Shanghai’s latest five-star hotel soars over the north Bund affording extraordinary views of the Huangpu River and futuristic Pudong skyline. This enormous adult playpen offers spacious rooms, fun eating and drinking options and a sexy outdoor swimming pool.
Although the W bills itself as being on the Bund (Shanghai’s historic waterfront promenade), it actually sits to the north, across Suzhou Creek in the Hongkou district. It’s a part of the city considered to be up-and-coming, but for now, there’s not a lot to see, do, eat or drink in the immediate area. To get to the action, you’re looking or a good 15-minute walk to the top of the historic district or a short stroll and a few stops on the metro to reach downtown.
Style & character
The W brings its playful clubby vibes to Shanghai, with colour-pop furnishings, flashy fittings and strong angular lines. Off-shooting the entranceway is an arty Shanghai alleyway hung with neon laundry, including a huge pair of fluorescent Y-fronts. From here, pink-tinted lifts whiz guests up to the W Floor check-in, part of a series of zig-zagging public spaces streaked with purple, turquoise, white and gold.
Service & facilities
The young staff were catwalk-ready and eager to please, if not always the most efficient, particularly in the restaurants where they often seemed overwhelmed.
The most Instagrammable spot in this highly photogenic hotel is the fabulous outdoor pool, draped by the riverside and dwarfed by the electrifying architecture of Pudong – a sight even more alluring at night. For chilly days there’s another gorgeous indoor pool, with steam rooms, whirlpool tubs, saunas and glittering relaxation areas. Elsewhere, there’s a 24-hour gym and the excellent Away Spa, which offers everything from traditional Chinese massages to nail art.
- Fitness centre
- Room service
- Steam room/hammam
The hotel has 374 smoke-free rooms and suites, all of them with spectacular city views. Interiors offer a welcome blast of colour, some with soothing yellow and teal furnishings, others with flamboyant red lacquer walls and silver tiles. Enormous, ridiculously comfortable beds are topped with fluffy chopsticks and gold lamé dumpling cushions. The tech is top – USBs by the bed, giant televisions, bluetooth speakers – while large bathrooms, stocked with Bliss amenities, are hidden behind coloured-glass partitions.
Food & drink
Aside from the sporadic service, breakfast at The Kitchen Table is one of the best in town. Served until 10.30am, it offers an extensive Asian and international buffet, with fresh-pressed fruit and vegetable juices, spicy huevos rancheros and sticky chocolate-drenched pancakes amongst plenty of other options. There is also sleek Cantonese restaurant Yen, the rainbow-bright Woo Bar and the Wet Bar, which serves delicious Asian-inspired cocktails at outdoor tables by the pool.
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