Visitors to Shanghai face the daunting task of finding a decent hotel. In a city filled with thousands of accommodations, here is a laundry list of the finest establishments for anyone looking to be treated like royalty.
The Mansion Hotel lives up to its name. Combining historic charm with modern chic, the hotel was originally the residence of a notorious Chinese gangster, Sun Tingsun. It was the locale for shady business dealings and glamorous parties alike. The lobby is filled with intriguing antiques and the rooms include a private jacuzzi, big-screen TV, and free wi-fi.
The Astor House is Shanghai’s very first hotel, constructed in 1846. Now more than two decades later the hotel still contains original wooden flooring. Though not as high-class as other venues, many guests are satisfied knowing the Charlie Chaplin, Albert Einstein, and Bertrand Russell once slept within the hotel’s walls.
A new addition to the city, The Peninsula overlooks the Bund and Pudong skyline. The rooms contain a plethora of modern gadgets for the technology wiz: an i-pod doc, espresso machine, and plasma screened television among them.
The Park Hyatt spans floors 79 to 93 of the Shanghai World Financial Centre. Acclaimed as the highest hotel in Shanghai and the second highest in the world, the views of the city cannot get any better. Art-gallery interior design and luxuries such as a toilet seat that opens when you approach it, a bathroom mirror free of all mist with a TV attached, and a socket in the safe for a laptop will spoil you to the point that you won’t want to return to the ordinary world.
Next door to the Park Hyatt stands the Grand Hyatt, occupying the top 34 floors of Jinmao Tower. Despite an atrium with dizzying views, some say that the interior is a bit old-fashioned. Yet the service is still top notch.
Smack dab in the middle of bustling Jing‘an district, the PuLi hotel emanates an aura of calmness. Offering a spa menu of green teas and massage treatments and providing a customizable sound system in each room, all stress is bound to be left at this hotel’s luxury gates.
Are you green-savvy? Then perhaps you might prefer URBN, a hotel that uses recyclable materials and low-energy products as much as possible. Inevitable energy expenditure and waste is offset by charitable donations to green projects.
The Nine is perhaps Shanghai’s best kept secret. Sequestered in an alleyway with no signs and no website to mark its presence in cyberspace, those that do know about it will be turned away without a reservation. Only a select few can share in the hotel’s European-style surprises, as the hotel contains only six rooms.