If you are searching for a luxurious destination where you can escape the stress of everyday life and soak up an array of indulgences, then I strongly recommend Shanghai. By blending ancient cultures and modern technology, this amazing metropolis stands out as one of the most incredible destinations on the planet. Plus, the city is a wonderful place to indulge in luxury. From amazing hotels to world-class shopping, Shanghai has everything that you could desire.
Truly Luxurious Hotels in Shanghai
The first thing to plan for your Shanghai getaway should be the accommodation. In a city with millions of residents and just as many visitors, it should come as no surprise that the city boasts hundreds of hotel and apartments. However, it is the luxury hotels that are my absolute favourite places to stay. As a bonus, these luxury hotels are far more affordable than the same quality rooms in Europe or America, and the service is typically the best you can find on the planet. Arguably the best hotel in the city is the Mandarin Oriental Pudong, which is right in the heart of the Shanghai Financial District and therefore a hit with business travellers. If you are need of some pampering, don’t miss out on the incredible spa in the JW Marriot, which is my go-to spot for massages after a long international flight. A few of the other top hotels in Shanghai for travellers in need of luxury are the Pudong Shangri-La, the Portman Ritz-Carlton and the Four Seasons Shanghai.
The Best Shopping in the City
One of the major reasons to come to Shanghai is for the chance to go shopping in some of the best malls and markets in China. While there are some affordable clothing markets and stalls selling trinkets, your best bet is to head over to the French Concession. This district is home to five expansive shopping malls, each full of upscale jewellery, electronics, shoes and clothing. Fashion lovers who have a love of tailor-made clothes might want to stop by the Xiliupu Fabric Market, which is home to a number of skilled tailors. You can drop off designs, get measured, pick the fabric and then come back a day or two later to purchase the amazing finished product.
What to See: Amazing Shanghai Attractions
No trip to Shanghai would be complete without seeing some of the city’s historical attractions. The city has a rich colonial heritage, and that has definitely influenced the language, cuisine, culture and architecture throughout the city. If you have time to head just outside of the city, the Zhujiajiao Water Town is not to be missed.
Of course, those in search of classic French architecture should visit the Bund, which is often the first stop on a traveller’s itinerary. Walk up and down Fuxing Road and Shaoxing Road to see the best structures in the colonial style. History enthusiasts might want to see the former homes of Chinese leaders like Zhou Enlai and Sun Yat-Sen.
Getting Around Shanghai in Style
Shanghai is a sprawling and densely-populated city, but the public transport options are both efficient and affordable. I am often happy to use a metro card or the bus system to get around, but for a luxury getaway a better option might be a hired car with driver. The cost of this service is actually quite affordable in Shanghai, and it will often cost far less per day than your accommodation. Ask at your hotel for a recommendation or have the concierge book it for you.
World-Class Dining in the City
Part of any luxury trip to Shanghai should include indulging in some of the best local cuisine. M on the Bund and Canton are two exceptional favourites for authentic and tasty Shanghai dishes. Many of the most high-end dining establishments are found in the French Concession, and Le Saleya, Shintori and Casanova offer luxury international dining popular with visitors.
For a luxury getaway, few places can compete with Shanghai. It is one of my favorite destinations in Asia thanks to world-class shopping, wonderful architecture and incredible accommodation choices.