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Shanghai has become a city of opulence. From Cartier on the Bund to Gucci on Nanjing Road, five-star treatment is not difficult to find. "The Paris of the East" has no shortage of luxury 5-star hotels and more are being built as this is written. Here are the best of the bunch.
Mandarin Oriental Pudong, Shanghai
The Mandarin Oriental is arguably the best brand name in Shanghai for luxury hotels. Noted worldwide for their excellent service, the MO Shanghai is no exception. Located in Pudong on the riverside in the heart of the financial district, Lujiazui, business and leisure guests will find this an excellent location to enjoy their stay in Shanghai.
The hotel has award winning restaurants and an excellent spa as well:
- Yong Yi Ting Chinese Cuisine
- 58 Degrees - Grill at Mandarin Oriental Pudong
- Mandarin Oriental Pudong Spa
Another fantastic hotel for views alone is the Shangri-La Pudong. Request a room on a high floor in their new tower and you'll have views of Puxi and the Bund, the river and the Pudong skyline. The hotel is located right at the river front, so you can take a walk along the Pudong promenade, a nice way to unwind in the early jet-lagged hours or the late evening.
There are plenty of cafes along the river to have a drink or a coffee although you need not venture out of the hotel for amazing food. The Yi Cafe has a signature buffet (don't miss the hand-pulled noodles) and the Japanese at Nadaman is fantastic. Afternoon tea at the Grand Tower Lobby Lounge is also a real treat.
The JW Marriott at Tomorrow Square has the most futuristic name and is housed in the most futuristic building in Puxi (Shanghai east of the river). Towering above People's Square, the JW Marriott commands views of the whole city. Their Mandara Spa is an eastern retreat in itself and a necessary indulgence after a long flight. Boasting one of the few outdoor pools in Shanghai, it also has a very good fitness center. With all the usual five-star room amenities, the JW Marriott is a good choice for visitors who want to be at the heart of downtown Shanghai.
The Four Seasons
The Four Seasons is the talk of the town these days and is the place many 5-star dwellers choose when they decide to stay in Puxi (east side of the river). Rooms have views of the skyline downtown and you can relax to your own music as rooms have connections for your portable music player. It is centrally located to both Nanjing Road locations as well as the Bund and right outside on Weihai Road are a wealth of cafes, boutiques and restaurants.
The Grand Hyatt
Stay at the Grand Hyatt, if for no other reason, the view. Currently housed in the tallest building in Shanghai, the Jin Mao Tower (though that will change soon as the new highest building in Shanghai is under construction next door), the Grand Hyatt's rooms command views over the new and old of Shanghai. Venture up to Cloud 9, the highest bar in Shanghai for a nightcap overlooking the Bund.
The Intercontinental, Pudong
The Intercontinental is one of the best choices if staying in Pudong and is conveniently located in the shopping district. Rooms overlook an open atrium where Chinese lanterns hang down reminding you that you are, indeed, in China. Book yourself into their recently renovated spa, the Signature Treatment comes highly recommended.
The Peninsula Hotel
The finest when it comes to Asian Luxury Hotels. Opened in the fall of 2009, it sits at the northern end of the Bund with views of the whole city. Be sure to take in high tea in the lobby and a swim in the pool.
The Portman Ritz-Carlton
The Portman, as it's locally called, is located centrally on Shanghai's Nanjing Xi (West) Road, one of the main arteries of downtown Shanghai. Beautifully appointed rooms with traditional Chinese silk accents and the availability of in-room massage make worrisome jetlag a non-issue. There's also a shopping complex right outside with Starbucks, Chaterhouse (English books), CitySupermarket (import food), Din Tai Feng and a lot more so if you want to make a really s-l-o-w entry, grab a latte and the FT and you can pretend like you never left home.
The Puli Hotel and Spa
The Puli Hotel & Spa calls itself and "urban resort" and the name is quite fitting. You will certainly feel that you stepped away from the heart of Shanghai - even though it's at the doorstep - while you're sipping whiskey overlooking Jing'An Park in the Puli.
The Ritz-Carlton Pudong
You'll find opulent rooms and dining at the Ritz-Carlton's newest property in Shanghai. Housed in the 39th-58th floors of the IFC complex, the Pudong Ritz-Carlton is the ultimate in luxury.