The Best Boutique Hotels in Shanghai

Courtesy of The Yangtze Boutique Shanghai / Expedia
Photo of Rachel Deason
6 May 2021

The Shanghai of today is associated with sophistication and style, and a large part of this is due to the city’s much-lauded boutique hotels. Ranging from small stays in historical buildings to contemporary structures that tower over the buzzing Bund waterfront, the city’s stylish, singular retreats run the gamut. This being Asia, a common thread is an emphasis on wellness, with spas, swimming pools and other spoiling perks, seemingly supplied as standard. Here are the best boutique hotels in China’s biggest city…

Cachet Boutique Shanghai

Boutique Hotel
4.4/5 (212 Reviews)
All rooms feature dark wooden flooring and custom-made rugs
All rooms feature dark wooden flooring and custom-made rugs | Courtesy of Cachet Boutique

Housed in a handsome, imposing 1920s-era Art Deco building is the Cachet Boutique Shanghai. The 45 spacious studios and suites come equipped with thoughtful, stylish perks such as fully-stocked kitchenettes and elegant Italian Bisazza tiled bathrooms. A location in the heart of Shanghai, a brief walk from The Bund and the pedestrian street of Wujiang Road means easy access to some of the city’s best eating, drinking and shopping options.

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The PuLi Hotel And Spa

Resort, Suite Hotel, Spa Hotel, Hotel, Luxury
4.7/5 (914 Reviews)
The Deluxe Suite includes an entirely separate master bedroom complete with a marshmallow-like king-size bed. There's also a comfortable lounge area and bathroom, The Puli Hotel and Spa, Shanghai
The Deluxe Suite has a marshmallow-like king-size bed along with a comfortable lounge area and bathroom | Courtesy of The PuLi Hotel and Spa, Shanghai

Opened in 2009, The PuLi was one of Shanghai’s first urban resorts. The lobby, decked out with unique materials and objets d’art, sets the tone here. The 193 rooms and 36 suites are similarly stylish, attended by a team of service-minded staff. A spa, pool and lauded dining outlets round off the extra-curricular activities, not to mention a location within walking distance of even more eating, drinking and shopping options.

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The Middle House

Hotel, Luxury
Opt for a Studio 90 room for a real slice of paradise. Set high above the bustling city below, this room comes with a separated living area and a free mini-bar, not to mention the undisturbed views of the city, The Middle House, Shanghai
Set high above the bustling city below, Studio 90 rooms come with a living area and free minibar | Courtesy of The Middle House, Shanghai

Bold lines and clean silhouettes form the vibe at Shanghai’s The Middle House. The luxuriously designed guest rooms and serviced apartments provide a stylish, comfortable, stylish stay in the city, while a slew of dining outlets and a heated indoor pool are there for rest and relaxation. A location a short walk from the Bund and the pedestrian street-food strip of Wujiang Road means easy access to even more eating, drinking and shopping options.

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The Sukhothai Shanghai

Boutique Hotel
4.7/5 (222 Reviews)
The Sukhothai Shanghai’s rooms are both timeless and contemporary
The Sukhothai Shanghai’s rooms are both timeless and contemporary | Courtesy of The Sukhothai Shanghai

Calming and contemporary is the overwhelming vibe at The Sukhothai Shanghai. Rooms and suites boast thoughtful perks such as a mini bar-cum-wine cellar, organic bath products and a Nespresso coffee machine. A location in the heart of Shanghai, steps from a metro station and an enticing spread of restaurants and shopping outlets, means convenience – though, the hotel’s enticing dining options and spa may just keep you in-house.

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The Shanghai Edition

4.5/5 (72 Reviews)
The Shanghai Edition
Courtesy of The Shanghai Edition / Expedia

Less a hotel, more an elegantly designed, intricately interlinked complex of structures, spaces, and settings is The Shanghai Edition. A dramatic lobby grants access to 145 guest rooms, many with wide-screen views over The Bund and Shanghai’s ever-expanding skyline. The hotel’s communal areas span 10 floors and include a variety of food and drink outlets (including two rooftop bars) and a spa. A location in the centre of Shanghai, a short walk from The Bund, means even more entertainment and shopping options.

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Bulgari Hotel Shanghai

Boutique Hotel, Chain Hotel
4.8/5 (41 Reviews)

Shanghai’s Bulgari Hotel Shanghai unites a modern 48-floor tower and the 1916-era Shanghai Chamber of Commerce building. The rooms and suites are spacious and decadent, and come equipped with the type of amenities you won’t encounter elsewhere, not to mention panoramic views of the iconic Bund waterfront, Pudong skyline and beyond. A spate of dining and drinking outlets and an inviting pool and spa will most likely coax you out of your room.

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Banyan Tree Shanghai On The Bund

Boutique Hotel
4.2/5 (135 Reviews)

Boasting an urban-resort feel is the Banyan Tree Shanghai On The Bund. Rooms are subtle and spacious, many offering city or river views, some with an in-room pool. There’s an emphasis on wellness, with a lauded spa that takes its cues from Thai traditional medicine, as well as a variety of swimming pools and fitness facilities. A location on The Bund means easy access to some of Shanghai’s best entertainment, drinking, dining and shopping spots.

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The Waterhouse at South Bund, Shanghai

Hotel, Luxury

The Waterhouse Shanghai oozes industrial rustic chic. Housed in a three-story building that was once the Japanese Army HQ in the 1930s, this boutique hotel is a shockingly beautiful contrast of old and new. Architects Neri and Hu explain: “This is a hotel that puts the emphasis on the traveller in search of some meaning, and not just the luxury component of living.” Each of the 19 bespoke rooms offers a coffee machine, a minibar, a refrigerator, a seating area with a sofa and more.

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Pudi Boutique Hotel Fuxing Park Shanghai

Pudi Boutique Hotel Fuxing Park Shanghai
Courtesy of Pudi Boutique Hotel / Expedia
It’s not just humans who love the Pudi – this 4.5-star property is a favourite among animal guests, too. Here, you and your four-legged friend will discover an atmospheric space to escape the overwhelming energy of Shanghai, with 52 dark and moody suites available. And if you need someone to look after your pup while you’re out seeing the sights, there are even 24-hour butlers to lend a hand.
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URBN Boutique Shanghai

Eco Hotel, Hotel
4.5/5 (214 Reviews)
URBN Hotel
URBN Hotel | Courtesy of URBN Hotel /
URBN is China’s first carbon-neutral hotel, converting an old post office building with recycled and locally sourced materials like reclaimed hardwood and up-cycled bricks, as well as eco-friendly features like solar shades and water-based air-con. Guest rooms are furbished in black and white decor, ranging in style from simple studios and atrium rooms to elegant garden view rooms and a penthouse.
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Crowne Plaza Century Park Shanghai

Crowne Plaza Century Park Shanghai
Crowne Plaza Century Park Shanghai | Courtesy of Crowne Plaza Century Park Shanghai /

Only five minutes from the Shanghai New International Expo Center, the Century Park Crowne Plaza is a boutique-style luxury hotel in central Shanghai. The suites enjoy five-star decor and furnishings like marble bathrooms and spacious sitting areas, as well as access to a 24-hour fitness centre, the relaxing Spring Spa, the authentic Heji Chinese restaurant and childcare services. Also, the panoramic views of Shanghai are to die for.

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  • Wanda Reign on the Bund

    4.4/5 (52 Reviews)
    Courtesy of Wanda Reign /

    When China’s richest man creates a boutique hotel, he doesn’t mess around. Wang Jianlin’s pet project bills itself as Shanghai’s first ‘seven-star’ hotel, with over-the-top opulence around every corner. The 190 guest rooms are designed in two distinct styles – the modern Art Deco ‘trendy’ suites and the wood-lined ‘noble’ rooms – and Wanda Reign also boasts a range of impressive restaurants and lounges.

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    Hotel Massenet at Sinan Mansions

    Hotel Massenet at Sinan Mansions
    Hotel Massenet is a collection of luxury provincial-style villas | © Hotel Massenet at Sinan Mansions /
    These converted 1920s colonial mansions are the height of luxury and carry the price tag to boot. The 60 upscale villas come with private gardens, butlers and garages. If it’s a little out of your price range, then settle for a taste of luxury at Hotel Massenet’s gorgeous in-house restaurant, Aux Jardins Massenet, housed in its own villa.
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    Metropolo Classiq Shanghai Nanjing Road (East)

    4.2/5 (58 Reviews)
    The Metropolo is just off the main street of the Bund
    The Metropolo is just off the main street of the Bund | Courtesy of Metropolo Classiq Shanghai /

    This hotel might be housed in an old bank, but it’s anything but boring. The stylish boutique has overseen Nanjing Road’s transformation into one of the world’s elite shopping precincts over recent years and these days, guests of the 165 four-star suites are provided a front row seat to the world-class retail action with state-of-the-art amenities and a super central location.

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    Mansion Boutique Hotel, Xuhui

    Boutique Hotel, Hotel
    4.2/5 (82 Reviews)
    Mansion Hotel, Xuhui, Shanghai
    The Mansion Hotel features 1930s-inspired decor | Courtesy of The Mansion Hotel /
    Live the spirit of old Shanghai at the Mansion Hotel, located in a French Concession villa designed by European architect Lafayette in 1932. The former headquarters of Shanghai mob boss Du Yuesheng, the property was once the centre of Shanghai’s infamous opium trade. Today, the Mansion Hotel preserves much of the original furniture and antiques, transporting guests to that bygone era.
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    The Yangtze Boutique Shanghai

    Hotel, Boutique Hotel
    4.4/5 (999 Reviews)
    Each room at The Yangtze Boutique Shanghai features a balcony
    Each room at The Yangtze Boutique Shanghai features a balcony | Courtesy of The Yangtze Boutique Shanghai /

    Nanjing Road is Shanghai’s premier shopping district and this five-star property is the premier boutique hotel in the area. Inhabiting a lavish Art Deco building that dates back to the 1930s, the Yangtze’s 96 rooms exude old-world charm and all boast balconies overlooking the skyline, while the 24-hour fitness centre and spa services are waiting to pamper guests around the clock. The location is enviable as well, just steps from People’s Square and Shanghai’s hottest shops.

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    Les Suites Orient, Bund Shanghai

    4.5/5 (997 Reviews)
    Les Suites Orient, Shanghai
    Les Suites is a great base for exploring Shanghai’s downtown areas | Courtesy of Les Suites Orient /

    The name of this five-star property harks back to the halcyon days of the French Concession, as do the 168 decadent suites. Situated in downtown Shanghai perched high above the 16th-century Yu Gardens, Les Suites Orient features an array of huge guest rooms with glitzy marble bathrooms, a cutting-edge fitness centre, plus a high-end cigar bar and Cafe DongXi, serving both Asian and Western cuisine.

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    The Culture Trip Travel Team contributed additional reporting to this article.

    These recommendations were updated on May 6, 2021 to keep your travel plans fresh.

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