As part of a quick two-night trip to Shanghai before meeting the Point Hacks team in Hong Kong, I thought I would try out two of the city’s better priced American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts properties, which both happen to carry the Shangri-La brand.
This review covers the second night of my stay, following my stay at the Jing An Shangri-La.
Research & Booking
The Pudong Shangri-La is located in Lujiazui, the main financial district in Shanghai, and is a short walk to Metro Line 2.
This property is more convenient to Pudong International Airport in terms of time and travel distance than the Jing An Shangri-La.
I booked a fully-flexible rate through American Express’ Fine Hotels and Resorts program, at a cost of AU$292. Access to the program is provided by holding an elite American Express card, like the American Express Platinum Charge.
For this stay, I received the following benefits:
- 12pm early check-in
- $125 USD food and beverage credit ($183 AUD)
- Full buffet breakfast for two
- Room upgrade
- 4pm late checkout (guaranteed)
The American Express Platinum Charge also sees card members with an instant status lift to Jade with the Shangri-La Golden Circle loyalty program. This provided additional benefits, such as a choice of up to three in-room amenities. Please note that this benefit will be discontinued on 31 March 2021.
The Pudong Shangri-La is ranked #4 out of 4,749 hotels in the area on TripAdvisor.
The room: Grand Tower Premier Room
I booked a base ‘River Wing Deluxe’ room and was upgraded to the ‘Grand Tower Premier’ room at check-in.
The Pudong Shangri-La is made up of two buildings, with the River Wing adjacent the river, and the Grand Tower set further back.
The upgraded room was 13m2 larger, which provided extra space for a walk-in robe, and a more generously sized living area.
On one side of the room is a King Bed, a dressing table, and TV.
In the centre, adjacent to the window is a full-size executive writing desk. I could have spent a week working from here!
On the far side of the room was a sitting area, and another TV.
As you can tell, the room was generous in length. The floor-to-floor windows look out towards the Bund. More expensive rooms in the Grand Tower on higher levels afford unobstructed views over the top of the Pudong Shangri-La River Wing, as shown below.
The bathroom was not quite as modern as the Jing An Shangri-La, but did the job for a one night stay nonetheless. One criticism was that the marble tiles in the shower were beginning to crack along the edges of the wall.
The bathroom amenities looked very… cheap.
Opposite the bathroom was a walk-in room with wardrobes and luggage storage space.
Off the hallway into the main room was a small nook with coffee machine, and mini-bar.
The complimentary in-room amenities included fruit, a selection of traditional Shanghainese sweets, two bottles of sparkling water, and a box of chocolates.
The lobby and check-in area of the Pudong Shangri-La Grand Tower are expansive. There are plenty of check-in desks along the length of the building, with little wait to check in and out.
I used my Fine Hotels and Resorts food and beverage credit towards a buffet dinner at Yi Café for myself and two friends.
The food selection is great, with 13 culinary theatre stations featuring Chinese, Western, South-East Asian, Japanese and European cuisine. However the quality was a bit hit or miss.
The buffet also offers free coffee, tea and soft drinks, and little containers that you can fill with lollies and take away with you.
I also had a late-night drink at Jade On 36, which is a bar located at the top level of the Grand Tower. You buy one drink and effectively get a platter of chips and nuts which I consider good value.
I skipped the complimentary buffet breakfast as I had an early morning flight, and knew that I would have a chance to enjoy some dim sum in Cathay Pacific’s new Business Class lounge at Pudong International Airport.
Around the hotel
The Pudong Shangri-La is a few minutes walk from the Lujiazui metro station on Line 2, providing an easy connection to Pudong and Hongqiao Airports, and Shanghai’s high-speed railway stations.
There is no underground connection to the metro from the hotel, so take this into account in inclement weather.
The hotel is also a short walk to attractions like the Oriental Pearl Tower, large shopping malls, and a waterside area that is far more relaxing and less crowded than the Bund on the opposite side of the river.
This Pudong Shangri-La was perfect for a one-night stay before my flight to Hong Kong. It took me only 35 minutes to travel from the hotel to Pudong using Line 2 and the Maglev high-speed train.
While the room size was more generous than the room I stayed in at the Jing An Shangri-La, there were elements that felt both cheap and dated.
The generous Fine Hotels and Resorts food and beverage credit can make a stay here especially worthwhile when rates are low.
Supplementary images courtesy of Pudong Shangri-La