The Mansion Hotel
What We Love
- Chinese or American breakfast is included in the Jetsetter rate
- Spacious rooms come with pool-size Jacuzzis, faux fireplaces and, in the best rooms, large stone balconies
- The museum-like lobby is filled with compelling Shanghai memorabilia, ranging from opium pipes to gramophones playing Shanghai jazz
What To Know
- Although staff is friendly and welcoming, the service in English can be patchy
- There is no gym or swimming pool
- Simple breakfast is offered in a small breakfast room, or you can venture out to the authentic “hawker street” around the corner
- You’re right in the heart of the historic French Concession, within strolling distance of cafés, boutiques and bars
- Free WiFi
- Parking On Site
This stately 1932 French-style stone mansion has a storied past as a gangster hangout; it is claimed that up to 40 percent of the world’s opium was trafficked through here during the 1930s. The grandiose lobby – a little frayed around the edges – recalls this period of unabashed glamour, with velvet armchairs, Art Deco chandeliers and sepia portraits. An antique gramophone plays rare recordings of Beijing opera singer Mei Lanfang, who used to perform for Shanghai mob boss Du Yue-Sheng in this very room.
Bed and Bath
The retro ambience extends to the 24 guestrooms, which feature 15-foot ceilings and repro antiques. Richly upholstered ottomans, carved wooden writing desks and faux-flickering fireplaces blend with such modern conveniences as cable TV, free WiFi and printer/scanners. Double doors open into a sensational bathroom – trimmed in white marble and dark wood, with a Jacuzzi the size of a small swimming pool, a Japanese toilet and Lanvin Parfum lotions. Book one of the eight rooms with a large stone balcony overlooking the courtyard and the onion domes of the former Russian Church.
Mansion Veranda restaurant offers Italian-inspired fare in a glass enclosure and alfresco dining on the hotel rooftop. It is particularly pleasant for sundowner drinks with views of Shanghai’s historic neighborhoods. Two Chinese restaurants, divided across 10 small private rooms, serve high-end Cantonese cuisine and refined Shaoxing dishes. High tea on tiered silver stands surrounded by the hotel lobby’s early 20th-century memorabilia is an atmospheric afternoon treat.
How to Get There
I would never stay in this hotel again even if someone paid me to do so. Mould in bathroom and walls, very dirty carpet, inadequate cleaning since I found a packet of cigaretes from the previous person that stayed in my room and people in the reception just dont care!!! I arrived with 3 bags, no-one there to help. In the breakfast I was waiting 10 minutes for someone to come and get the order (yes you have to fill a paper with your selection of things you want) and it looked as if i am invisible for the employees. This hotel should have been a real gem if worked properly but it is left deserted. Not even the health inspection cares since if this was Europe it would have been closed permanently for the mould.. The only reason I give 2 stars instead of 1 is the very good location and the polite girl in the reception my last day there that was helpful, tried to speak English and help me with a taxi.
The history behind this hotel is nice but the overall experience was terrible. The service is slow and not customer focussed. It took ages to check-in and one of my colleague was given a room already busy! The bathroom was dirty. The “breakfast” should be avoided. It is a shame: this hotel could be nice but many significant issues should be fixed.
Lovely garden and lovely. Once a private home this hotel today is an oasis in the city. Charming boutique hotel with lots of history.
It does need better maintenance and upkeep. The gardens are beautiful as is the rooftop terrace.
Staff is good, but only a handful speak English.
This hotel in the heart of the Former French Concession has great features but could also improve in a lot of areas. I gave it a "very good" but it's not. It's somewhere between average and very good (not a choice above).
The pros: (1) gorgeous lobby with antiques from the 1920s and 1930s, including old photographs, a record player, an antique opium pipe, rickshaw registrations, casino chips, etc.. It's beautiful and full of history; (2) excellent location near a little park where locals dance and do tai chi, and near many restaurants (the Cathay Theatre is also close by and worth seeing); and (3) the rooms are big and furnished in the same style. The building used to be owned by "Big-Eared" Du who was an opium importer and mafia boss. Very cool.
The cons: (1) the staff does not speak English so do not expect any assistance or concierge service; (2) the carpets are dirty and the entire place could use a cleaning; and (3) the breakfast is the worst breakfast I have ever had (they need to invest in a good coffee machine and focus on the needs of Europeans and Americans, not only Chinese people, if they want to grow the business and be more successful).
In conclusion, I recommend the hotel but with reservations. There are much better hotels on the Bund. But it's more interesting than most hotels in Pudong for example.
I love Shanghai and this charming and elegant historic hotel is in the very centre of the most interesting part of the city. Inside this classic vintage hotel is beautifully decorated with cinematic objects from Shanghai’s colourful and exciting past. The rooms are comfortable and quiet and the lounges are very attractive places to sit and plan a day of sightseeing. With a luxury mall, a pocket park, street food and some great boutiques on the doorstep this really is a lovely base for a Shanghai experience.