The Best Hotels in Shanghai

When staying in Shanghai, travelers are spoilt for choice. Whether they’re looking for a boutique hotel within walking distance of the French Concession, an Art Deco landmark overlooking the Huangpu River, or a modern skyscraper with amenities including 24-hour butler service, they’re sure to find a hotel room to suit their needs. The hardest part will be deciding on just one place.

Zhong Shan Dong Yi Lu, Wai Tan, Huangpu Qu, Shanghai Shi, China
The first new building to be constructed on the Bund in 60 years, the terraced, granite Peninsula opened in October 2009. Celebrating the city’s Roaring Twenties, the standalone hotel creates a grand sense of arrival with a sweeping driveway. Art Deco design elements occur throughout the property, and traditional decor employs lacquer, marble, granite, wood, and original art. Rooms and suites come with spacious dressing rooms with a full-length valet box for discreet delivery of laundry and packages; they also feature Peninsula’s industry-leading, intuitive in-room technology, with room functions controlled at the touch of a button, and VOIP telephones that allow guests to make free local and international calls. For arrival and departure in style, book the hotel’s Rolls-Royce Phantoms or 1934 Rolls-Royce Phantom II. The property also has China’s first hotel private yacht, a British-built Princess 54 model.
111 Pudong S Rd, Pudong Xinqu, Shanghai Shi, China, 200120
Four thousand modern art pieces throughout public areas and guest rooms liven up this Pudong waterfront hotel, which opened in April 2013. The highlight is the lobby’s Glass Murals, made from almost 72,000 mosaic tiles and inspired by local artist Miao Tong’s painting Sound of the Wind. Elsewhere in the lobby, guests will encounter Chinese screens, sculpted furnishings, and bronze tones that mimic the glow of sunset on the river. Rooms have taupe furnishings, with flashes of indigo and lotus-green, and abstract ink paintings of traditional Chinese garden landscapes. Some have hypnotic Huangpu River views. As with many hotels in Pudong, the property is set within a larger complex, in this case the 61-acre mixed-use Harbour City development.
20 Nanjing E Rd, WaiTan, Huangpu Qu, Shanghai Shi, China, 200002
In a city packed with new construction, this Art Deco landmark remains a fixture of the Huangpu River—just as it has for more than eight decades. A favorite of visiting celebs and dignitaries, the Fairmont Peace Hotel is divided into North and South buildings. Complete with a copper-sheathed roof, Italian marble floors, and Lalique glass artwork, the 1920s North building—known as Sassoon House for its British businessman owner Sir Victor Sassoon—was once home to the Cathay Hotel; guests included Charlie Chaplin, George Bernard Shaw, and Noël Coward, who completed Private Lives here. The 1850s Renaissance South Building, formerly the Palace Hotel and once the tallest structure on Nanjing Road, was occupied by the Japanese during World War II. The two buildings combined to become the Peace Hotel in 1965, operating continuously until closing in 2007 for an overhaul of the exterior, interiors, lobby, and guest rooms by Hirsch Bedner Associates.

Today, Art Deco influences and romantic flourishes are evident throughout the 270 rooms and suites, many of which boast Bund views. Fairmont Gold rooms come with private check-in and lounge access, while the each of the opulent Nine Nations Suites is named for a different country and features corresponding décor. The Dragon Phoenix and Cathay Room serve Shanghainese–Cantonese and European cuisine, respectively, and the legendary Jazz Bar takes you back to a 1920s-era private club. After a day spent exploring the city or shopping along nearby Nanjing Road, take refuge in the Willow Stream Spa, which has 11 treatment rooms and a skylight-lit pool.
99 Madang Rd, Huangpu Qu, Shanghai Shi, China, 200021
Housed in a 100-meter-tall, concave building in the heart of Xintiandi, the 24-story property has rooms with enduring views over the neighborhood’s Shikumen storefronts. Accommodations combine dark woods, floor-to-ceiling windows, green and gold wool carpets with a paisley-like motif, and dual-basin bathrooms with oversized bathtubs. Shanghai’s Art Deco period and Xintiandi’s courtyard houses inspire interiors, while color schemes of black and green appear throughout, from the dark local granite used as flooring and walls to green glass detailing. Another recurrent theme is the horse, a key Han symbol, laser-cut into large lobby columns and bronze beams to resemble bark on a tree.
1 Changde Rd, JingAnSi, Jingan Qu, Shanghai Shi, China, 200040
This urban luxury resort in Shanghai has a polished, cool contemporary feel, mixing Eastern and Western sensibilities. Interiors lean toward dark tones and clean lines, with clever landscaping providing a sense of escape. Organic materials include liberal use of wood, stone, and marble. Large windows bring in natural light, and decor mixes contemporary with touches of traditional Chinese. Environmentally sensitive practices take multiple guises: Solar panels gather energy for hotel operation. The heatproof facade limits the need for air-conditioning. And sunshades in each room open and close automatically to let in or keep out the sun’s light and heat. Rooms also have dragon-scaled screens and cast bronze basins. Club rooms come with the perks of 24-hour check-in/check-out and butlers.
33 Fucheng Rd, LuJiaZui, Pudong Xinqu, China, 200120
This huge property comprising two towers—the River Wing and the Grand Tower—showcases Huangpu River views from its position by the riverside promenade. The Grand Tower, designed by New York–based Kohn Pedersen Fox, features 375 rooms and suites, while the more classic River Wing has 577 rooms. High-style restaurants and bars sit between the two. Rooms have crystal chandeliers and a mural of Chinese flowers above the bed. The Gallery, in the Grand Tower, exhibits paintings and sculptures from up-and-coming artists, which rotate each quarter.
210 Century Ave, LuJiaZui, Pudong Xinqu, China, 200120
Opened in 2012, the Four Seasons Pudong resides in what’s known locally as the Jewel Box—the 50-story, 21st-Century Tower, a rectangular prism in the heart of the Lujiazui business district. Art-filled interiors pull their inspiration from Shanghai’s 1920s and 1930s golden age. The lobby wows with a dramatic grand spiral staircase with an underbelly of Maccasar ebony, and a suspended, 1,000-strip metal sculpture created by Japan’s Studio Sawada Design that looks like a dangling collage of willowy twigs. Rooms offer prime views of Pudong’s evolving skyline and come with fresh flowers and Lorenzo Villoresi bath products. The decor is inspired by Shanghai Art Deco, with an intense palette of rouge, glossy black, and textured gray, coupled with smoky glass and metallic accents. In the bathrooms, a custom wall and glass panel mimic Coco Chanel’s iconic No. 5 perfume.
8 Century Ave, LuJiaZui, Pudong Xinqu, China, 200000
One of Pudong’s marquee buildings, the Cesar Pelli–designed Shanghai IFC, is the setting for this 285-room property. Occupying the top 18 floors of the South Tower, the Ritz-Carlton opened in June 2010 during the World Expo and was meant to usher in Shanghai’s status as a global powerhouse. Its design skews modern with hints of 1930s Shanghai, while views take in panoramas of the Bund. Guest accommodations start at a roomy 540 square feet, have Art Deco themes, and include Asprey amenities.
100 Century Ave, LuJiaZui, Pudong Xinqu, Shanghai Shi, China, 200120
The tallest hotel in mainland China occupies floors 79 to 93 of the Shanghai World Financial Center, the 101-story skyscraper made by Mori Building, developer of Tokyo’s Roppongi Hills complex. As expected, any room or public area in the property likely has jaw-dropping views. Interiors mirror the aesthetics of a cultured modern Chinese residence, with sequences of gates, halls, and chambers as thoroughfares, and earth tones complementing natural materials. Monochromatic rooms have walls finished in linen, lacquer, and slatted-wood panels, with generous daybeds, 24-hour butler service, and plasma televisions embedded in the bathrooms’ vanity mirrors. But really, no amenity can top the incredible views.
1376 Nanjing W Rd, Jingan Qu, Shanghai Shi, China, 200040
As the centerpiece of the Shanghai Center complex on Nanjing Road, the 45-story Portman Ritz-Carlton melds contemporary Chinese with traditional European-style decor. Textiles in guest rooms echo the materials used in the qipao. Accommodations in light browns and creams also have 300-thread-count bed linens, and down pillows and duvets. Rooms feature modern Chinese decor, bathrooms with sliding rosewood doors, and Asprey Purple Water amenities. A traditional candle-lighting ceremony takes place in the lobby to re-create a ritual held in big mansions in the era before electricity. At the Ritz Kids Academy, children can take classes on social etiquette, covering such key subjects as table posture, tea manners, and self-confidence.
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