Okura Garden Hotel Shanghai

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Built atop the vestiges of the old French Club with its marble lobby and sweeping lawn, this mid-range, Japanese-run tower hotel is a great base for exploring the tree-lined avenues, boutiques and cafes of the former French Concession.

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Location

Sandwiched between Changle Lu and Huaihai Zhonglu in the former French Concession, the Okura Garden rewards walkers with Art Deco treasures right on its doorstep, like the old Cathay Theatre and the soaring brownstone edifices of the Jinjiang Hotel (formerly the Cathay Mansions and Grosvenor House) next door. Conveniently, Shaanxi South Road Subway Station is walkable (though a little far if you’re dragging a case). From there it’s a straight shot to Hongqiao Airport / Railway Station in about 25 minutes.

Okura Garden Hotel Shanghai via Agoda

Style & character

The gardens and lobby date back to the 1920s, but the rooms (all 470 of them) are housed in a rather less prepossessing 90s tower block plonked on top. The rooms and public areas are spotless and tasteful, while the gardens – all seven acres of them – are beautifully maintained and worth a stroll.

Service & facilities

A sunlit indoor swimming pool can be found on the second floor (apparently Chairman Mao swam in the original pool, which was removed when the Okura Garden was built in the 1990s). There’s also a spa, a fitness studio and a handful of Japanese shops. Staff are gracious, polite, and impeccably well attired.

  • Bar
  • Fitness centre
  • Laundry
  • Parking
  • Pool
  • Restaurant
  • Room service
  • Sauna
  • Spa
  • Steam room/hammam
  • Wi-Fi

Okura Garden Hotel Shanghai via Agoda

Rooms

The Japanese stewardship of the hotel becomes apparent in the guest rooms, which, though small, are fastidiously well-organised and kitted out with electronic toilets, fast-filling bathtubs and a filtered water tap for drinking. South-facing rooms have expansive views over the garden (formerly the running track and tennis courts of the French Club).

Food & drink

The Okura Garden Hotel Shanghai has 5 restaurants and 3 bars where you can savor delicacies from around the world. The Coffee Shop Rose (1F) provides western style set meals, while the Chinese Restaurant Bai Yu Lan (2F) serves Cantonese and Shanghainese dishes. The Japanese restaurant Yamazato (2F) is renowned for its classic Japanese cuisine. The dining floor on 33rd floor combines the best of simplicity and modernity. There, the Teppanyaki restaurant Sazanka specializes in Japanese-style teppanyaki cuisine, while the Continental Room serves up exotic French delicacies. With all these restaurants, the pickiest gourmet would be spoilt for choice.

After your meal, you might want to relax with friends at the Cocktail Lounge Oasis (1F). Experience French romanticism at the Main Bar Ye Lai Xiang (3F) with its excellent view of the garden. The Wine & Cocktail Lounge Sky Bar (33F) offers you a bird’s eye view of the city. A great place to relax and watch the stars go by as you sip on a glass of wine.

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