One of the things that I was excited about my first trip to Shanghai was the stay at the Waldorf Astoria Shanghai on the Bund. I wanted a centrally located hotel near the bund.
Waldorf Astoria Collection is “positioned as the flagship brand within Hilton’s portfolio”. Since I’ve not stayed at a Waldorf Astoria property, I wanted to see how it differs from other properties. I also thought it was an opportune time to test out out my Hilton Diamond benefits (thanks to the Hilton Aspire card).
Getting to the Hotel
We landed at the Shanghai Pudong Airport (PVG), about a 45 minutes drive to the hotel. The moment we arrive at the hotel, the concierge staff was at the ready to assist with luggage services.
There are two entrances to the hotel: A pedestrian entrance facing the bund, and the pedestrian/car park entrance. Most hotels have their brand name displayed visibly in front of the hotel, but it wasn’t obvious coming in from the car entrance. In fact, when the driver pulled up to the hotel, I thought, “We’re here?” (even though my GPS even indicated that we’ve arrived.)
It was only towards the later part of the stay that I saw the signage from the pedestrian side.
Check-in was uneventful. The staff welcomed us to the hotel. The hotel room rate can range from anywhere in the $260-400USD, or 90,000 Hilton points per night. I booked a standard room and we were upgraded to the “river” view. That was good enough for me.
Hilton Gold and Diamond members are also offered complimentary breakfast (about $50 per person).
If you are into marbles and mahogany, you would like the look and feel of the hotel.
If you are into shiny mahogany doors, the elegant hotel room door actually makes a good first impression.
It’s one of the few hotels where you get a small chandelier in your room!
If you are into marbles, you would like the bathroom:
Service was very solid across the board, from housekeeping to front desk and concierge services. There was an error with our in-room safe when we checked in, but that was quickly addressed.
The only area of service that I thought was a bit off was the doormen service. Personally, I think doormen service is unnecessary. It might be a nice touch for high-end hotels, but it’s not necessary in my book, especially if there are revolving or automatic doors already.
There is a revolving door at this property, but it was blocked/locked when I tried to use it once. I was directed to use the regular door. While the staff would hold doors for guests, I find that they don’t really greet or otherwise acknowledge you. It made the entry and exit just a little less welcoming as compared to other hotels of this caliber.
I was expecting the room to be a little dated, so I was surprised to find that the room has a motion-sensor Toto toilet. Also, I love remote control desktop screen. Naturally, I spent time just opening and closing the window sheer and shades. (Yes, it’s a totally dorky thing to do, but that’s me!)
I skipped using the hotel’s cups, given the news about some cleaning practices right before my trip.
The Bund River View
While the river view from the hotel is nice, I’d still recommend a quick stroll to the Bund Boulevard for an unobstructed view. It’s a very easy walk from the hotel, and it’s a relaxing way to soak in the evening atmosphere.
The fancy looking Grand Brasserie is located on the ground level.
There is also the famous “Long Bar“, “famous for being the world’s longest bar at one time”.
At check-in, I was given 2 drink certs that I could use at the Long Bar. Unfortunately, one section of the hotel (including the long bar) was closed/reserved for two of the three nights we were there. It also meant that guests couldn’t get back to the hotel from the historical/bund side of the hotel and you need to go around to the driveway/back entrance of the hotel.
Although tired, we managed to stop by the Long Bar on our first night just to take a look. (I ended up using the drink certs at the Grand Brasserie instead)
I wanted to stay at Waldorf Astoria to compare how it differs from other hotel brands of this caliber. I suspect that I might have a higher than normal expectations of Waldorf Astoria brand, but I probably wouldn’t go out of my way, for example, to stay at a Waldorf Astoria property over Conrad or Intercontinental.
Overall, the Waldorf Astoria Shanghai on the Bund is a great hotel with great views, great service and an incredibly comfortable room. I give the hotel a solid 4.5 out of 5 stars. Aside from the slightly odd doormen service and minor inconveniences of some of the hotel being closed off for some events, you can’t go wrong with a stay here.
Have you stayed at the Waldorf Astoria Shanghai on the bund? What’s your experience?