The first Andaz—Hyatt’s line of spirited urban properties—in Asia, this curved tower with a webbed-style exterior sits in the entertainment hub Xintiandi, known for its traditional Shanghainese Shikumen architecture (narrow homes typified by stone gateways). This new 28-story building, opened in 2011, features 307 rooms with wood floors, boldly upholstered walls, and what Andaz calls DigiValets—iPads that control room functions such as lighting, temperature, and curtains. Suites add TechnoGym exercise equipment to the mix. The fifth-floor Garden Pavilion, an ovoid glass structure with wraparound city views, is a popular venue for wedding ceremonies and cocktail parties.
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To get a sense of the area, note this: Xintiandi is the most expensive place to live in China, popular with executives and high-flying expats. The largely car-free district unites restored 19th-century houses with upscale shopping, cafés, and restaurants, plus the international designer shops along Hua Hai Middle Road (with a Lamborghini dealership close at hand). The property is also a short walk from Yangzhong Square, Huai Hai, and Taipingqiao parks. Oft recognized as the country’s first world-class modern museum, the Shanghai Museum, set in the large People’s Square, has a trove of ancient Chinese art.
Need to Know
Rooms: 260 rooms, 47 suites. From $485. Check-in: 2 p.m.; check-out: noon. Dining options: Signature restaurant Hai Pai—meaning modern Shanghainese spirit—serves traditional and updated local dishes, like xiaolongbao (pork dumplings) and wok-fried river shrimp with tea leaves. The bright Xuan Bar (xuan translates to sparkle) combines classic cocktails with modern Chinese bar snacks. Lovers of sweets congregate for French pastries at Éclair. Spa and gym details: The gym has the standard TechnoGym equipment, while artful LED lighting beautifies the acrylic indoor lap pool. At V2 spa, treatments include Yogassage, assisted yoga accompanied by Tibetan singing bowls vibration therapy.
Who it's for: Cash-rich millennials, corporate executives wanting to inject a bit of fun into the hotel experience, and night owls. Our favorite rooms: The 4,300-square-feet Penthouse Garden unfurls over two stories, has a steam room, a living room with glass skylight, a rooftop Jacuzzi, and, most uniquely, a Chinese tearoom. Happy hour: At the Andaz Lounge, in the heart of the lobby, evening wine from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. is complimentary for hotel guests.