Shanghai’s Most Amazing Five Star Hotels

Shanghai’s Most Amazing Five Star Hotels

shanghai

If you’re looking for the most amazing hotels in Shanghai, then look no more. Here are the most stunning, highest rated, five-star hotels in central Shanghai.

These are my picks for the best of the best. This list is shared with GoShopShanghai.com here the top five-star hotels in Shanghai.

 

The Peninsula Shanghai
5-star hotel

Area: Downtown Shanghai, Shanghai
Located near Huangpu Park and the river of the same name it offers a fantastic position central to major attractions of the Bund, Pudong, and Nanjing Road. The hotel itself consistently recieves the highest reviews and the hotel is famous for its spectacular roo-top bar. It also features everything you’d expect in a world-class five star hotel.

 
 

Jing An Shangri-La, West Shanghai
5-star hotel

Area: Downtown Shanghai, Shanghai
Located in the heart of Jing’an District, Jing An Shangri-La, West Shanghai. It boasts a spa and wellness centre, an indoor pool and gourmet cuisines across several stylish restaurants and bars. Free Wi-Fi is provided throughout the property.

 

The Puli Hotel And Spa
5-star hotel

Area: Downtown Shanghai, Shanghai
Located in central Shanghai, It offers modern rooms with free internet and a BOSE wave music system. Its 5-star facilities include 2 dining options and a fitness center.

 

THE ONE Executive Suites Managed by Kempinski – Shanghai

 

5-star hotel

Area: Downtown Shanghai, Shanghai
Located next to West Nanjing Road and Huaihai Road. Sophisticated European Art-Deco design and free wired internet is featured throughout the building.

 

Le Royal Meridien Shanghai
5-star hotel

Area: Downtown Shanghai, Shanghai
A 3-minute walk from People抯 Square metro station. It offers spectacular views of Shanghai skyline and boasts a heated indoor pool and a hot tub.

 

Paramount Gallery Hotel
5-star hotel

Area: Downtown Shanghai, Shanghai
Located on the 12th floor of Paramount Metropolis Building, a 2-minute walk from Jing抋n Temple Station (line 2 and 7). It features boutique rooms fusing Art D閏o and modern European designs with free Wi-Fi in all areas.

 

Les Suites Orient, Bund Shanghai
5-star hotel

Area: Downtown Shanghai, Shanghai
Located in The Bund. It features boutique rooms with a fusion of Art D閏o and Oriental designs overlooking Huangpu River. Free Wi-Fi and a 24-hour gym is provided. Two restaurants are offered.

 

Hilton Shanghai
5-star hotel

Area: Downtown Shanghai, Shanghai
Towering over the former French Concession Quarters, features 8 dining options and a world-class spa. It showcases a large indoor pool, fitness center and sauna.

 

Swissotel Grand Shanghai
5-star hotel

Area: Downtown Shanghai, Shanghai
A 10 minute walk from popular Nanjing Street, offers 5-star luxury with 42-inch flat-screen TVs and iPod docks. It features a day spa, indoor pool and fitness facilities.

 

Hotel Indigo Shanghai On The Bund
5-star hotel

Area: Downtown Shanghai, Shanghai
Located along the Huangpu River, with spectacular views of Pudong. A 2-minute walk from Shiliupu Marina and Shiliupu Bus Station. It offers welcome drinks upon arrival, an indoor pool and modern air-conditioned rooms with free Wi-Fi.

 

Grand Central Hotel Shanghai
5-star hotel

Area: Downtown Shanghai, Shanghai
Located next to The Bund and East Nanjing Road Pedestrian Street. Its modern comforts include a large indoor pool, pampering spa and rooms with free internet access.

 

Fraser Residence Shanghai
5-star hotel

Area: Downtown Shanghai, Shanghai
Located one block from Middle Huaihai Road, Shanghai抯 business and entertainment centre. Offering comfort and convenience in airy apartments fusing Art D閏o and Oriental-inspired bamboo accent. It features air filter, water filter and water softener. Recreational options include a wellness centre and indoor heated pool.

 

Lanson Place Jinlin Tiandi Residence Shanghai
5-star hotel

Area: Downtown Shanghai, Shanghai
Located next to Xin Tiandi, a dining and entertainment area. Featuring serviced apartments, it provides free Wi-Fi, an outdoor pool and a gym.

 

The Langham, Shanghai, Xintiandi
5-star hotel

Area: Downtown Shanghai, Shanghai
Located adjacent to the retail utopia of Huaihai Road and a 1-minute stroll from South Huangpi Road Subway Station (Line 1). Boasting Chuan Spa, an indoor pool and gourmet cuisine across several stylish restaurants.

 

The Yangtze Boutique Shanghai
5-star hotel

Area: Downtown Shanghai, Shanghai
Located in central Shanghai, just 100 ft from People’s Square metro station (line 1, 2 and 8). Its excellent leisure facilities include a gym and a historic ballroom.

 
The Shanghai Maglev Train

The Shanghai Maglev Train

Shanghai has a really cool way to get to the airport, it’s a 500km/h mag lev train! Only one problem the train  is located miles from anything! In an odd peice of planning this superfast mag lev train terminates 20 minutes away from the city central. So by the time you catch a bus, taxi or the subway to the station well, it’s not so fast really.

But why not, its not everyday that you get to travel at 430km/h..

Yep, its fast, comfortable too and quite for that speed!

Also, if your heading to Shanghai checkout this useful transport guide and a guide to Shanghai attractions.

Yuyuan Garden Shanghai

Yuyuan Garden Shanghai

The Yuyuan Garden was built in the late 1500’s by a government official of the time as a personal undertaking. The garden today takes up a vast area with traditional style buildings, a lake, the garden itself and various halls.

And like any good tourist attraction, its packed with shops! The area attracts quite a crowd.

 

 

For a full review and specific details on opening hours, ticket prices, maps, and more visit the Yuyuan Garden page at goshopshanghai.com

 

 

 

Pudong District and the Oriental Pearl Tower

Pudong District and the Oriental Pearl Tower

The Pudong District of Shanghai is a bold statement of a country about a modern city that’s on the move, in particular, the area along the Huangpu River opposite the Bund features an impressive array of modern hi-rise architecture.

It’s an impressive sight looking across the river from the Bund side. Unfortunately somewhat buried in haze during my time in Shanghai but still, it’s impressive. Particularly at night.

Looking at the Pudong District at night.

You can go across the Huangpu River from the Bud to Pudong via ferry or via the ‘Bund Sight-Seeing Tunnel’. I chose the tunnel to go over, or under..the Sight-Seeing Tunnel turned out to be a little overrated but I get the feeling maybe only half of the lighting effects where working at the time…

yep, it’s a tunnel with lots of lights

One of the stand-out buildings in the Pudong Area is the Oriental Pearl TV Tower. The building rises a staggering 468m into the sky with a design that looks oddly familiar to a space station out of a movie whose name I cant remember…

Oriental Pearl TV Tower

The Oriental Pearl TV tower also features a sightseeing floor at 259 meters, a revolving restaurant at 267 meters and a space module at 350 meters.  

The Sight-Seeing Floor at 259 meters

The persistent haze pretty much killed what would be an amazing view on a clear day. With the haze so bad, I chose to skip the extra cost for going up higher to the Space Module at 350 meters.

To get back from Pudong to the Bund I went on the local ferry which costs next to nothing, its a pretty quick trip so there are no seats, everyone just piles into a big open space, I headed up the front of the boat for a view of the Bund at night…

The Bund at night, taken from the ferry

To get a deeper insight and lot’s of essential info for a rewarding visit see this article with key facts for visiting the Bund and this articles which has a list of all the sights in Pudong inc. the new skyscrapers.

Shanghai Museum

Shanghai Museum

What to do in Shanghai when the weather is terrible and you can’t see anything for the thick haze, check out the much talked about museum. It’s free, so why not!

It turns out the museum is huge, housed in a funky looking building on several levels is several varying exhibitions of ancient Chinese culture and artifacts.

Entry to the museum

 Exhibitions vary but on this day they included a gallery of ancient bronze works, ancient sculptures, ancient ceramics, a gallery of calligraphy, seals and paintings, Chinese currencies, ancient jade and furniture from the Ming and Qing Dynasties.

Ancient Chinese currency

 Many of the displays don’t allow photographing including anything that’s on paper (their concern is that the constant use of the flash may further deteriorate the fragile works) but here are a few shots from the some of the exhibitions that did:

Table and chairs with carved floral design and red lacquer made a long time ago (i cant remember!)
Period dress from many of the different ancient Chinese cultures
One of the many Tibetan Masks on display

Turns out the museum is well worth visiting, and if you’re a history buff or fascinated with Chinese culture you’ll probably want to spend a long time here. Come early to beat the cues, and definitely get there before the tour buses!

For more hot places to visit see this mega-list of attractions in Shanghai at the GoShopShanghai site.

Shanghai Museum Map location

Shanghai Shopping – Nanjing Road

Shanghai Shopping – Nanjing Road

One of the things that continue to amaze me about China is the sheer scale of things, I come from Australia where there is 21 or so million people on an island almost as big as China, but in just one of Chinas many many big cities, Shanghai, for example, there is almost just as many people. Shanghai has a population of almost 20 million.

So the city planners have to think big, and they only have limited space to do it in! The size of some of the shopping centres I have seen in China simply makes my head spin, the city blocks that a ‘shopping area’ can consume, while also reaching skyward, is just as mind boggling. But it’s all about numbers, there is just so many people to feed, clothe and now also cater to the emerging Chinese middle class with their growing desire of consumerism.

Nanjing Road is one of China’s most popular and well-known shopping streets. And it too is on a scale that just makes your head spin, it’s almost 6 kilometers long,  packed with large modern malls and a variety of shops. How do all these shops survive? Some say that over a million people a day visit this street, which is not too hard to believe after walking along here for a few minutes, there are people everywhere!

Photo: Looking down Nanjing Rd East

The east section of Nanjing Road is a pedestrian street and even though it’s probably three car lanes wide, it’s still packed with people, the shops are full of people, the many restaurants are full of people, looking up to the second floor of many buildings you can see even more people shopping and eating.

Most of the big western luxury brand names have stores here, and you won’t have to walk far to find McDonald’s, KFC, Pizza Hut or Starbucks. The Shanghai First Food Store contains many of them, along with more interesting local restaurants and also bustling food market in the building.

The Shanghai First Food Store on Nanjing Rd
Photo: Nanjing Road East and the pedestrian mall ends, and Nanjing Rd West begins.

Side streets feeding off Nanjing Road have many interesting shops too and are worth strolling around. At first, some may appear not that friendly to a westerner, but most shop owners couldn’t care less where the next yuan (dollar) comes from and I always found them helpful and welcoming.

Make sure you also visit GoShopShanghai.com which has a detailed guide with a map on Nanjing Road that’s a must-read for first-time visitors.

 

Nanjing Road Map

On the map, I have outlined the pedestrian section in blue and included my picks for the top five places to stay on Nanjing Road Pedestrian Street.

New Asia Hotel Shanghai

New Asia Hotel Shanghai

I booked the New Asia Hotel through HotelClub and at the time it was pretty cheap, and for the location, it was far cheaper than anything that was close to the Bund, Nanjing Rd and so on.

So I wasn’t expecting much, not for the price, but I was surprised to find that this was a quality hotel, it’s not new by any means, but it has English speaking staff, it’s clean and tasteful.

The hotel also features a bar and a restaurant on the ground floor and another restaurant which serves a buffet breakfast. I ate at the ground floor restaurant twice and enjoyed a tasty meal of fried eel and dumpling soup, on another occasion I ate a simple fried rice, both were good. The buffet breakfast is great value and comes with some real friendly and welcoming staff.

The room was clean and comfortable featuring a desk, flat screen TV, double bed, modern and clean bathroom with a bath and western style toilet.

Room at the New Asia Hotel
the bathroom

A big downside of the hotel is the fact they charge extra to use the internet, what’s even worse is that they advertise a ‘pay for what you use’ system with a maximum charge of 60RMB, no matter what you do, you will be charged the full rate of 60RMB.

The hotel is located only 10 minutes walk from the Bund and Nanjing Road, there are bus stops nearby also. Taxis often wait out the front of the hotel but its best to ask for the concierge to get one for you..

[update: it’s now called the Golden Tulip Bund New Asia!]

For the latest rates, deals and more info see Golden Tulip New Asia Hotel Shanghai. And even more Hotels in Shanghai. Also, check out GoShopShanghai which has hand-selected lists of the top hotels near the Bund.

Chinese address for Golden Tulip New Asia Hotel Shanghai

New Asia Hotel Map

Shanghai Copy Market – Going Going Gone….

Shanghai Copy Market – Going Going Gone….

If you walk around the major shopping areas like Nanjing Rd, get ready for the constant approaches from hawkers trying to lure you to their shop.

I was just minding my own business, walking along the famous shopping strip that’s Nanjing Rd and I this guy jumps in my face asking “what do you want, dvd, t-shirt…jeans you want, i phone, copy market sir, come to the copy market” and they are persistent, they keep badgering until you look them in the eye and say a firm ‘no thanks’.

As I walked down Nanjing Rd I must have been approached close to ten times. It started to get the better of me, the next person that came up spieling out brand and product names, I asked ‘ok, tell me where your shop is and I might take a look later’, he gleefully told me where it was, a ‘copy market’ some blocks away, and then continued to ask me ‘polo shirt you want, dvd..?’. I kept walking.

After Nanjing Rd and a little curious I walked down to this place that all these hawkers where calling the copy market. It turned out to be two seperate, 5 or so floor, shopping complexes on either side of the road. But with one small problem, it looked like a war zone! Out the front of the large complexes on either side, the footpaths had been dug up leaving just a concrete rubble making it near impossible to get into either building.

As Im standing their, admiring this wasteland, a young girl that had approached me back on Nanjing Rd came over again and said hello. “please come in” she said, how I thought! In we went, across rubble and up some stairs that hadn’t been cleaned in the last century.

For a young hawker Helens english was good, almost conversational and she asked where I was from, for a while we chatted about Australia, and then about the places I’d been in China as we navigated our way through the rubble. On the way inside her Aunty even came over to say hello, who was the boss of the store apparently.

So, we got talking about their many different goods and I was happy to go have a look, and once past the rubble and inside we went down to a lower floor in a rickety old elevator. When the door opened and I stepped foward all I could see was a heap of closed shops, with walls and floors all covered in a thick dust, and no or little lighting. This place was abandoned, almost.

We walk past some of the closed shops to see a group of chinese people all sitting around on upturned crates, some alseep, some talking, and when they see me they suddenly jump up, ‘hello sir, welcome, what are you looking for?’…

‘Nothing really’ I replied, ‘I’m just following Helen around’ I said jokingly, to which one lady quickly jumped in with ‘no problem, just look, come in’. The door of the seemingly abandoned shops opens up and I’m led inside with Helen and this lady.

The door is shut behind us, hmmmm, why the secrecy I wonder. The lady starts showing me all her stuff, including all sorts of different brand shirts and other clothing. I let her know that I pretty much wasn’t interested in anything she had, and told her I had already bought much that I needed back in Xian at the Muslim Quater, she knew the place and it was kind of an ice breaker as she dropped the hard sell and we started to chat.

I asked what had happened here, and asked if the place was getting ready for refurbishment or demolishment and she said the police had come through and shut down all the shops that were selling anything that looked like fakes.

I laughed, and said what about the silk market in Beijing, or the Ya Show clothing market there, what about the markets in Xian, which are all bold displays of disregard for brand names? She said one word ‘Expo’, Shanghai is hosting the world expo and apparently officials are shutting down all the stores selling copies and fakes prior to the event.

So, I wonder who decided to also dig up all the footpaths out the front…

It was pretty obvious these people where doing it tough, and they where going to any length to trying to sell their stock. Including sending hawkers out into the nearby major mainstream shopping streets such as Nanjing RD, and secretly opening their stores to possible buyers.

I probably could have done an incredible deal on some of this stuff but I just didn’t need it. So, I say goodbye to that store owner, up goes the door and I walk around this shopping complex, come wasteland, a little more with Helen and see many people standing out the front of their stores with the doors shut. As I walk past the doorway of the shops the doors come open a little ‘shirt you want, belt….t-shirt, polo’..

Their tenacity is facinating and I really felt sorry for what these people where going through…in reality, the criminal is probably the person who charges 10 times too much for a simple shirt due to the fact it has their logo on it…..

For detailed info on shopping malls, markets and must visit stores see Go Shop Shanghai website.

Welcome to Shanghai China

Welcome to Shanghai China

My first introduction to Shanghai was similar to that of Beijing, another taxi driver that sees a foreigner as dollar signs. As I walked out of the Shanghai Station I walked straight up to the cab rank and was fortunate to find a couple of drivers who spoke English. I told them the hotel I was staying at and one said no problem, so I started to throw my stuff in his boot. It’s on the meter right? I asked, no meter, 100 RMB he replied.

I knew the hotel is only about 5 minutes from the train station and even in the worst traffic conditions it could not be any more than a 30RMB trip, I asked for the meter again and got the same reply, no meter 100RMB is cheapest. I grabbed my bag back out of the boot and started walking. Lucky for me there was another taxi driving past that I managed to hail. I asked for the meter and he happily obliged. My new taxi got me to the hotel for under 30RMB.

The weather in Shanghai was pretty ordinary which is normal apparently for this time of year. The sky was clouded, or smogged, out and lovely silky gray color. A haze persisted for the time that I was there making it almost impossible to see anything that was further than 200 meters in front of me. On the other days, it rained.

Overlooking the Huangpu River towards the Pudong New Area

Shanghai feels very different to other parts of China, if you came only to Shanghai, you would the real China experience. But if you didn’t come to Shanghai, you would miss a unique part of the country and a city that tells a grand tale of Chinas relationship with the rest of the world.

Shanghai is a part of China that has been heavily influenced by the west, due to events in history (such as the Opium Wars and Sino-Japanese War) that saw heavy foreign settlement. A visual demonstration of this can be seen at the area known as the Bund, which lies alongside the Huangpu River. The beautiful grand buildings alongside the river here are all early 19th century, European-style architecture, and at the time of British settlement, they housed banks and trading firms.

What makes the area even more amazing is the area directly across the river called the Pudong. The Pudong area is packed with modern skyscrapers displaying the feats of modern architecture. The contrast between the two areas either side of the river makes somewhat of an amazing statement, the new China on one side and the China of old on the other. The Bund on one side reflects an era of weakness in China when it was subjected to heavy foreign influence, look to the other side and you can see a powerful strong country that is moving forward under its own banner.

One small section of the Bund, on a beautiful hazy day in Shanghai

Being located at the mouth of the Yangtze River, Shanghai became an important seaport as far back as the Qing Dynasty in 1600’s. In later years it became an important trade port with the west, and also established itself as a financial center for East Asia which it remains as today.

For detailed info on tourist attractions and things to see in the city check out the attractions category at GoShopShanghai and also the Shanghai section at TravelChinaGuide. For local news check out Shanghai Daily. For detailed info on shopping malls, markets and must visit stores see Go Shop Shanghai website.  

Map of Shanghai

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Beijing to Shanghai via Train D305 – Soft Sleeper

Beijing to Shanghai via Train D305 – Soft Sleeper

This was my second trip on a train in China and again it’s an overnight train with the trip taking just over 10 hours. I would be travelling on the D305 which leaves Beijing South station an 9.40PM and arrives in Shanghai at 7.52AM.

The train leaves from Beijing South Station which is very modern, clean and an easy place to hang out featuring a KFC, McDonalds and numerous other cafes and a pair of restuarants. 

Being an overnight journey I went the the ‘soft sleeper’ option again with the ticket this time costing 685RMB ($107AUD) booked via the Red Wall Hotel tour desk. The train is newer than the one I took from Xian to Beijing   and also featuring a small LCD screen at the end of the bed which unfortunately only screened shows in Chinese.

Inside the Soft Sleeper cabin on the D305
Each bunk has an individual LCD screen with remote controls and headphones
Hot water dispenser, and mirror and wash basins at the end of each car, the cars also have western style toilets

Again, there were four bunks in the cabin and when I entered one lady was already settled in and looked at me curiously when I made my way in. ‘Ni, hao’ I said as I entered, and quickly got a ‘ni hao’ in response (ni hao is equal to hello in mandarin). She spoke some more words in mandarin which I didn’t understand. ‘wu bu hui shou putonghua’ I replied with a smile, meaning I cant speak mandarin, she smiled and could see I was struggling to find somewhere to put my bag and pointed out a neat little storage space beneath the bottom bunk.

That was pretty much the extent of our communication for the journey and just before the train was set to depart a young chinese male joined us in the cabin and one bunk was still empty as we departed.

It was a quite trip all way and with no one knowing anyone else, and one of those people unable to speak the language, soon everyone was in sleeping mode. Come morning most people in the train start waking early at around 5.00 and start making use of the wash basin, mirror and toilets at the end of the car.

The lady that was sharing the cabin jumped off at Nanjing, which is the only stop prior to Shanghai. Not long after that I jumped down to the lower bunk and got my luggage ready to go.

The young guy that was in the bunk below seeing me says a big helloo, turns out he is a university student who can speak pretty good english. We chat for a while about his uni life and we soon start talking about house prices in China, a hot topic here as they have been on the up and up.

I told him how housing prices in Australia were getting further and further out of reach of the average wage earner, and he concurred that the situation was very similar in China except that for some its just a dream that even dreaming of is unrealistic.

Pretty soon the train arrives in Shanghai and its time to see a new city.

Shanghai Train Station