Have a stylish stay in the Bund’s old Art Deco trading houses – they’re now some of Shanghai’s most lavish hotels, with views of the iconic Oriental Pearl Tower and the Pudong skyline just across the Huangpu River.
Shanghai may translate as “on the sea”, but its tourist centre – the Bund – overlooks a river. Traced by a 1,500m (1mi) promenade edging an eye-catching mix of contemporary and colonial architecture, this is where China’s past and present meet – and it’s where you’ll want to stay. Read on for our pick of the best hotels, bookable on Culture Trip.
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You get the best of both worlds at Hyatt on the Bund Hotel: look left to stare at the Pudong area’s soaring skyscrapers or turn right and admire the classic architecture lining the riverfront. When you’re not taking in the views, unwind with an acupressure session at the atmospherically lit Yuan Spa. Or spread out on a daybed at the rooftop bar – which also has a whirlpool for soaks with spectacular city views.
Luxury is the word at the Peninsula Shanghai. Stay at this award-winning hotel for access to Michelin-star restaurants and a 1,250sqm (13,500sqft) wellness area. You can swim laps under the skylight in the pool room with its ornate Art Deco fireplace after checking out designer boutiques and department stores on Shanghai’s major shopping street, Nanjing East Road, a five-minute walk away. The outdoor terrace with its plush red seating and extensive wine menu is the biggest on the Bund.
This twin-tower hotel is a five-minute walk from the Bund yet still offers the glitzy river views that make a Shanghai trip so special. The airy suites are especially elegant: expect walk-in-wardrobes and enormous windows. Communal areas include a pristine rooftop garden with a mix of native plants manicured in classic English style. An open-air cinema is up here, too, plus a well-kept lawn for games of croquet.
Set in a Lujiazui financial district skyscraper across the river, this hotel is centrally located yet just a short hop from the Bund for people-watching at the river promenade. Not that you’ll ever want to leave – with complimentary bathrobes to wrap up in while watching boats sail by through the floor-to-ceiling windows, it’s tricky to tear yourself away from the sleek rooms. If you can bear to move, the penthouse pool area is the perfect spot for a relaxing swim or sauna session.
Also just across the river in Pudong, upgrade to the 61sqm (655sqft) Club Mandarin river view room at this hotel to look out over the Oriential Pearl Tower in its Space Age-inspired glory. The spa – all light oak wood floors and glossy marble – is just as chic and hosts impressive facilities including a crystal steam room, aroma experience showers and an ice fountain. Down at Qi Bar’s outdoor terrace – with a zesty Shanghai tai tai cocktail in hand – you’ll be surrounded by sky-skimming towers.
Just like the Bund itself, Art Deco meets classic Chinese influences at Les Suites Orient. Despite being mere metres from the riverfront, this hotel has a peaceful atmosphere – thanks in part to its soundproofed rooms. You can pad across the gleaming parquet floors of the on-site Café Dongxi for a free breakfast before wandering to the Ming Dynasty-era Yu Garden, under a 10-minute walk away.
Located just a 10-minute walk from the famous East Nanjing shopping district, this is the perfect base for those interested in spending their days snapping up retail bargains. Boasting an impressive, classic exterior and an elegant, sophisticated interior, the Metropolo is just off the main street of the Bund – but some of the rooms and balconies still offer a view of the Pearl Tower and company. Splash out on an upper-tier room to get that coveted skyscraper view.
Although round the bend of the Huangpu River, the Sunrise on the Bund Hotel still offers fantastic views of the skyscrapers, especially the Oriental Pearl Tower. The hotel has four on-site restaurants, a gym and a spa, including spa services for couples, making the Sunrise a great spot for a romantic getaway. Being on the edge of Hongkou District is an extra bonus, as this area is also home to countless quiet local coffee spots and peaceful places to stroll. There’s even a ferry shuttle bus, which makes hopping over the river for a closer look at those majestic skyscrapers even easier.
Certainly, an option reserved for a cash-splashing trip, the Fairmont Peace Hotel is a stalwart of the Bund and a monument to Shanghai’s patchwork history, its pale green copper turret providing one of the city’s most beloved landmarks. Built in the late 1920s by Sir Victor Sassoon, the hotel’s interiors are a treat for Art-Deco aficionados, while the location is about as central as it gets – positioned neatly between Nanjing Road’s designer shops and the steel metropolis of Pudong. The health club, spa and myriad eateries are world-class, but it’s the renowned Jazz Bar that you really shouldn’t miss.
Liss Parkes contributed additional reporting to this article.
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