The 10 Best Hotels Near Shanghai’s Former French Concession

Take a walk through the fascinating Former French Concession in Shanghai
Take a walk through the fascinating Former French Concession in Shanghai | © Asia File / Alamy Stock Photo
Photo of Jenna Farmer
19 November 2020

With picturesque streets, cobbled courtyards and European-style villas, Shanghai’s Former French Concession is a blend of cultures. The area provides a welcome retreat away from the bustle of the city centre – and away from the tourist crowds visiting the Bund or the Oriental Pearl TV Tower. Choices range from five-star spa retreats to traditional villas and budget-friendly hostels, so there are plenty of accommodation options. Here’s our round-up of the 10 best hotels in the area.

The Langham

Spa Hotel, Hotel
Map View
Langham
Courtesy of The Langham Shanghai / Expedia

Next to Huaihai Road, one of Shanghai’s main shopping streets, and a minute from South Huangpi Road subway station is the Langham. This luxury, five-star hotel couldn’t be a more perfect base from which to explore the city. Home to a 24-hour fitness centre, a two-Michelin-star restaurant – T’ang Court, which serves Cantonese delicacies – and 357 contemporary guest rooms all with spectacular floor-to-ceiling windows, this hotel has everything guests could want and more.

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Moller Villa Hotel Shanghai

Boutique Hotel
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Hengshan Moller Villa
Courtesy of Moller Villa Hotel Shanghai / Booking.com

If you’re looking for something with a more traditional feel of the Former French Concession, Moller Villa is a perfect choice. It’s only five minutes from the lively Xintiandi area, but its 2,000sqm (21,528sqft) gardens and Norwegian-style architecture provide an undeniable air of serenity. The truly majestic three-storey villa dates back over 70 years, and is just a 10-minute walk from West Nanjing subway station.

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InterContinental Shanghai Ruijin

Hotel
Map View
InterContinental
Courtesy of InterContinental Shanghai Ruijin / Expedia
Dating back to 1917, the hotel’s colourful history includes a brief stint as the headquarters of the Communist Party in Shanghai. Today, it features 40ha (100 acres) of impeccably landscaped grounds and regal, provincial-style villas – while the 238 spacious guest rooms feature modern, contemporary decor. Guests are bound to love La Rue restaurant, which serves global fusion food, and the hotel’s extensive spa facilities.
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Quintet BnB

Bed and Breakfast
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Quintet, Shanghai
Courtesy of Quintet BnB / Booking.com

This quirky boutique B&B is housed in a three-storey, 1939 garden lane house, decked out in original Art Deco features. You’ll need to book Quintet well in advance as it only has five rooms, which gives the B&B a private, exclusive feel – we recommend booking the Aurora room, which has its own private rooftop patio. Each room comes with a standard, made-to-order Western-style breakfast, and guests can enjoy the property’s sun terrace during the afternoon.

The Mansion Hotel

Boutique Hotel, Hotel
Map View
The Mansion Hotel
Courtesy of The Mansion Hotel / Expedia
Being five minutes from Huaihai Road and 10 minutes from Xintiandi, the Mansion Hotel offers a fantastic base to explore the Former French Concession by foot. Built in the 1920s by a French architect, it was once owned by local gangsters Sun Ting Sun and Du Yue Sheng, who hosted many wild parties in the ’30s – before it was lovingly restored into a five-star, boutique hotel. The rooms offer plenty of nods to the golden 1930s era, including vintage photos, ceramics and furniture in keeping with the period.
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Ruijin Garden Apartment

Hostel
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Ruijing Garden Apartment, Shanghai
© Ruijing Garden Apartment / Booking.com

While many hotel options in the Former French Concession tend to be luxury accommodations, there are still choices available for those on a budget. Ruijing Garden Apartment is a 10-minute walk from trendy art area Tianzifang, and doubles up as a spacious, shared apartment. Perfect for solo travellers, there are two single-sex dorms, private bathrooms and free wifi.

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  • Anting Villa Hotel

    Garden Hotel, Hotel, Villa
    Map View
    Anting Villa Hotel
    Courtesy of Anting Villa Hotel / Expedia

    Anting Villa Hotel Shanghai is tucked away in a leafy residential neighbourhood. The venue offers 143 European-style rooms – some with balconies that overlook the picturesque gardens – as well as a traditional Shanghainese restaurant, a gym and karaoke. Despite its peaceful and quiet location, Hengshan Road subway is only two minutes away and connects guests to People’s Square, the Bund and beyond.

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    The Puli Hotel and Spa

    Resort, Suite Hotel, Spa Hotel, Hotel, Luxury
    Map View
    Puli Hotel and Spa
    Courtesy of The Puli Hotel and Spa / Expedia

    Just a short stroll from Jing’an Temple and the major shopping area of Nanjing Road, the Puli Hotel and Spa is a truly modern, luxury spa resort. Highlights include the state-of-the-art UR spa, equipped with a stunning infinity pool overlooking Jing’An Park, with a whole host of treatments available – including traditional Chinese massage, anti-pollution treatments and golden body masks. Rooms and suites come with all the amenities you’d expect from a hotel of this nature – flat-screen TVs, Bose speakers, Nespresso coffee machines and giant bathtubs that overlook the skyline.

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    Twelve at Hengshan

    Hotel
    Map View
    Shanghai Twelve
    Courtesy of Twelve at Hengshan / Expedia
    On Hengshan Road in the centre of the Former French Concession, Twelve at Hengshan is an upmarket hotel owned by the Marriott Group. While an Italian architect designed the terracotta building, there’s still plenty of nods to traditional Chinese decor. Guests can expect suites with outdoor balconies, a 24-hour, state-of-the-art gym with a pool, a spa area and plenty of dining options – including Tops & Terrace, which serves both international and Chinese cuisine in a spectacular outdoor setting.
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    Radisson Blu Plaza Xing Guo Hotel

    Luxury
    Map View
    Radisson Blu Plaza
    Courtesy of Radisson Blu Plaza Xing Guo Hotel / Expedia

    In a quiet residential area and only 15 minutes from Hongqiao International Airport, international hotel chain Radisson has a big presence in China. The Radisson Blu Plaza Xing Guo Hotel overlooks 7ha (17 acres) of meticulously manicured grounds, where guests can dine at two restaurants: Li Palace, a traditional Chinese restaurant, and Café Li Brasserie, which serves international fare.

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    These recommendations were updated on November 19, 2020 to keep your travel plans fresh.