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
Parking on site
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A 1930s opium gangster’s mansion turned heritage-themed boutique hotel with stone balconies and bubble baths
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.