‘My Favourite Hotel’ review – The Peninsula, Shanghai

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Today, our ‘My Favourite Hotel’ review is from Shanghai.

We are currently running this reader-written feature to provide some positivity and inspiration to Head for PointsYou can find all of the ‘My Favourite Hotel’ reviews so far by clicking here.  This was scheduled to be a series of about 25 hotels, but a good response from readers means that we have commissioned another batch and are continuing the series.

Today’s hotel is The Peninsula Shanghai.  It is reader Robin’s favourite hotel.  Here is his review:

Introduction

What better way to start a mini-tour of China (Shanghai > Beijing > Xi’an) and Hong Kong back in October 2018, than to stay at the glamorous and art deco-inspired The Peninsula Shanghai hotel?

Booking

As a regular reader of Head for Points, I found out about the annual Business Traveller charity Christmas auction and bid on a two night stay at The Peninsula Shanghai in a Deluxe Room with daily breakfast for two.  My winning bid came to £234 per night, while cash rates for the same room with breakfast at the time were double that.

Peninsula shanghai hotel review

Where is The Peninsula Shanghai?

Opened in 2009, the hotel is located at the end of the historic Bund (Shanghai’s iconic riverfront promenade) with views of the Bund, Huangpu River, Pudong and the former British Consulate gardens. The front of the hotel and bar faces the famous Oriental Pearl TV Tower and other tall skyscrapers. The Bund is extremely ‘Instagrammable’ and you will see many wedding photo shoots day and night.

(ROB’S EDIT: don’t underestimate the value of being able to walk from The Peninsula down the Bund.  Many Shanghai hotels, such as the Park Hyatt where I stayed on my last trip, are in the main business district on the other side of the river where there is far less going on around you.)

An added bonus was the Shanghai ‘City Sightseeing’ bus had a stop outside the hotel.  I recommend bus tours in any country you are going to visit; you get to see the majority of the city in a short time frame. Don’t get off at every stop though, have a plan to maximise your time.  The nearest metro station is a 10 minute walk.

The hotel does provide Peninsula’s signature Green Rolls Royce airport pick up/drop off service at additional cost (other vehicles are also available). A regular Sedan taxi from Shanghai Pudong International Airport (PVG) to the hotel cost approx. £20 (170 RMB). From the hotel to Shanghai Hongqiao railway train station (for onward journey to Beijing) cost £12 (100 RMB).

Rooms at The Peninsula Shanghai

The Peninsula boasts 235 ‘rooms’ including 44 suites. We were staying in a deluxe room.

After checking in we were escorted to the room and the professional staff member proceeded with a tour of the room.

Peninsula shanghai hotel review

The Deluxe room (54-59 square metres) comprised of a (as per the hotel website description):

• Luxurious, comfortable, neutral and quiet bedroom with high quality bedding, a two seater sofa, coffee table, desk with a range of stationery, TV, mini-bar, Nespresso coffee machine and tea-making facilities, internet access with VOIP calls, multi-function bedside electronic control panel, bedside sockets inclusive of USB ports, fax/scanner/printer and daily fruit basket
• Spacious dressing/cupboard/luggage room area (wooden vanities) with safe
• Marble bathroom with separate shower cubicle, two sinks, small encased TV and Oscar de la Renta amenities

As well as daily housekeeping, there was an evening turndown service.

I was impressed with this opulent room that I would class it as a suite itself – I can only imagine how amazing the ‘real’ suites would be… and how amazing the associated price!

Peninsula shanghai hotel review

Breakfast

Breakfast was served between 6am and 11am in the elegant and cordial setting of The Lobby. The hotel was reasonably busy, but this was not noticeable because the tables were well spaced out.

There was a well presented breakfast buffet in the middle of the room, and additionally an extensive a la carte menu to order from. The breakfast and service was to a very high quality.

Lunch, Afternoon Tea and Dinner were also served in The Lobby. In addition the hotel also boasts two further restaurants.

Peninsula shanghai hotel review

Bar

Sir Elly’s rooftop bar and terrace is not to be missed especially in the evening to view the neon lit skyline – phenomenal! It provides a 270 degree experience with magnificent panoramas of the Huangpu River, Suzhou Creek and Pudong skyline.

Peninsula shanghai hotel review

Wellness

The hotel had a small sized well equipped gym with on-site personal trainers. The gym equipment was from Life Fitness and the treadmills had built in TVs.

Enclosed in a beautifully presented indoor atrium was a heated swimming pool (25m x 7.5m x1.35m), complete with steam room, sauna and outdoor terrace.

There was a separate spa that offered a variety of massages and treatments.

Peninsula shanghai hotel review

Other points to note

• The service was at a superior level. You can tell the courteous legion of staff throughout the hotel have been highly trained.
• The air quality in and around the Bund was noticeably poor due to smog, but I didn’t face any breathing difficulties
• The entrance to the hotel from the Bund has a mini shopping arcade full of luxury brands
• The hotel has fully accessible rooms for wheelchair users
• Children are welcome

Conclusion

The Peninsula Shanghai is an ultra-luxurious hotel, boasting many facilities with impeccable service levels and arguably the best view in Shanghai.  I highly recommend it.

If you want to find out more, the hotel’s website is here.

How to book

You can get extra bonuses when booking The Peninsula Shanghai if you book via Emyr Thomas at Bon Vivant, HFP’s luxury hotel booking partner.

Bookings made via Emyr come with:

  • Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability
  • American Breakfast for two guests per bedroom daily
  • $100 equivalent food & beverage credit, to be utilized during stay
  • “Peninsula Time” – Flexible check-in and check-out times to suit your needs
  • Complimentary wi-fi

You will pay the same as the ‘Best Flexible Rate’ shown on the Peninsula website, and you pay at the hotel as usual.

You can contact Emyr via the form on this page of Head for Points.

Don’t forget that The Peninsula London is currently under construction at Hyde Park Corner, next to The Lanesborough, and due to open in 2021/22.

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Comments

  1. The Original David says:

    Good luck getting into China to enjoy this one though! After initially saying that travel bans weren’t the right way to contain covid-19 (when it would have been all other countries banning Chinese visitors), China now has one of the most aggressive travel bans in place, banning entry for non-Chinese nationals, even with long-term residence permits. China has refused BA permission to resume flights into the country, so that China’s state-owned carriers can pick up more of the pie.

    • Harry T says:

      Yeah, I was hoping to visit Hong Kong and Beijing in November (Booked before pandemic) but looks like I will just be enjoying a battle with Swiss for a refund.

  2. Chris K says:

    I had never stayed anywhere that had turndown service until I went to SE Asia, where even midrange hotels seemed to do it.

    Nice review and I’m envious you had the opportunity to go, while the going was relatively good.

    I for one won’t be going anywhere near China anytime soon and would strongly advise others to think twice as well.

    • cinereus says:

      About time this relic was consigned to the dustbin of history. Absolutely beyond pointless. Worse, it’s fussy, awkward, unnecessary and massively intrusive.

      • The Original David says:

        Not clear if you’re talking about turndown service or the Chinese Communist Party… 😂

      • I like it!

      • Genghis says:

        They always seem to ring the doorbell when I’m naked.
        There should be a light for “Do not disturb me now but come back later to leave the chocolate on my pillow”…

      • Lady London says:

        er… was that the turndown service you are referring to.

        I would love to spend more time in Shanghai. Iy has a very “China resurging” feel. I also like Art Deco which seems to be a thing for this old centre city (and possibly for Indochina generally?). Serious concerns about the air quality, food hygiene and especially resistant parasites in the water though, of which I was warned by former colleagues.

  3. Darren says:

    Excellent review, thanks.

    I’ve found the Pens to be a very good option if looking at Luxury options, looking forward to flying East when we can.

  4. The Peninsula Hong Kong is great as well, can pretend you’re Pierce Brosnan as the Tai-pan!

  5. Novice says:

    Finally a review that reads like a personal experience…

    ‘The Peninsula’ brand is great. And, this hotel does look good and it sounds good. Will add it to the list for my future China tour.

    • Genghis says:

      My two pennies: the bund is the best location in Shanghai. The WA is still my favourite hotel breakfast ever.

    • mr_jetlag says:

      Manila Peninsula is my favourite “old school cool” hotel and in general Pens are just the right level of luxury and service if you want to feel pampered. Shangri-La used to come close but I stayed at the Shard recently and it was a little too bling.

      Would love to try the Shanghai one when things are back to normal.

    • Lady London says:

      *frightened you above @Novice

      • Novice says:

        @ Lady London, I don’t know what you mean. Clarify if you want.

        • Lady London says:

          see my comment to another above

          • Novice says:

            @Lady London, yeah actually that is terrible. But, I’ve travelled with OCD to some god-awful dirty places for a few years now so I do research before I go as a given but thanks for a heads up. I’m not going anytime soon but I’ll be sure to research before I do.

        • Parasites in the water. I’ll remember that if I ever go! (Though I was very disappointed when I found out that the rooftop pool Daniel Craig uses in Skyfall, supposedly in Shanghai, is in a Virgin gym in London!).

  6. the_real_a says:

    +1 for the location. The metro is very good, but takes a while. I stayed at the mercure near the train station but it took 30 minutes on the metro to get to the Bund. Felt like a commute.

    I would also recommend taking the (very inexpensive) cruise on the river, tickets easily obtainable from the promenade.

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