The Waterhouse at South Bund
What We Love
- An eye for authentic and industrial chic details, down to the tin trays that date back to the Cultural Revolution
- Spectacular views of Pudong from the rooftop bar
- The reception’s elevated ceilings and unfinished walls up the cool quotient
What To Know
- Room 17 has a window visible from the lobby
- The nearest metro station is a 15-minute walk away
- Free WiFi
Once a dockyard warehouse, this South Bund hotel was designed by locally based studio Neri & Hu to preserve many of the building’s original features – the metal window frames have been left intact, as well as the raw shell of the industrial building. Inside, however, it’s all concrete, brick, glass, and steel deployed to great effect, with a creative merging of the public and private (unexpected windows connect the public spaces, bathrooms have glass doors).
Bed and Bath
Of the 19 rooms (11 of which are suites), the ones to book are those that have double-height windows with views of the Huangpu River. Tiny foyers make each space feel bigger, while contemporary, minimalist touches – white walls, polished timber floors, an occasional wall of exposed brick – as well as furniture pieces by Hans Wegner, Arne Jacobsen, and Finn Juhl are not-so-subtle nods to Scandinavian design. What’s more, the Copula rooms can be connected – handy if you’re traveling with friends.
Table No.1, the brainchild restaurant of Michelin-starred British chef Jason Atherton that occupies the hotel’s ground floor, is one of the chicest in Shanghai. Its modern European menu draws a perpetual crowd, so reservations are essential. Up at the rooftop bar, guests can indulge in clever, locally-inspired cocktails made with ingredients like soy sauce and lime (they’re better than you think) – all accompanied by the backdrop of Pudong’s glowing, futuristic skyscrapers just across the river.
In the Area
The Bund is a playground for both locals and tourists, who gather on the banks of the river nightly to gawp and snap selfies in front of the lights. Within walking distance is the South Bund Fabric Market, where tailors whip up custom-made clothes in hundreds of different textiles. Take a ferry down the river to get a closer look at the skyline (ask the concierge to direct you), or hop in a taxi bound for the French Concession, a chilled-out historic neighborhood of chic shops and restaurants in colonial buildings on tree-lined streets.
How to Get There
Stayed one night (room 32) which was one of the suites - great size room and amazing views. The joinery in room appeared worn out / paint peeling etc - we couldn’t quite work out if this was the look or lack of maintenance!
The overall architecture of the hotel is very industrial and the foyer area amazing.
The service could be sharper - both at checkin and in the bar/breakfast area. The roof top was closed both on the Sunday evening and Monday morning (very strange you can’t even go up there to take photos).
The best part was the restaurant - Oxaflis (think that’s the spelling) - some of the best French / international food in Shanghai and the environment sublime. ( Must try the Pork Shoulder).
Looks like the whole waterfront promenade has just been completed right out front of the hotel - so was about a 25 minutes walk all the way along the promenade to the main Bund (stunning views the whole way).
Overall good Stay/cation experience - and would definitely return to the restaurant.
The Waterhouse is a fairly new player in Shanghai. It is not one of the big hotels. Located at the south end of the Bund it is a bit out... you need to walk a bit to the next subway station or you need to take a taxi. Rooms are fairly large & stylish, service is great. Breakfast is good as well.Try "Cool Docks", a bar/pub/small restaurant place - which is new as well. It is literally less then 100 steps from the hotel.
The environment of the hotel is really seedy. The rooms was tiny and the balcony as mentioned in the room description was just too tiny to stand on it and with on top of that an awful view and big lorries driving just underneath on a bumpy road....The room already appeared old with a low maintenance. The website is very deceptive ! Just a better point for the lobby area and the breakfast room. I will never recommend this hotel...
Great modern architecture, not too difficult to find. I arrived 2AM due to flight delays. There was no 1 at the reception, finally shouted for service and a sleeping security woke up and said that someone will come in Chinese. I finally got checked in and escorted to the room. Nothing was really explained and wasn't sure if the mini bar etc was free as there was no price list. Ran and too a bath and went to sleep.
Breakfast, small variety, cheap egg station ok. Clear your own plates, get your own coffee. Only pot coffee is included if you want a foam milk etc its about 50RMB.. mmmmm considering i just paid 1100RMB for 1 night I think this is not acceptable, specially putting into consideration of the tiny breakfast selection. Went to have a shower the hot water doesn't work. Climbed into the bathtub again for a quick wash... no shower head! I think over all my quick stay was a fail. I hope the management get it together as the property is great but so many issues which needs to be addressed.. P.S staff does not greet you not sure if the cold service is to go with the design elements of the hotel.
The pictures on the website look really nice and the hotel & lobby area is pretty awesome with the industrial vibe they got going on. Overall I was pretty excited but when I stepped in my room the disappointment hit. It didn’t look anything like the photos and the room was incredibly small and not that clean (dust bunnies and dirty floors). When I ended up going to bed, I had a hard time sleeping because of all the noise down in the courtyard. That first night was so bad I ended up cutting my stay short and heading to a different hotel in the city.