by Graham Earnshaw
Here is a list of some of the best, the most interesting and the most reasonable hotels in Shanghai:
Grand Hyatt Hotel, Jinmao Building, Pudong. One of the most extraordinary hotels in the world. It occupies the top third of the third tallest building in the world — from the 53rd to the 87th floor of the Jinmao Building. Even more amazing – the whole structure is hollow. The hotel is constructed as a 30-storey plus atrium. The views are amazing, and the service is first class.
Ritz-Carlton Hotel. 1376 Nanjing Xi Lu. 6279-8888. Originally called the Portman. The best hotel on the west side of the river, with excellent service and facilities. It has now been hostelry of choice to two US presidents – Clinton and Bush junior.
Shanghai-La Hotel. 6882-8888, 33 Fucheng Lu, Pudong. Superb five-star hotel close to the river in Pudong, and closer to the ground than the Grand Hyatt nearby. Famed, amongst other things, for BATS, the bar / disco in the basment.
Garden Hotel, 6415-1111, 58 Maoming Nan Lu. Run by Tokyo’s Okura hotel group, the location near trendy Huihai Lu is excellent, the lobby lounge is a great place to people watch, and the oft-neglected garden is wonderful.
St Regis Hongta Hotel, 889 Dongfang Lu, Pudong. The new kid on the block in the five-star league. Boasts the biggest standard hotel rooms in Shanghai.
Park Hotel, 6327-5225, 170 Nanjing Xi Lu. The tallest building in Asia for over 20 years, this hotel has been renovated in recent years and is excellently located near the Shanghai Art Gallery (once the Shanghai racecourse clubhouse).
Ruijin Guest House, 6472-5222, 118 Ruijin Er Lu. Once the home of William Morriss, owner of the North China Daily News and the Shanghai Canidrome – dog racing track. Chairman Mao stayed there, the grounds are magnificent, the breakfasts spartan.
Pujiang Hotel 6324 6388, Huangpu Lu. Opposite the Russian Consulate, this building dates from 1910 and was originally Astor House, the plushest hotel in old Shanghai. It is now a cheap and cheerful alternative for budget travellers and people who wish to experience hotel living the old way. There are both dormitories and large individual rooms.
Peace Hotel, 6321-6888, 20 Nanjing Dong Lu. Originally the Cathay Hotel and the renowned as the plushest hotel in Asia in the 1930s, the Peace has been renovated several times in the past 20 years, and has been structurally in reasonably pleasing shape. Service is not one of its strong points. The jazz band in the lobby bar, it is believed, play out of tune on purpose to see whether anyone is paying attention.
Shanghai Hilton Hotel, 6248-0000, 250 Huashan Lu. The first five-star hotel in modern Shanghai, opened in 1989, great location and good coffee shop.
Regal International East Asia Hotel, 6248-0000, 516 Hengshan Lu. Hengshan Lu is one of the most beautiful and (relatively) relaxed thoroughfares in Shanghai, and the huge marble-encased lobby of this five-star hotel is the coolest place in town to have afternoon, tea, at least in mild temperature terms.
Holiday Inn Crowne Plaza, 6280-8888, 400 Panyu Lu. A good upper level business hotel in the western part of town, and well situated for the bars and restaurants along Xinhua Lu.
Hotel Sofitel Hyland, 6351-5888, 505 Nanjing Dong Lu. One of the most downtown of all hotels, now right on the Nanjing Lu pedestrian plaza.