The Grand Hyatt is within easy reach of the Shanghai Stock Exchange and World Financial Centre, and is the highest hotel in the world. It occupies the 53rd to 87th floors of the Jin Mao Tower and has good desks in its rooms, as well as high-speed internet access and a 24-hour concierge. There is also secretarial support and a translation service available from the communications centre.
I've pulled together some of my top tips for Shanghai - I've categorised each tip into time periods so that you can pick and choose depending on how much free time you've got.
0-2 hours: Avoid! Bund Tourist Tunnel - 10 minutes
Crossing the Bund can be done by boat, car or underground, but don't waste your time on the rather retro (read tacky) Bund Tourist Tunnel. The name is apt as only tourists would be crazy enough to spend their money on a underground fair ride that is more likely to cause an epileptic shock than any degree of amusement. It is however, the quickest way to cross the river if you are on the banks on the Bund (and it's rush hour so the tunnel is blocked). Give a try... if you really must.
Xian dan di - 1-2 hours
Ironically housed in the former offices of the Communist party, this beautiful refurbished part of town could be accused of being rather faux in terms of its connection with real China life... but it's there and it exists and it is part of Shanghai ex-pat life. The clean streets, the trendy restaurants and the outrageous prices probably tell you that you are in a place for tourists and expats, however, it's worth a look around and for a pitstop.
Go to Starbucks - 30 mins to 1 hour
I kid you not, some would accuse me of sacrilege but there is a reason... please bear with me. A lot of the Starbucks in the city benefit from sitting in the most prestigious and ideally located positions in the city for great panoramic views. My personal recommendation would be the Starbucks situated on the East bank of the river overlooking the Bund just opposite the Shangri-La hotel. Grab yourself a Chinese tea and watch the sunset over the river. The glowing fuzz of the city ahead will warm you before you retreat to your hotel.
Enjoy drinks over the Bund - 1-2 hours
A visit to Shanghai will not be complete without a visit to the historic 'Bund' district, the colonial waterside developed on the west bank of the Huangpu River. Many of the bars/restaurants (I recommend 'M on the Bund' - www.m-restaurantgroup.com/) offer expansive views over the Bund and the tall skyscrapers in the Pudong district. The food's not bad either! English and Chinese menus are available. Other nearby highlights include the old HSBC building (no longer housing HSBC) and Huangpu Park.
Stroll along Nanjing Road (to buy the other half a gift) -
Home to Shanghai's main shopping street so be prepared to be greeted by tens of thousands of people. The shops range from the local to international with department stores dotted along the way. Be sure to stop by one of the many snack stores to take on board some of the delicious buns or dumplings that make China famous. Be sure you check the custom regulations for transporting goods though, be particularly careful with any foodstuffs.
Enjoy a river cruise along Huangpu River - 1-3 hours
One observation you will undoubtedly make whilst travelling in Shanghai is that the river is bustling with life. Container ships, tankers, passenger boats all zip up and down the river at a hectic speed. Board a river cruise boat from the ferry terminal at the south of the Bund district. Here you will be able to enjoy a one, two or even three hour river cruise. Take care though... Shanghai like many other Chinese cities is prone to a spot of smog. Try and pick a clear day. Try Huangpu River Cruise (239 Second Eastern Zhong Shan Road, Shanghai - tel +86 21 6374 4461). Nearest station - Wai Tan
Sleep in the clouds - 8 hours
Nope, I'm not talking about your business class flat bed on the way back home, I'm talking about the ever impressive Grand Hyatt Shanghai. Based in Pudong it's close to the financial centre and closer to the airport. Ask for a room overlooking the Pearl TV tower or over the park.
This hotel is an absolute gem of colonial history. For about £40 the Richard Executive Suite makes you feel like a visiting diplomat!
The building has a rich history and is located on the edge of the bund - within easy walking distance of Shanghai's main attractions.
It really made our visit to Shanghai, I can't imagine there is a better place to stay in the city.
I would also recommend a cocktail at M on the Bund - if you want to continue the glamorous feel.
If you're after a cheap, well-located place to stay in Shanghai, you can't beat the Captain Hostel. There’s a choice of dorms or private rooms and they’re very, very clean.
It's also just off the Bund (taxi drivers will always know that one) and not far from the main shopping strip and metro stations.
37 Fuzhou Lu (pronounced Foo Joe Loo); www.captainhostel.com.cn
One of the very few choices for budget foreign travellers, the Captain's hostel enjoys a prime location on the Bund and sports a pretty decent roof restaurant to boot. It's 20RMB for a bunk; best to book. Though it's possible to get 'Chinese' dorm rooms elsewhere it's not recommended.
37 Fuzhou Lu, nearest Metro Henan Zhong Lu (Line 2) Tel: +86 21 63235053 www.captainhostel.com.cn
We loved this hotel though not everyone does, because of problems with plumbing etc, although ours worked fine. Faded glory it may be, but it’s a hotel full of character, with large bedrooms, right on the Bund, and has terrific views from the rooftop bar.
You can't miss this hotel, in every sense. Taking up the 53rd to the 87th floors of one of the world's tallest buildings (at 1,380ft it's just a tad shorter than Chicago's Sears tower), the Jin Mao Tower boasts what is probably the highest cocktail bar around. There are also panoramic views across the city - assuming you can see past the smog. It's not that cheap -the rooms are at least 2,600RMB (over £170) - but you can stump up 50RMB for a visitor's ticket and sneak in a quick Martini and a few photos.
88 Century Boulevard, nearest Metro Liu Jia Zui (Line 2) Tel: +86 21 5049 1234
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