The Best Hotels in Shanghai, China

The W Shanghai sits right on the Bund, overlooking the waterfront
The W Shanghai sits right on the Bund, overlooking the waterfront | Courtesy of W Shanghai / Expedia
Photo of Tom Smith
4 May 2021

An ever-growing skyline, cutting-edge art galleries and a gourmet food and drink scene draw travellers into Shanghai‘s orbit. And the city is home to some of the most sophisticated stays in China, not least on the Bund. Book your stay now with Culture Trip.

The PuLi Hotel and Spa

Resort, Suite Hotel, Spa Hotel, Hotel, Luxury
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The PuLi Hotel And Spa
Courtesy of The PuLi Hotel And Spa / Expedia

Opened in 2009, Shanghai’s PuLi Hotel was one of the first luxury retreats in the city. The 193 rooms and 36 suites are stark, spacious and stylish and attended by staff who set the gold standard for Asian-style service. Highlights include a lobby tastefully outfitted with one-of-a-kind materials and art, and spoiling wellness facilities, such as a gym, a sauna, a steam room, experiential showers, a whirlpool, a 25m (82ft) heated infinity pool and (gasp for breath) the first Chinese branch of the UR SPA.

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W Shanghai

Hotel
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W Shanghai
Courtesy of W Shanghai / Expedia

Big, bold and towering over the Huangpu River is the W Shanghai. A fixture since 2017, the hotel unites 374 guest rooms and suites with fun touches including LED-lit walls, suspended beds, and pillows in the shape of xiaolongbao soup dumplings and chopsticks. The hotel’s five restaurants and bars, spa and pools, not to mention its location right on the Bund, will draw you out of your room for a date with decadence.

Bulgari Hotel

Hotel
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Bulgari Hotel Shanghai
Courtesy of Bulgari Hotel Shanghai / Expedia

Bringing together a contemporary 48-floor tower and the Shanghai Chamber of Commerce, built in 1916, is the Shanghai outpost of the Bulgari hotel brand. The 82 rooms – 19 of which are suites – offer next-level luxury, with perks such as around-the-clock breakfast, 24-hour butlers and Technogym treadmills, exercise bikes and rowing machines available in-room for private power workouts. Reasons to emerge from your room include a spate of dining and drinking outlets and an inviting pool and spa.

Amanyangyun

Hotel, Luxury
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Amanyangyun
Courtesy of Amanyangyun / Expedia
The Aman group goes to some lengths with its hotels, but this collaboration with wealthy Chinese businessman Ma Dadong for their fourth China destination is something else. In 2002, Ma got wind that a number of Ming- and Qing-era villas in his home province of Jiangxi were threatened by the development of a reservoir – fast-forward 17 years, and those same villas, rebuilt brick by brick, became the pride of the Aman chain as the Amanyangyun. The onsite cultural learning centre Nan Shufang offers classes in skills such as calligraphy and the guqin (a stringed instrument). The astonishing villas are best suited to families or groups. There are three on-site restaurants: Italian, hotpot and Chinese, with the latter specialising in the spicy cuisine of the Jiangxi province. Amanyangyun lies a 45-minute cab journey to the southwest of central Shanghai, but it’s as if that ride takes you to another planet – or perhaps another era.
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The Middle House

Hotel, Luxury
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The Middle House
Courtesy of The Middle House / Booking.com
The House collection of hotels is celebrated for its statement architecture and design. The Middle House in Shanghai – younger sister to the acclaimed Upper House in Hong Kong, the Temple House in Chengdu and the Opposite House in Beijing – sticks perfectly to the script. Rooms are named for their square-meterage, from 50 to the penthouse-Iike 90, with its floor-to-ceiling windows. Everything about the Middle House is generous, such as the fridges stocked with coconut water and a variety of craft beers. Expect Native Union and Bose tech, SV CASA and Bamford bathroom goodies and even a Lululemon yoga mat. The expansive Mi Xun spa, which feels like an underground city of its own, uses the sought-after Cha Ling range. You also have access to a gym, yoga, group classes and a large heated pool. Staff are encouraged to be themselves, which shows in their chatty manner: if you want a local tip, these are the people to ask. From Cafe Gray Deluxe to Chinese restaurant Sui Tang Li, the food and drink offering cannot be bettered.

The Peninsula Shanghai

Hotel
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The Peninsula Shanghai
Courtesy of The Peninsula Shanghai / Expedia

This five-star hotel is one of the very few new buildings to be added to the historic Bund in Shanghai in the last 70 years, so you know it’s something special. The Peninsula Shanghai was unveiled in 2009, but its art-deco design echoes a bygone era, with 235 retro-style suites and the Peninsula’s signature fleet of green Rolls-Royce Phantoms. Foodies will also love the five onsite restaurants, including two Michelin-starred eateries.

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The Ritz-Carlton Shanghai, Pudong

Hotel
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The Ritz-Carlton Shanghai
Courtesy of The Ritz-Carlton Shanghai / Expedia

Perched at the top of the IFC complex between the Oriental Pearl Tower and the Huangpu River, the Ritz-Carlton is another slice of 1930s elegance in Shanghai. Many of the 285 lavish guest rooms enjoy views of the Bund, and they all have access to the deluxe indoor pool, executive spa, four restaurants and two bars – including Flair, the highest rooftop bar in China.

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Mandarin Oriental Pudong

Hotel
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Mandarin Oriental Pudong
Courtesy of Mandarin Oriental Pudong / Expedia

Surrounded by the glitzy skyscrapers of the Lujiazui Financial District, this five-star hotel soars above the banks of the Huangpu River. The 362 guest rooms take luxury to a new level, with their gold and bronze hues, marble bathrooms, high-tech bedside control panels and the Mandarin Oriental’s renowned high-quality service.

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Fairmont Peace Hotel

Hotel
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The Fairmont Peace Hotel is an Art Deco masterpiece
Courtesy of Fairmont Peace Hotel / Hotels.com

This five-star art-deco masterpiece is perfectly located for visitors to Shanghai, situated at the intersection of the Bund promenade and the shopping haven that is Nanjing Road. The Fairmont Peace Hotel features 270 guest rooms, a serene health club including an indoor pool and two spa tubs, and a range of first-class dining options, such as the Chinese restaurant Dragon Phoenix and the live-music venue, Jazz Bar.

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The Shanghai EDITION

Hotel
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The Shanghai EDITION
Courtesy of The Shanghai EDITION / Expedia

The EDITION’s 145 five-star rooms are famous for their views, both of the historic Bund area and the dizzying skyscrapers of Pudong. The property is made up of two towers – one art-deco, one modernist – but the modern, laid-back design pulls the place together. There are five meeting studios, two forums, a contemporary Japanese eatery on the 27th floor, a gourmet Cantonese restaurant with five private dining rooms, and two rooftop bars overlooking the water.

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  • Jing An Shangri-La

    Hotel
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    Jing An Shangri-La
    Courtesy of Jing An Shangri-La / Expedia

    Towering above Jing’an Park and the Kerry Centre mall in upscale West Shanghai, this five-star Shangri-La is an urban oasis with spectacular views. The 508 opulent guest rooms fill floors 30 to 59 of an ultra-modern tower, which also features a huge indoor pool, six restaurants and bars, and a conference centre.

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    Wanda Reign on the Bund

    Hotel
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    84649411
    Courtesy of Wanda Reign / Booking.com

    Billing itself as the first “seven-star” hotel in Shanghai, Wanda Reign is an exercise in over-the-top opulence. Boasting an enviable location on the Bund, this luxury hotel is ostentatious from top to bottom. There are chandeliers hanging in the 190 rooms and suites, and, in the balcony bar, you’ll find bottles of Château Lafite and Louis XIV cigars. The Chairman’s Suite even has its own harp. Expect delicious meals at the two-Michelin-starred restaurant L’Espérance, and don’t miss out on the state-of-the-art nightclub.

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    The Langham, Shanghai, Xintiandi

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

    The Langham blends traditional Chinese elements with chic modern design and a buzzing location in Xintiandi, the entertainment and nightlife hub in Shanghai. Surrounded by the hottest boutiques, eateries and nightclubs in the city, the five-star hotel features 357 ultra-modern guest rooms, an extensive collection of artworks from local creatives, three high-end dining options and a fully equipped wellness centre.

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    Four Seasons Hotel Shanghai at Pudong

    Hotel
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    Four Seasons Hotel Shanghai at Pudong
    Courtesy of Four Seasons Hotel Shanghai / Expedia

    The name Four Seasons exudes luxury, and the brand’s Shanghai hotel doesn’t disappoint. This five-star Pudong property includes 187 glamorous guest rooms with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the flashy Lujiazui Financial District, a tranquil infinity pool and spa, plus gourmet eateries Camelia and Shàng-Xí dishing up Italian and Cantonese classics, respectively.

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    Capella Shanghai, Jian Ye Li

    Hotel
    Map View
    Capella Shanghai, Jian Ye Li
    Courtesy of Capella Shanghai, Jian Ye Li / Expedia

    This urban sanctuary provides luxury villa accommodations in a series of authentic shikumen townhouses. Capella fuses French and Chinese design elements as a nod to Shanghai’s Golden Era in the 1930s. Book one of the 55 one-, two- and three-bedroom suites to enjoy the traditional courtyard, fine-dining restaurant, award-winning Auriga spa and scenic rooftop terrace.

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    Neil McQuillian and Austin Bush contributed additional reporting to this article.

    These recommendations were updated on May 4, 2021 to keep your travel plans fresh.

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