Review: American Airlines Business Class LAX - PVG
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Review: Andaz Xintiandi Shanghai
Review: Grand Hyatt Shanghai
Review: Hyatt Regency Suzhou
At this point, I've stayed at 3 out of the 4 Hyatt properties in Shanghai. I've only had a chance to review the Park Hyatt Shanghai so far, but I'm certain that the Andaz Shanghai has the best location of them all. Xiantiandi (新天地) is an affluent shopping district in Shanghai and the area directly around the Andaz is chock full of restaurants of all varieties, high-end shops, and tons of people. As opposed to the Park Hyatt, which is located in a high-rise in Shanghai's financial district (which has very little going on in the evening), the Andaz is the place to be. Andaz is Hyatt's hip boutique brand and in this case, they almost take "hip" to an extreme.
You'll notice the Andaz from almost anywhere in Xiantiandi, which makes it easy to find your way back after a few cocktails. The building has a unique design with rounded rectangular windows punctuating the facade (although don't confuse it with the Langham, which is across the street and has a similar look).
Upon arrival at the Andaz, you'll enter through gigantic wooden sliding doors and find yourself almost assaulted with the uniquely designed lobby (I unfortunately don't actually have a picture of the immediate view, but it's imposing). The lobby features a bar and seating area directly ahead, while check-in is to your right. To the immediate right is a patisserie where you can buy fresh juices, pastries and the like.
At check-in, you'll be offered a refreshment, but I've never accepted one, so I'm not sure what you can choose from. The front desk area has beverages and cookies/fruit available throughout the day in case you need to stop by. Check-in is usually quick and efficient and you'll learn about the nightly happy hour from 6 PM to 8 PM which is free for all guests.
Once you're checked in, you will proceed through the lobby and make a right to the elevators. The Andaz is full of interesting art and you'll pass a custom motorcycle and what looks like a giant wad of painted paper on your way. It's all very unique. The elevator area is decorated with a moving fish screen, which is kind of fun.
The Andaz uses wood accents throughout and when you arrive on your floor and step out of the elevator, you'll see nothing but wood. I think it's tastefully done and it definitely gives the hotel a unique look.
I've stayed at this hotel so many times and I've had a couple of different room types, so I'll cover both the Andaz Xintiandi View King and the Andaz Large King rooms.
Andaz Xintiandi View King
If you couldn't tell, this room type faces Xintiandi, which gives you a view of the surrounding neighborhood and the Pudong skyscrapers in the distance. When you enter the room, you'll be in a hallway. To the right (usually) is the bathroom followed by a closet and then the room opens up to reveal the bed, a chair, a table with two chairs, and the TV and minibar.
The quirky decor from downstairs continues upstairs and I think the designers did a good job of making the room a unique and interesting, but still keeping things pretty modern and minimal, which I like. The bed is very comfortable and the room views are excellent. In addition, you'll notice that the room has some "smart" features as well.
The room actually has controls to each side of the bed which turn lights on and off and open and close the curtains and drapes. I love this feature because you don't have to worry about running around the room trying to figure out how to turn all the lights off before bed.
There's also an option to control a colored square of light on the ceiling. Oddly enough, if you would prefer that square to be green or pink, you have your choice and can control it next to the bed.
In addition to the controls next to the bed, each room also comes equipped with an iPad Mini to use throughout your stay. The iPad allows you to do things like order room service, control the room temperature, and control the lights. It's completely superfluous, but it's a nice touch.
The minibar in the room, as at all Andaz hotels, offers free non-alcoholic beverages and snacks. Typically, each hotel will offer snacks unique to the area, but they leave a bit to be desired this time. In addition to a few kinds of soda and juice, you can grab a KitKat-like chocolate bar, a few hard candies, or chips with odd flavors like steak. I've tried even the normal potato chips and I thought they were terrible, so I usually don't partake.
The hotel also nicely offers a bowl of fruit as a welcome amenity due to my Diamond status each time I arrive.
The bathrooms have a "cave meets the club" vibe to them. I say this because they literally look like a cave, but you also have the chance to change the color scheme in here using another keypad, so it's also clubby. You'll find nice Japanese toilets in a separate room, then the tub and shower share another space. The shower offers both a rain shower head as well as a handheld.
The toiletries are made specially for the hotel by Lorenzo Villoresi Fierenze. They are ok, but I'm not extremely excited by the scent. You'll also find plenty of extra items in case you forget anything, including a toothbrush and toothpaste, q-tips, etc.
Andaz Large King
The Andaz Large King rooms are located at the very end of the hallway. You can see from the layout below that they're not substantially larger than the other king rooms, but they are at the corner of the building, so you'll have double the windows.
Since the room is not substantially bigger, the layout is very much the same as the other rooms. The only real differences are having windows on both sides of the bedroom as well as having a large window in the bathroom, which is actually kind of unsettling because there are other buildings near enough that I think others could see right in to the bathrooms.
Breakfast is served each morning at Hai Pai and Xuan Bar, both located across the lobby from the elevators, from 6:30 AM to 10:30 AM. They have split up the offerings so that western-style breakfast selections are in Hai Pai and Chinese-style offerings are in Xuan Bar. You can go back and forth between both of the restaurants, but as you could have guessed, I just stick with the western breakfast in Hai Pai.
The buffet is fairly extensive, but I usually just end up eating bread and fruit with maybe a bit of eggs. You'll find a wide variety of fruit, pastries, cereals, meats, eggs, vegetables, stir fried noodles, and a chef will also prepare an omelette if you like. The tables also have small menus with a few selections to order, which have included things like specialty omelettes or Eggs Benedict.
The pool, spa and fitness center are located on the lower level of the hotel. I was actually blown away by the pool area because it was so unexpected. Actually, I guess given that the rest of the hotel looks like a club, it makes sense that the pool area would too, but it's still a sight to see.
The lap pool is on the small side, but you can still get some exercise in and the fitness center is pretty good in terms of equipment.
In addition to the amenities listed above, the hotel wifi uses a VPN through Hong Kong, which means that you don't need a personal VPN while you're in the hotel and you can easily access blocked US sites like Facebook and Google. The wifi is fast and I've never had a problem with it, which is helpful for a business hotel.
Overall, the Andaz is a solid choice in Shanghai. The staff is extremely friendly and helpful and I've actually utilized them quite a bit to help with making phone calls, getting directions, or making sure my Uber driver will arrive in the right place. The hotel's style is unique and interesting, but also somewhat luxurious and the area really can't be beat.
Just a twenty-something with a full-time job and a full-time obsession with traveling. It's best to LiveTraveled.