Nestled in Shanghai’s city center, the soaring sanctuary of the Pudong Shangri-La offers the most elegant views of both historic and modern Shanghai.
Pudong, a more recently developed district of Shanghai, located east of the Huangpu River and right across from Puxi, the historic city center, wasn’t always considered to be the “real” Shanghai. Although it is now home to some of Shanghai’s best known neo-futurist buildings and the 2nd tallest building in the world, Shanghai Tower, it was only a few decades ago that Pudong was mainly farmland. Thanks to its designation as a Special Economic Zone in 1993, it has risen up into a beautiful example of a modern metropolis that strikes a balance between cutting edge and old style. This is definitely the area to stay, while visiting Shanghai!
Sitting next to the Huangpu River, is the soaring sanctuary of Pudong Shangri-La, East Shanghai. Having great memories of being pampered at the Shangri-La China World Summit Wing Hotel in Beijing, Chris and I were looking forward to our next Shangri-La experience. We had already been in Shanghai for a few days, but this was our first time being right in the heart of the largest city in the world.
We were picked up from our previous hotel in Shanghai by private black car, which they call a limo in China...The luxury sedan also took us to the airport in the same manner. Although we could have taken a taxi to and from the hotel, the private car felt more intimate and to be frank, had Chris and me feeling a bit fancy. It started our luxury experience before we even got to the hotel and it was nice not to have to hassle with organizing a taxi and negotiating rates.
The Pudong Shangri-La was one of the first luxury hotels built in the now modern metropolis of Shanghai. Now it’s a fixture within the designer shops and luxury hotels that make up one of the most recognizable city centers in the world. The property is huge with two separate wings, the original wing and the new wing, or more aptly named the River Wing and Grand Tower.
The original River Wing, with its earthy hued carpets and wall coverings, has a more homey and relaxed feeling to it. We stayed in the Grand Tower, the more business orientated wing that reflected luxury and contemporary design.
Depending on what wing you’re in, you’ll have views of the historic Bund, the mighty Huangpu River, and the futuristic, neon, colorful Pudong financial district cityscape. Together both wings house 952 rooms and suites...yeah it’s a big hotel! They are connected to IFC Mall, and located in between the wings are a range of designer shops, restaurants and bars including one of my favorites for little souvenirs, Shanghai Tang.
During our visit, we stayed in the "Grand Tower Horizon Club Premier Bund View Room," which gave us access to the Horizon Club and a few special perks, like a VIP welcome. It all started when a member from the team met us the moment we pulled up to the hotel and took us directly to our room. There we had a private check in, over hot tea and pastries as we got settled into our new surroundings. After the formalities, we were gifted with a set of pillow cases that had our initials embroidered on them...such a unique and thoughtful touch!
The room was elegant and classically designed, but the view was the best part. Through our floor to ceiling windows, we looked out over the river and the surrounding city. Our room had plenty of space to stretch out in and lot of outlets for all our electronics…something that is still rare at hotels. The closet was huge, as was the bathroom with a separate shower and tub. The housekeepers were so meticulous that they even folded my dirty gym clothes!
Access to the Horizon Club
When you can, always get access to the private, club-level lounge. You get great service, access to meeting rooms, complimentary snacks, drinks, suit pressing, and shoe shining! We had breakfast there once, which was a slimmed down version of their main buffet, but worth it for the privacy. Evening cocktails and canapes, an activity Chris and I always enjoy to finish off the day, were also included.
Dining at Jade on 36
The area around the hotel and the hotel itself has plenty of delicious dining options but Jade on 36 came recommended so we had to try it out. The restaurant is on the 36th (top) floor and has incredible views of the city below. The ambiance is casual yet refined and the food is mostly French yet with very modern influences. I loved how comfortable the restaurant was with its natural setting and usage of wood, while at the same time offering breathtaking views of the Bund and Shanghai.
I could have come dressed up or casual and still received amazing service as we sipped on wine all night. Oysters and foie gras are a must to start with as is the “Jade on 36 garden” - it’s an edible flower pot, complete with edible soil, flowers and veggies. Truthfully, I could have just ordered an array of appetizers, as they were all so different and delicious. Yet if you’re looking for something a bit more healthier, go with the slow cooked salmon, it’s perfect!
Spa Treatment at Chi Spa
If you’re looking to have a spa day, or a specialized treatment, the Shangri-La brand has you covered, with their spa, Chi. After spending a few hours at their Spa in Beijing a few weeks ago, I couldn’t pass up the chance to visit their spa in Shanghai again.
Chris had to stay in and got some work done, so I ventured up alone to have a long healing stone massage. The pamphlet told me, that the long gliding massage strokes of the stones combined with their thermo-therapeutic benefits, would ease my muscles and restore my body’s energy and vitality. Although I don’t know the proper terminology to explain my experience, I can tell you my body felt revitalized afterward and the treatment Itself just felt great! I could have spent all day being ushered-from treatment to treatment.
They also have two pools, a sauna, a steam bath, a jacuzzi, a tennis court, and two state of the art fitness centers, in case you’re looking for something a bit more active.
For more information about the Shangri-La at Pudong, make sure to visit their website: