In the month since my last blog post, I’ve had the privilege of staying at a number of high-end hotels in Shanghai. As before, this was accommodation that I didn’t book or pay for myself, so once again I’m simply sharing some quick, general impressions of these hotels instead of doing a side-by-side comparison.
Like most people nowadays, I rely on my camera phone for taking photos. However, my Samsung Galaxy S4’s ageing battery had been giving me less and less usage per charge until I very recently got my new phone: the Xiaomi Mi Note LTE. It’s an awesome phone by the way, but I digress. The point is that I often found myself with a near-dead phone and therefore unable to take photos of the rooms upon check-in. What I have, though, I will share here.
Some of these hotels were first-time visits while others were repeat ones in mostly higher category rooms.
The room had a seating area separated from the bedroom by a TV armoire. Generally, it was a good stay, but what I didn’t enjoy all that much was the central air conditioning. I found the room too warm for my liking, and although there was a panel from which one could supposedly exercise a degree of control over the temperature, this appeared to be mostly for show without really adjusting anything.
I paid two repeat visits to this hotel. The first repeat stay was in a higher category room than before.
It was once again a very comfortable stay, but the breakfast was rather disappointing. They were busy renovating the regular breakfast area, so the buffet breakfast was served in one of the reception rooms. I disliked the décor, and I felt that both the food quality and the selection weren’t nearly as good as with my first visit.
My second repeat stay was at Club InterContinental, which was an even higher category room type (Executive Room) that allowed access to a more exclusive lounge for breakfast.
I had both a first-time and repeat stay at this hotel. The repeat visit was a higher category booking (Le Royal Club Room) that afforded access to an all-day lounge where one could enjoy meals, snacks and drinks away from the common folk. The room, however, looked identical to the one I had stayed in on my first visit.
I really liked the Club Suite with its separate lounge, and its bathroom had a spectacular city view from the shower. Though I woke up too late for breakfast and therefore cannot comment on the food, it was a really enjoyable experience and, based on this alone, I consider this hotel a strong contender for the title of being my favourite one – currently held by InterContinental Shanghai Puxi.
This hotel is just a little further down the road from All Seasons Hotel Shanghai Yan’an Road, so even from the 52nd floor one could hear traffic from the nearby highway. However, it wasn’t particularly bothersome, and I actually prefer a little bit of background noise to ear-ringing silence.
This hotel is located right on the bank of the Huangpu River, which meant that the room had a really nice view. The hotel itself is a bit artsy, so the decoration may not necessarily be to everyone’s taste. However, I thought it was something different and quite liked it.
Just like InterContinental Shanghai Puxi, it had one of those rear-cleansing, self-flushing toilets that I fancy. This one had an “inner wash” setting I wasn’t familiar with. I recommend using it with caution as it’s not for the uninitiated.
This was another repeat visit, but this time I stayed in a supposedly higher category room. I previously stated that this was a budget hotel, but I have meanwhile been informed that it isn’t really. Be that as it may, it felt budget to me despite otherwise being comfortable enough.
With this higher category room, much of the bathroom spaciousness I had enjoyed during my first stay was sacrificed in favour of an awkward lounge furnished with stained, well-worn furniture.
Traffic noise wasn’t noticeable this time since this particular room faced away from the road, but there was intermittent construction noise from a nearby building. However, once the double-paned windows were closed, this wasn’t an issue at all. I kept the curtains drawn most of the time, though, because nearby apartment buildings meant that I could clearly see other people going about their business.
Mid-morning there was some really loud talking in the passage. Although I couldn’t see who it was – possibly housekeeping – I opened the door and bellowed, “Hey!”. This effectively took care of the problem, and the remainder of my morning was peaceful.
Despite some of my gripes with this hotel, I’d probably stay here again. It is a reasonable walk from my favourite hangout spot, Lucca Café & Lounge. However, after a few drinks, the walk back to the hotel might not seem all that reasonable anymore. So, if you’re looking for something within staggering distance, Crowne Plaza Shanghai is most likely a better bet.