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
- Eco friendly
- 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
The URBN is a wonderful hotel. It's situated on a scenic, tree-lined street that is close to the action without being loud. The building is set back from street which gives it a secluded atmosphere. The architecture is stylish without being sterile. The staff was attentive, the room was clean and well-designed, and I would definitely stay here again.
I stayed here for a 5 night stay in Shanghai and really enjoyed it. The rooms were spacious and the beds very comfortable. The design was very tasteful. I loved the old suitcase-wall behind reception. The staff were very helpful and spent time recommending restaurants for us.
We left our iPad in the room which the hotel arrange to be couriered back to the U.K. for us. This took a lot of their personal time and effort which I thank them for!
The area was great too. I much preferred it to The Bund which I found to be too busy and too touristy.
If I go back to Shanghai, I wouldn’t hesitate t stay at Urbn again.
The term "boutique" hotel is horribly over-used and abused, but URBN is the real deal. It is small with a huge amount of character. A lot of attention has been paid throughout the hotel and it doesn't feel at all corporate. We arrived early, tired after a long flight from England, but our room was already available. We had an Atrium room which was beautifully designed with a lovely bathroom. Complementary water was available. And the bed was firm but very comfortable giving a great night's sleep.
The staff spoke reasonable English so there were no communication problems, and were all very helpful. The complementary breakfasts were delicious, so much so we rarely needed any lunch. The hotel is about 10 mins walk from the nearest metro, and is very well situated for shopping. However most of the sights need a metro ride. We really enjoyed our stay at RUBN and would happily stay there again.
The hotel is wonderfully designed with nice rooms. The breakfast buffet is outstanding with an à la carte section. Moreover the hotel offers afternoon tea. The staff is very friendly and discrete. The location as such is very good as well with sites nearby as well as a metro station.
Good stay at URBN for 7 nights. The hotel is partly constructed from reclaimed wood and bricks from the French Concession era which is a nice touch. The highlights are the lovely staff who can communicate well and are very helpful, as well as the restaurant/bar area with a great selection for breakfast from the a la carte menu and good coffee. The outside terrace is a nice place to chill for happy hour after a long day of walking. Our room was a unique design with 3 levels - a sunken lounge area, entrance/bathroom area, and raised spacious bed. I believe they have other room types so good idea to check with the hotel first for anyone with limited mobility for steps. This hotel is right in the centre of the busy Jing'An Temple area but it is so quiet at night we could sleep with the window open for fresh air. 10 minute walk to Jing'An Temple MRT station, the surrounding streets are tree-lined and a really nice area for exploring. Would stay here again if back in Shanghai.