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The Waterhouse | © 準建築人手札網站 Forgemind ArchiMedia/Flickr
The Waterhouse | © 準建築人手札網站 Forgemind ArchiMedia/Flickr
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The Top 8 Boutique Hotels in Shanghai

Picture of Rachel Deason
Updated: 16 October 2018
Live in the lap of luxury at these eight Shanghai boutique hotels. From a historic villa built for 1930s gangsters to a cozy retreat ready to welcome your four-legged friends, all are sights to behold and you will surely find a spot to suit your fancy on this list.

The Waterhouse at South Bund, Shanghai

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The Waterhouse at South Bund, Shanghai © Hotels.com
The Waterhouse at South Bund, Shanghai | © Hotels.com
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Housed in a three-story building that was once the Japanese Army headquarters in the 1930s, the Waterhouse Shanghai is industrial rustic chic. There’s no way around it: it’s so cool, so very cool. Located on the South Bund’s Cool Docks and designed by architects Neri and Hu, the hotel is a shockingly beautiful contrast of old and new. Neri explains: “This is a hotel that puts the emphasis on the traveler in search of some meaning, and not just the luxury component of living.” Each of the 19 rooms, uniquely decorated, offers a coffee machine, a minibar, a refrigerator, a seating area with a sofa, and more.
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Pudi Boutique Hotel Shanghai

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Pudi Boutique Hotel Fuxing Park Shanghai © Hotels.com
Pudi Boutique Hotel Fuxing Park Shanghai | © Hotels.com
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Not only is the Pudi one of Shanghai’s most beautiful boutique hotels, it is also the number one pet-friendly hotel in the city. Here, you and your four-legged best friend will discover a dark, cozy place to escape the often overwhelming energy of Shanghai. The name Pudi is a play on words, a Chinese homophone for boutique using the characters meaning “rough jade.” Need someone to tend to your dog while you’re out seeing the sites? One of the hotel’s 24-hour butlers is there to help.
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URBN Boutique Hotel Shanghai

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URBN Boutique Hotel Shanghai © Hotels.com
URBN Boutique Hotel Shanghai | © Hotels.com
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While China struggles to get its pollution problems under control, hotels are jumping on the environmental bandwagon. URBN Hotel is China’s first carbon-neutral (boutique) hotel. It garnered acclaim from Travel Info China Best Hotel and Resort Awards as being the ‘best green hotel’ in 2015. Located in the city’s Jing’an district, URBN Hotel was formerly a post office building. To show respect for Mother Nature during the renovation process, recycled and locally sourced materials — like reclaimed hardwoods and Shanghai bricks — were used. Eco-friendly passive solar shades and a water-based air conditioning system were also installed. Guest rooms are furbished in black and white décor, ranging in style from simple studios and atrium rooms to elegant garden view rooms and the penthouse.
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Wanda Reign on the Bund, Shanghai

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When China’s richest man creates a boutique hotel, he doesn’t mess around. Located on Shanghai’s historic Bund, Wanda Reign is elegant, extravagant, and easily accessible to all of the city’s major attractions. The views are killer; even a luxurious bath means looking out across the Huangpu River onto the Lujiazui skyline. The guestrooms are designed in two distinct styles: Trendy and Noble. Trendy rooms blend Art Deco with glamour and modernity, and Noble rooms incorporate mahogany burl wood, magnolia embroidery, and Art Deco elements. If this isn’t enough, enjoy one of the hotel’s impressive restaurants, like MARC by Michelin-starred Marc Meneau or RIVER DRUNK Huaiyang Chinese.
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Hotel Massenet At Sinan Mansions Shanghai

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Hotel Massenet at Sinan Mansions © Hotels.com
Hotel Massenet at Sinan Mansions | © Hotels.com
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Hotel Massenet has cleverly redeveloped a collection of 1920s colonial mansions near Xintiandi into 14 ultra-luxury villas, some with gardens, all with private butlers and garages. Fancy renting an entire villa for yourself? That will run you about RMB40,000 (US$5790) per night. Of course, it’s understandable if that is a bit beyond your budget. Experience just a taste of the luxury at the public restaurant, Au Jardin Massenet, housed in its own villa.
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Mansion Boutique Hotel, Xuhui

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The Mansion Hotel © Hotels.com
The Mansion Hotel | © Hotels.com
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Live the spirit of old Shanghai at the Mansion Hotel, located in a former French Concession villa designed by the French architect Lafayette in 1932. The former headquarters of Shanghai mob boss Du Yuesheng, the hotel was once the center of the opium trade and Shanghai decadence. Today, the hotel preserves much of the furniture and antiques original to the time period, immediately transporting you to a wilder time, yet maintaining an absolute air of exclusivity and luxury.
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The Langham Yangtze Boutique Hotel, Shanghai

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Langham Hotel
Langham Hotel | Courtesy of Langham Hotel
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Originally built in 1934, Yangtze Boutique Hotel was considered one of Shanghai’s famous hotels, and was once designated as ‘the third largest hotel in the Far East.’ The hotel is located within walking distance of many tourist sights, such as People’s Park, Nanjing Road, and Shanghai Grand Theatre. Ninety-six rooms and suites are designed in vibrant, eye-catching shades, sprinkled with Asian adornments. Hotel facilities include a gym (complete with a steam room) and SPA center where weary travelers can relax while undergoing acupuncture or stone therapies.
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PEI Mansion Hotel, Shanghai

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It’s no coincidence that this Shanghai boutique hotel’s name sounds like that of celebrated architect I.M. Pei; it was designed for his family in 1934. Now a five-star hotel, Pei Mansion combines heritage charm with contemporary Chinese design. All 19 luxury rooms and suites feature king size beds, marble bathrooms with large jacuzzis, rain showers, and more. On-site restaurant Xin Rong Ji is impressive as well, having recently been ranked the number one restaurant in all of China by crowd-sourced rating website Dianping.
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