Welcome to Shanghai, a city of glamour, mystique, heritage and pure excess. The city skyline is peppered with jaw-dropping sky-scrapers, dazzling and twinkling at night whilst the great 1920s have left their mark on the metropolis thanks to elegant art deco buildings dotted in between modernist structures. Between these discover Jesuit cathedrals, Jewish synagogues and Buddhist temples – Shanghai has an architectural mix like no other city in the world. The culinary scene of this contemporary city is as exciting and varied. Meals are the hub of Chinese social life so do as the locals do and make a meal of it! It’s no surprise that luxury shopping here is a huge hobby too. From Prada to Gucci, plus a smattering of charming independent boutiques, bustling markets and vintage shops, retail is the therapy of the day in Shanghai. Here is a section of our favourite luxury and 5-star hotels in the city.
Voted No.1 Best Hotel Brand in the World at the Travel + Leisure World’s Best Awards 2023, Capella is an all-villa resort. The building itself is one of the Xuhui District’s last shikumen townhouses and dates back to the 1930s. The interiors were overhauled by Jaya Design International for its opening in 2017 and tapped into the original architect’s vision (Jian Ye Li). As such, it fuses timeless French and Chinese elements. It’s here that a top chef opened his first restaurant in mainland China; Le Comptoir de Pierre Gagnaire. And the Auriga Spa provides innovative treatments based on the phases of the moon. Want to explore further afield? Capella culturists are on hand to arrange interactive experiences on foot or cycle.
Portman Ritz-Carlton Shanghai (5 Star)
Set on the West Nanjing Road, this 593-room hotel is surrounded by shopping, dining and entertainment options in the city’s downtown area. The design channels contemporary Chinese style and is accompanied by impeccable service. In addition to an outdoor pool (and whirlpool), it has a swimming pool within the health and fitness centre. Choose a Club Level room for access to an exclusive lounge with complimentary treats. Or make use of the main dining and drinking venues; Portman’s Restaurant and The Ritz Bar & Lounge. There’s also a spa and a kid’s club.
The Middle House (5 Star)
Appealing to foodies, art lovers, digital nomads and those who appreciate slick design, The Middle House occupies a central setting in buzzing Dazhongli. It incorporates Italian style values and modern Chinese motifs, with a boutique concept, across two towers. 213 bedrooms come with Bluetooth speakers, coffee machines, yoga mats and hand weights. The basement houses a 33-meter adults-only pool and the cutting-edge Mi Xun Spa with treatments rooted in traditional Chinese medicine principles. And there are three sophisticated, on-trend places to eat, together covering Italian, Cantonese, Shanghainese and Sichuan fare.
Regent Shanghai Pudong (5 Star)
Admire the city’s glittering skyline as you swim in the 41st-floor jade-tiled infinity-edge lap pool and soothe aching muscles in the bubbling hydro pool. The Regent occupies 10 storeys of the 21st Century Tower, accommodating 187 rooms and suites. Each comes with 400-thread count linen, an Illy coffee maker, Frederic Malle toiletries, a Frette bathrobe, a sunken bathtub and a walk-in shower. The decor brings in aspects of Art Deco design, with accents of bold red and Macassar ebony. There are three restaurants onsite; the Italian Camelia, Mi Teppanyaki And Sushi Lounge and Shàng-Xí with five private dining rooms.
The PuLi Hotel and Spa (5 Star)
The PuLi Hotel and Spa is located in the heart of Shanghai for ease and convenience, but its luxurious facilities and urban resort vibe means that you’ll still feel like you’re getting away from it all. Take advantage of the generous and comfortable rooms, Michelin-starred restaurant, 24-hour butler service and state-of-the-art health club, including a stunning infinity pool with a view of Jing’An Park, for ultimate relaxation.
Fairmont Peace Hotel (5 Star)
The fabulous Fairmont Peace Hotel combines Art Deco glamour with up-to-the-minute indulgence. Located in a prime spot right on Nanjing Road, China’s most famous shopping street, it’s an ideal base from which to explore the variety and excitement of Shanghai. Choose from six high-quality restaurants and lounges, including the ninth-floor terrace with unparalleled views of the city, and when it’s time to retire for the night, enjoy luxurious accommodations that have seen almost a century of history.
Jumeirah Himalayas Hotel (5 Star)
If you’re looking for a modern yet elegant fusion of tradition and the latest innovation, the award-winning Jumeirah Himalayas Hotel is an excellent choice, with artwork and interior design inspired by China’s culture and history. The facilities include a spa and health club offering a variety of relaxing treatments and equipped with ice and fire rooms and traditional stone baths, and if you choose to visit the gym, the staff will even provide you with a pre-loaded music player to ensure a great workout.
Grand Hyatt Shanghai (5 Star)
Situated in the breathtaking Jin Mao Tower, the Grand Hyatt Shanghai is one of the top ten highest hotels in the world, and is certainly also among the most unique. With well-equipped rooms with stunning views and ten exquisite restaurants and bars, you need never leave, but when you do the hotel’s central location in the Lujiazui financial district puts the whole of Shanghai at your feet.
Banyan Tree Shanghai on the Bund (5 Star)
This stylish urban retreat sits on the bank of the Huangpu River, giving guests a sense of serene relaxation even in the vibrant heart of Shanghai. Dine in style on a terrace overlooking the Bund, take afternoon tea in the sophisticated Banyan Lounge, or enjoy drinks on the roof bar. Unwind in one of the three relaxation pools or visit the yoga studio to find your serenity after a busy day exploring everything the city has to offer.
Four Seasons Hotel Shanghai at Pudong (5 Star)
The Four Seasons Hotel Shanghai at Pudong is an ideal base for exploring the Pudong district, with its distinctive skyline and fast-paced, exciting atmosphere. Experience Michelin-recommended Cantonese cuisine at the Shàng-Xí restaurant, or relaxed authentic Italian dining at Camelia, where the Sunday brunches are famous. Plus, if you’re travelling with family, the children’s welcome program will ensure the little ones are well taken care of.
The Ritz-Carlton Shanghai, Pudong (5 Star)
The lavish and elegant Ritz-Carlton Shanghai, Pudong is located on the upper floors of a 58-floor tower, giving stunning views of the city in all directions. The nearby Shanghai Oriental Pearl TV Tower, when lit up at night, makes the perfect backdrop to an evening spent at Flair, the highest rooftop bar in China. If that’s not to your taste, the hotel features two gorgeous restaurants, and the Aura Lounge and Jazz Bar serves delicious cocktails and more than 30 varieties of Rose Champagne.
Waldorf Astoria Shanghai on the Bund (5 Star)
Located in the former home of the famed Shanghai Club, the award-winning Waldorf Astoria Shanghai on the Bund stands out from the crowd with its seamless combination of Baroque Revival architecture and a brand new building in modern style. Within easy reach for a stroll along the Bund or the delights of Nanjing Road, it offers such excellent service that you won’t want to leave – from luxurious massages and treatments in the spa to personal shopping assistants and an on-site florist, as well as six distinctive dining options to suit all tastes. Make sure to check out the Long Bar, painstakingly restored to its former glory with the help of historic records and archive photographs.
Park Hyatt, Shanghai (5 Star)
One of the tallest hotels in the world, the Park Hyatt Shanghai sits 79 floors up in the Shanghai World Financial Centre, at the beating heart of the Lujiazui financial district. If you’re looking for comfort, the Park Hyatt has the largest standard rooms in Shanghai, as well as high ceilings for a spacious feel, and every room is elegantly and luxuriously appointed with a walk-in dressing room. Take advantage of the complimentary Tai chi class in the courtyard each morning to start your day right.
The Peninsula Shanghai (5 Star)
The award-winning Peninsula Shanghai holds the distinction of being the only new building on the Bund on the past 70 years. Combining retro style with modern amenities, it showcases the best Shanghai has to offer. Choose between two Michelin-starred restaurants as well as bars, lounges and 24-hour in-room dining for ultimate comfort, and be sure to take a dip in the stunningly beautiful Art Deco swimming pool.
Mandarin Oriental Pudong (5 Star)
If you’re looking for elegant contemporary design, the Mandarin Oriental Pudong is the perfect destination. Every space is like a work of art, and the facilities live up to the promise of the exquisite décor. See your meal being prepared in Zest’s fascinating show kitchen, or indulge in something special in the Mandarin Cake Shop, which serves delicious fresh-baked treats in stylish surroundings.