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Hotel review: Park Hyatt Shanghai (China)

Wednesday newsletters always feature a luxury hotel and/or flight review.

Last April, I travelled to China. Most of my reviews of that trip have been published already. Today, I publish the last one.

Today (August 5, 2015): Review of the Park Hyatt Shanghai (China).

Park Hyatt Shanghai is a sophisticated 5 star luxury hotel located in the heart of Shanghai’s Pudong business district. Occupying floors 79 to 93 of the Shanghai World Financial Center, it is the world’s second highest hotel (behind the The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong). Soaring above this Chinese metropolis, guests can take in sweeping views of the city skyline and Huangpu River from any of its 174 luxury rooms & suites, enjoy a choice of some of Shanghai’s most well-known restaurants, and relax at the stunning pool.

Park Hyatt Shanghai features in my top list of the world’s highest hotels, the best luxury hotels in Shanghai, and the best luxury hotels in China.

In this review (more info below my Youtube clip & slideshow):

  • Pros and things I liked
  • Cons & things to know
  • My verdict
  • Tips for future guests & save money
  • Best time to visit Shanghai
  • How to get there

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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PROS & THINGS I LIKE
  • This is currently the second highest hotel in the world, although it will soon be surpassed by its neighbour, the the 258-room Shanghai Tower J-Hotel. That alone makes a stay or visit at the hotel a must.
  • The hotel is located on floors 79 to 93 of the Shanghai World Financial Center (SWFC), otherwise known as “The Vertical Complex City” and lauded worldwide for its spectacular design. With 474 m (1,555 ft), the SWFC is Shanghai’s second tallest skyscraper and one of the city’s most recognizable landmarks due to the trapezoid aperture at its peak. Together with the Shanghai Tower and Jin Mao Tower, the SWFC forms the world’s first adjacent grouping of three supertall skyscrapers.
  • The location of the hotel, in the heart of the Lujiazui business district in Pudong, is excellent for business travellers. Although the hotel is across the Huangpu River from Shanghai’s historic city center, it is conveniently located as well for tourists because it’s only a 15 minute walk (via elevated walkways) to the Lujiazui metro station and some of Shanghai’s major sightseeing attractions (e.g. Pearl Tower).
  • Park Hyatt’s signature sophisticated, minimalist design throughout the hotel (lobby, restaurants, rooms, & spa) is very impressive and tasteful.
  • Because of its spectacular setting, it  should come as no surprise that the hotel boasts unrivaled views of the Shanghai skyline and the Huangpu River. In fact, IMHO, you won’t see as astonishing a vista as this anywhere else in Shanghai (although I am sure the vistas from the soon-to-open Shanghai Tower J-Hotel will be equally impressive).
  • The hotel has two very elegant and ultra-chic lobbies: a gorgeous entrance lobby on the ground level, and the main lobby (where check-in is done) on the 87th floor. Four elevators shuttle guests in a record time between the two lobbies, so you never have to wait too long to enter or leave the hotel. Separate elevators take guests to the room floors.
  • The hotel has 174 beautifully appointed luxury rooms and suites, with a choice of (extremely comfortable) king or twin beds. All rooms are generously sized and feature high ceilings, massive windows (with breathtaking views), a day bed, a walk-in dressing rooms and a super-de-luxe bathroom with large rain shower and deep soaking tub.
  • The residential-style café lounge behind the reception area, called the Living Room, comes with magnificent views of the Bund. The entire space has been designed to give guests the feeling of being in the living room of an elegant mansion. Here, you can enjoy some light dishes, or simply a cup of your favorite coffee or tea. Watching the sun set behind the vast stretches of concrete blocks at the horizon from the lounge is a mesmerizing experience.
  • The hotel has a lovely spa, called the Water’s Edge Spa, which comprises a tai chi courtyard, two treatment rooms and sauna rooms. The treatments are all inspired by the wisdom of Chinese practices for health and well-being, to restore the harmonious balance to body and mind.
  • The spa’s centerpiece is a spectacular 20 m (66 ft) infinity pool with heated whirlpool, lined in shimmering turquoise Mosaic-tiles, along with loungers that come with views of the city and the Huangpu river. At one end of the pool area, a spacious Tai Chi Courtyard is where a master leads a Tai Chi sessions every morning.
  • Wireless internet is complimentary for all guests.
  • A dedicated 24-hour personal butler service is available to all guest.
  • While the Park Hyatt Shanghai does not have an outdoor space, it borders the Lujizui Central Green Space, a lovely and lush city park which is excellent for a stroll or to escape Shanghai’s hustle & bustle.

CONS & THINGS TO KNOW

This is one of the best luxury hotels in Shanghai, although IMHO, the Peninsula and Mandarin Oriental hotel are better. I did enjoy my stay but it was not perfect and here’s why:

  • Unfortunately, I fell sick during my stay (influenza-like symptoms). Nothing too bad but very inconvenient nonetheless. While this was not the fault of the hotel of course, their ‘attitude’ during the last day of my stay disappointed me. Check-out time was noon, but my flight departed in the evening at 11 pm. All I wanted to do was sleep and rest while waiting for my longhaul flight, so I requested a late check-out. I was denied this possibility (unless I booked a new night), despite the fact that the receptionist could observe that I was not faking my symptoms and that the occupancy rate that day was only 65% (which I later learned from the hotel staff). So, I went to the pool, and had some sleep on the loungers there for the remainder of the day (which was quite embarrassing). I understand that hotels cannot always offer late check-outs because of organisational reasons or because their occupancy rate does not allow them to do so, but in this case, I think they should have done it, simply because the room was available anyhow and because I was feeling very sick. But the staff made no effort to understand my needs and their poor customer service left a very bad taste in my mouth.
  • The hotel’s main lounge (the Living Room) is often too crowded because many non-guests just visit this area to soak in the view from the 87th floor. I think it would be better if the hotel elevators were only accessible to hotel guests or to those with a reservation at one of the hotel bars or restaurants.
  • While the ground lobby is beautifully designed, it’s a little too dark inside and it may confuse guests as one has to pass three doors after navigating a complex maze of turns before arriving to the elevators (that take you to the reception on the 87th floor).
  • When you book a twin room, the room will have 2 single, rather small beds (and not queen sized beds, like is the case in the USA). Beds are very comfy nevertheless.

MY VERDICT
  • Location: 8/10
  • Design: 9/10
  • Rooms: 9/10
  • Food: 8/10
  • Service: 7/10
  • Overall experience: excellent: 8.2/10

TIPS FOR FUTURE GUESTS & SAVE MONEY
  • Save money: Read my tips for getting the best deal at a luxury hotel like the Park Hyatt Shanghai. Book a room at the cheapest price and/or receive many free perks!
  • Save money: I recommend to book a stay at the Park Hyatt Shanghai through a Virtuoso travel agent, which has the benefit of complimentary VIP perks (e.g. villa upgrade, breakfast, early check-in , late check-out, and $100 USD food credit).
  • Save money: Make use of Hyatt’s best rate guarantee to discount the cheapest room rate by a further 20%.
  • Elite members of Hyatt’s loyalty program, World of Hyatt, are well treated, with – amongst other benefits – complimentary room upgrade (when available), early check-in or late check-out  (when available), and free breakfast. Click here to read my review of the World of Hyatt program (with pros & cons).
  • While the vistas are spectacular from all rooms, request or book a room with a view towards the Bund (which will get you the best panoramas of the skyline and river).
  • Read my tips for preparing your trip in time.

BEST TIME TO VISIT

Shanghai weather is generally mild and moist, with four distinct seasons: a pleasant warm spring, a hot rainy summer, a comfortable cool autumn and an overcast cold winter. The region’s location at the estuary of the Yangtze River to the East China Sea makes it so wet that it rains for about one-third of the year. The hottest time here comes in July and August, with more than 10 days at temperatures above 35 °C (95 °F). The coldest time is from the late January to early February. The spring from March to May is recommended as the best time to pay a visit.


HOW TO GET THERE

Shanghai can easily be reached by plane, train or car. For those coming by plane, the city is served by two airports, both a 45-minute cab ride from the hotel (traffic dependent):

  • Shanghai Pudong International Airport (PVG) is the primary international airport serving Shanghai. Check the Wikipedia page of Shanghai Pudong International Airport for an updated list of airlines that offer direct flights to this airport.
  • Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport (SHA) is the main domestic airport serving Shanghai, with limited international flights. Check the Wikipedia page of Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport for an updated list of airlines that offer direct flights to this airport.

HOTEL IN HOUSED IN THE SHANGHAI WORLD FINANCIAL CENTER

HOTEL IN HOUSED IN THE SHANGHAI WORLD FINANCIAL CENTER

HOTEL IN HOUSED IN THE SHANGHAI WORLD FINANCIAL CENTER (SKYSCRAPER ON THE LEFT)

HOTEL IN HOUSED IN THE SHANGHAI WORLD FINANCIAL CENTER (SKYSCRAPER ON THE LEFT)

HOTEL IN HOUSED IN THE SHANGHAI WORLD FINANCIAL CENTER

HOTEL IN HOUSED IN THE SHANGHAI WORLD FINANCIAL CENTER

HOTEL IN HOUSED IN THE SHANGHAI WORLD FINANCIAL CENTER

HOTEL IN HOUSED IN THE SHANGHAI WORLD FINANCIAL CENTER

HOTEL ENTRANCE

HOTEL ENTRANCE

HOTEL ENTRANCE

HOTEL ENTRANCE

HOTEL ENTRANCE

HOTEL ENTRANCE

GROUND FLOOR LOBBY

GROUND FLOOR LOBBY

GROUND FLOOR LOBBY

GROUND FLOOR LOBBY

GROUND FLOOR LOBBY

GROUND FLOOR LOBBY

LOBBY ON 87TH FLOOR

LOBBY ON 87TH FLOOR

LOBBY ON 87TH FLOOR

LOBBY ON 87TH FLOOR

LOBBY ON 87TH FLOOR

LOBBY ON 87TH FLOOR

LOBBY ON 87TH FLOOR

LOBBY ON 87TH FLOOR

LOBBY LOUNGE: THE LIVING ROOM

LOBBY LOUNGE: THE LIVING ROOM

LOBBY LOUNGE: THE LIVING ROOM

LOBBY LOUNGE: THE LIVING ROOM

LOBBY LOUNGE: THE LIVING ROOM

LOBBY LOUNGE: THE LIVING ROOM

VIEW TOWARDS THE BUND FROM THE LOBBY LOUNGE

VIEW TOWARDS THE BUND FROM THE LOBBY LOUNGE

VIEW TOWARDS THE BUND FROM THE LOBBY LOUNGE

VIEW TOWARDS THE BUND FROM THE LOBBY LOUNGE

VIEW TOWARDS THE BUND FROM THE LOBBY LOUNGE (SUNSET)

VIEW TOWARDS THE BUND FROM THE LOBBY LOUNGE (SUNSET)

VIEW TOWARDS THE BUND FROM THE LOBBY LOUNGE (AT NIGHT)

VIEW TOWARDS THE BUND FROM THE LOBBY LOUNGE (AT NIGHT)

HOTEL ELEVATORS

HOTEL ELEVATORS

HOTEL CORRIDOR

HOTEL CORRIDOR

HOTEL CORRIDOR

HOTEL CORRIDOR

HOTEL CORRIDOR

HOTEL CORRIDOR

HOTEL CORRIDOR

HOTEL CORRIDOR

ROOM ENTRANCE

ROOM ENTRANCE

ROOM ENTRANCE

ROOM ENTRANCE

ROOM

ROOM

ROOM

ROOM

ROOM

ROOM

ROOM

ROOM

ROOM

ROOM

ROOM

ROOM

ROOM

ROOM

ROOM

ROOM

ROOM

ROOM

VIEW FROM ROOM

VIEW FROM ROOM

VIEW FROM ROOM

VIEW FROM ROOM

ROOM

ROOM

BATHROOM

BATHROOM

BATHROOM

BATHROOM

BATHROOM

BATHROOM

BATHROOM

BATHROOM

BATHROOM AMENITIES

BATHROOM AMENITIES

BATHROOM AMENITIES

BATHROOM AMENITIES

ROOM AT NIGHT

ROOM AT NIGHT

SWIMMING POOL

SWIMMING POOL

SWIMMING POOL

SWIMMING POOL

SWIMMING POOL

SWIMMING POOL

SWIMMING POOL: LOUNGERS

SWIMMING POOL: LOUNGERS

SWIMMING POOL

SWIMMING POOL

SWIMMING POOL

SWIMMING POOL

SWIMMING POOL AT NIGHT

SWIMMING POOL AT NIGHT

SWIMMING POOL AT NIGHT

SWIMMING POOL AT NIGHT

PANTRY RESTAURANT

PANTRY RESTAURANT

PANTRY RESTAURANT

PANTRY RESTAURANT

PANTRY RESTAURANT

PANTRY RESTAURANT

100 CENTURY AVENUE RESTAURANT

100 CENTURY AVENUE RESTAURANT

100 CENTURY AVENUE RESTAURANT

100 CENTURY AVENUE RESTAURANT

100 CENTURY AVENUE RESTAURANT

100 CENTURY AVENUE RESTAURANT

100 CENTURY AVENUE RESTAURANT: PUMPKIN SOUP

100 CENTURY AVENUE RESTAURANT: PUMPKIN SOUP

100 CENTURY AVENUE RESTAURANT AT NIGHT

100 CENTURY AVENUE RESTAURANT AT NIGHT

100 CENTURY AVENUE RESTAURANT AT NIGHT

100 CENTURY AVENUE RESTAURANT AT NIGHT

100 CENTURY AVENUE RESTAURANT AT NIGHT

100 CENTURY AVENUE RESTAURANT AT NIGHT

100 CENTURY AVENUE RESTAURANT AT NIGHT

100 CENTURY AVENUE RESTAURANT AT NIGHT

100 CENTURY AVENUE RESTAURANT AT NIGHT

100 CENTURY AVENUE RESTAURANT AT NIGHT


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1 Comment on Hotel review: Park Hyatt Shanghai (China)

  1. We are well known and widely published travel writers who would like to send you articles to publish on your site. Please advise. The Frommers, MYRNA,HARVEY

    Sent from my iPad

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