess what: no Pudong view. I was informed by the Guest Services Manager, who was very nice and professional, that I could enjoy the view of Pudong from the lounge upstairs (I'm not on a particularly high floor either, or the club floors, but I rationalized that since the room was so nice, I'd keep it rather than ask to move.) She was wrong! The lounge does NOT have a view of Pudong. The Japanese restaurant across the hall is the only place to view the night's gorgeous scene, as the lounge has the very same view I have in the room: a city view, but toward the outskirts, not the Sci-Fi skyline Shanghai is famous for. I discussed this with the lounge manager and they were very apologetic; but it seems that the stories of less-than-fully-trained staff contained elsewhere are indeed still true. (I am a little disappointed as a Platinum that Starwood's properties seem unwilling to arrange the view I request on three one-night stays where none of the hotels seemed particularly busy, and I checked in during the day rather than morning or nighttime, when I might not be able to be accomodated. Again, I like the hotels; I just find this repetition, on this trip as well as one two years ago, odd. The hotels involved were the Four Points Pudong, Le Royal Meridien and here. I should note that the Hilton ALSO did not honor my request, although it is far enough from the Bund that perhaps it didn't matter.... Perhaps I'm just not destined to ever see the Pearl tower at night from my room.) To their credit, the GSM in the lounge offered to see if she could move me later tonight; since I've unpacked and done my laundry, and it's all waiting to be packed back up before I leave for Hangzhou in the a.m., I said I'd just keep the suite. I'm headed out for the evening, and I'll try to pop into the Japanese restaurant (if they're still open) for a drink when I return.

    One more oddity: a brand new hotel, gorgeous public and chamber spaces, BIG flatscreen TVs (two in my room), and the poorest cable TV signal I've seen since... since.... Well, since the Four Points O'Hare---- but that was a matter of a tired old hotel with some sort of TV distribution problem (snow on TV is NOT acceptable). Why no clean HDTV here? Why does CNN look worse than on an old 27" CRT TV? Again, this is a first class property (or trying to be one)--- that detail needs to be taken care of.

    In all, getting to the hotel is easy (line 10 metro from Nanjing Lu East station to Hailun Rd. station); the hotel is GOING to be first class; the Executive Suites are gorgeous; the staff couldn't be nicer; but the details are just not quite there yet, and you should be planning on a metro trip to get back to most attractions if this is a sightseeing trip. The hotel rates are competitive when it's not busy (and tonight seems to be either rock bottom or quite close). And more on the breakfast and lounge catering when I've had some of it! In all, I'd give this hotel another try, but I don't have any business or personal reason to be back in Shanghai any time soon. To rate it against the other properties, it is MUCH nicer than the 4P Pudong, the room I got is the finest in Shanghai, the Le Royal Meridien is a much better hotel with a much more impressive lounge and far more professional service, and the Hilton is, well, a Hilton--- it's got fine service and nice public spaces, but the rooms are tiny and a little tired even though they've got nice marble upgrades. I liked the LeMeridien better than the Grand Hyatt in Pudong, but it's really a matter of neighborhoods--- I find Pudong uninteresting. How's that for a comparison for those looking? I have never stayed at or even been in the Westin Bund, or the Park Hyatt.... But the newly refurbished and ultra-luxe Fairmont Peace Hotel might very well be my next stay. Its public spaces are very very amazing.)

    Do enjoy Shanghai, whichever property you choose--- and really if you're going to be out and about, even the 4P is a good place to hang your hat if you're not going to spend much time in the room. The Hongkou certainly improves on the amenties for a Platinum member over the 4P, and the room rate, for me, is the same as I got at the 4P, for what can only be described as a lavish suite. Happy travels and enjoy Shanghai!

    [Lounge cocktail fare update: a reasonable selection of booze, wine and bottled beer, and some VERY tasty food. Particularly liked the boiling hot and tasty Shanghai dumplings and the shrimp skewers, which were pleasingly spicy. Good sausage and cheese selection, superior for China. Bleak white wine ought to be replaced. ] [Lounge breakfast update: a petite buffet, with omelettes to order, a spread of other stuff, good pastries. Dim sum featured only one single piece in a steam basket; slight markdown for this. Staff was ultra helpful. The room is actually poorly set up for breakfast if a crowd arrives, but on this Saturday morning it was no problem: had a table to myself. The window tables generally are set for six or more, so it only takes about five couples to eat up all the suitable dining tables; everyone else gets a coffee table. In all, a satisfactory breakfast. Noted that the am view, far less smoggy than yesterday, is more interesting off to the northwest. I enjoyed breakfast. The pain au chocolat was delightful.]
     
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  3. taiwaned
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    taiwaned Silver Member

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    Just stayed at this hotel last night.

    Don't think I can add much about the hotel that previous two haven't mentioned however would like to give a great thumbs up to the Feast - All Day Dining lunch buffett. First of all the price is only 150 RMB per person and you get three kinds of crab. Chili fried crab, boiled whole crabs, crabs you can cook yourself in a hot pot. There is an actual Indian bar, with three types of curry (lamb, chicken and beef) tried all and they were pretty good. Not chinese style curry but the blazing spicy real curry feel. They had a great Chana Malsala and lots of nan bread. We were totally impressed with that. There Japanese section was ok, nothing to write home about. Sushi, sashimi, shell fish but as I already mentioned they had red crabs whole. 5-6 inch crabs boiled and presented whole. (it was really yummy) On their roast meat table, they had a leg of lamb that was cooked perfectly. My wife thinks it was greek style regardless it was something that we would go back for.Their salad section was standard.They had an ok cheese selection and dessert section was fantastic.They went all out with the ice cream and had gourmet sorbets with all the possible toppings. There fruit selection was really not up to par but it probably wasn't that busy.

    If there was a down side to the buffett was the drink dispenser. They had sprite and coke except it as not pressurized thus it was very flat.
     
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