There's no shortage of boutique stays in Shanghai from hypermodern skyscrapers to historic shikumen buildings that recall Old Shanghai. We've rounded up the city's best, no matter which style you prefer.
Capella Shanghai, Jian Ye Li
Hidden among the tree-lined streets of the Former French Concession, you'll find the just opened Capella Shanghai. The resort is one of the last remaining clusters of 1930s shikumen architecture, with 55 villas that blend classic Chinese elements and 19th-century French furnishings. Don't miss dinner at the hotel's French-inspired le Comptoir de Pierre Gagnaire, acclaimed chef Pierre Gagnaire’s first restaurant in Mainland China.
The Langham Shanghai Xintiandi
With a striking exterior emulating the pattern of a Chinese window lattice, The Langham Shanghai is right at home in the Xintiandi neighborhood, where historic shikumen buildings blend seamlessly with luxury brand shops. Inside, you'll find floor-to-ceiling windows throughout the property, and 357 rooms done up in slick, contemporary furniture and Chinese-inspired accents like qiao mai sleeping pillows (traditional pillows stuffed with buckwheat). Book a treatment at the Chuan Spa, which offers consultations with Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) healers, and make sure to take advantage of the complimentary ride in one of the The Langham’s signature Pink Taxis.
Mandarin Oriental Pudong, Shanghai
The Mandarin Oriental Pudong has all the brand's signature Asian-inspired design elements, but it's the impeccable service that keeps the fans coming back. A knowledgeable staff is on hand to anticipate your every need from late night room service to last-minute restaurant reservations. Fun fact: the hotel is home to the largest suite in Shanghai, measuring a palatial 8,482 square feet, complete with Jacuzzi, steam room, private gym, a spa treatment room and a fully equipped kitchen.
The PuLi Hotel and Spa, Shanghai
Yes, the PuLi delivers all the quintessential perks of a modern hotel, yet it also offers one the most valuable commodities in Shanghai - some peace and quiet (no easy feat considering it's in the center of bustling Jing’an). The PuLi’s understated design (a sleek, black-tiled lobby; gray Shanghai brick tiled bathrooms; fishscale lattice pocket doors; tables topped with slate-colored inkstone) echo a far-flung tropical resort. The gem of this urban retreat is the 5,380-square-foot Anantara Spa, which has a lap pool overlooking the beautifully landscaped Jing'an Park.
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The St. Regis Shanghai Jing’an
If you're looking for the grandeur of The Bund minus the crowds, look no further than The St. Regis, where private butler service is a given for every guest. The property is just a short walk from West Nanjing Road’s shopping district and a host of bars and restaurants, but should you decide to dine in, you've got your choice of six restaurants and bars. A must-try is the the hotel’s renowned ‘Mary Jing,’ a spin on the classic Bloody Mary served with Shanghai spices and local ingredients such as dried preserved figs infused in vodka and Osmanthus flowers.
The Ritz-Carlton Shanghai, Pudong
The Ritz-Carlton is used to the view from the top. The brand's Pudong location occupies the top 18 levels of the 58-story Shanghai IFC Tower in Lujiazui. Rooms have sweeping views of the city, as does the indoor infinity pool and spa on the 55th floor. Don’t miss sunset drinks at Flair, the al-fresco rooftop bar, which puts you face-to-face with the top of the Oriental Pearl Tower. If you're a Club level guest, take advantage of the added perks, namely the Caviar Tasting held every Friday evening.
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Waldorf Astoria Shanghai on the Bund
If these walls could talk! The two buildings of the Waldorf Astoria connect Shanghai’s storied past with the 21st century. The Waldorf Astoria Club, a heritage 1910 building in a superlative location on The Bund, is the former site of The Shanghai Club, an elite social club in old Shanghai. It features 20 suites that bring guests back to the heyday of Shanghai glamour with colonial-style design details like timber floors and romantic poster canopy beds. Across the manicured courtyard, sits the Waldorf Astoria Tower, a contemporary building with 240 rooms and suites, with postcard-perfect views of the Bund.
Wanda Reign on the Bund
‘Go big or go home’ should be the slogan at the Wanda Reign. Your jaw will drop as soon as you enter the colossal lobby, which is covered from top to bottom in marble and jade and adorned with impressive artwork (just look to the 26 x 26 foot painting Splendid Orient by contemporary Chinese artist, Shi Qi). The only thing more dazzling than the hotel's interior is the stunning view of The Bund, Huangpu River, Pudong skyline and Yu Garden from the 193 luxurious guestrooms.
Bellagio by MGM Shanghai
Set to debut early next year, the Bellagio Shanghai is the first Bellagio outside of the US and one of the most buzzed about openings of the year. The hotel trades the Vegas strip for the banks of Suzhou River, next to the historic Waibaidu Bridge, and has 162 luxe guest rooms and suites, plus an outpost of Café Bellagio.