URBN Hotel Shanghai
What We Love
- Continental breakfast included in the rate
- Rigorously eco-friendly design and operations
- Great location near the French Concession
- Excellent programming, like in-room Mandarin lessons and bike tours of Shanghai
- Floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking colonial-era buildings in Garden View Rooms
What To Know
- Rooms are a little small
- Not ideal for families
- The Social bar is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays
- Free WiFi
Green isn’t a word often thrown around with new hotel construction (or any construction, for that matter) in China. But the Urbn Shanghai, which opened a few blocks off Nanjing Road in early 2008, manages to deliver a dose of eco-consciousness wrapped up in a decidedly stylish package.
Housed in a former factory and post office, the 26-room hotel integrates reclaimed and local materials wherever it can. The mahogany floorboards, gray brick and slate (which is most serenely used in the hotel’s interior bamboo garden) were all reclaimed from buildings due for demolition. Even the hotel’s more decorative touches give a nod to sustainability. The lobby is anchored by a wall sculpture made from recycled vintage leather suitcases, and the hanging lanterns use fluorescent bulbs.
While many eco-friendly hotels feel a little too earnest, the Urbn balances its comprehensive eco plan with comfort and style. The rooms, though small, are well designed, with clean lines, large, low platform beds, sunken wraparound seating areas (the bench cushions are, naturally, covered in hemp) and huge windows that allow in tons of sunlight. The rooms also feature an abundance of natural materials: mahogany-paneled inserts in walls that house flat-screen TVs and, in some rooms, raised slate bathtubs. The whole effect is very Zen, though not at all austere.
For dining, the hotel offers a new restaurant concept in partnership with Australian restaurateur David Laris. At Downstairs with David Laris, the waiters wear patchwork aprons and serve global comfort foods (truffled mac and cheese, Asian-inspired chicken noodle soup) that is organic and sustainably grown wherever possible.
The adjacent lounge and rooftop bar offers biodynamic and organic wines, along with a menu of other tasty cocktails. In an effort to connect guests with Shanghai, the Urbn has created a range of creative programs, from in-room Mandarin lessons and tai chi classes to workshops in traditional tea ceremonies and tours of the city by bike.
How to Get There
I stayed here for 6 days.
The pros for this place are that the room is spacious and the entire hotel does not smell like smoke, which is a big feat here in China. Also, the breakfast is pretty good.
I am suspicious about how clean the rooms are because I complained that my bathroom smelled like urine. Housekeeping came, spray some floral scented room spray and called it a day. I personally witnessed the entire episode.
Another thing I don’t care for is how “Western” they strive to be. Afternoon, we are in China, let’s celebrate that a bit. I
I personally do not think the design of the rooms are conducive for extended stays, at least my room. The rooms have no drawers/dressers and the bathroom has no counter space for your toiletries.
I stayed here with my husband for 6 nights and really could not be more satisfied with the hotel. We had a garden view room, which was spacious and well appointed. The room and hotel in general was quiet and desk and bar staff were all very helpful and friendly. There were a couple of events in the dining area while we stayed, but they really did not impact us at all. We had a late flight but were able to check out late and therefore take advantage of the whole day. I would definitely recommend!
The concept of the hotel is a very boutique one. It obviously makes it standing out of the crowd from big affiliated chain hotels available around Shanghai. The rooms are amazing and spacious, equipped with everything you might think about, including big flat screen TV's, sounds systems, Spanish bathroom amenities etc. On the top of that what you get is a very well trained staff, willing to help you to resolve any potential problem or simply getting you a taxi.
Needless to say hotel location is a very convenient one, it is just in the heart of Shanghai, all sightseeings and landmarks are very close and the major shopping venues within the walking distance.
Summarising, my review I'd like to express my gratitude to the entire URBN team for their top-notch attitude towards service and a clear understanding of what hospitality is all about.
Thanks for making my Birthday weekend at this place exceptional and full of good memories.