Review: Park Hyatt Shanghai
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For the beginning of the first of many business trips to China last November (yes, seriously behind in posting this), I spent 7 nights at the Park Hyatt Shanghai. The hotel is located in the Shanghai World Financial Center, which, until the Shanghai Tower was completed this year, was the tallest building in Shanghai. The World Financial Center building is part of a cluster of three super tall buildings (including the Shanghai Tower and the Jin Mao tower) located on the Pudong side of Shanghai, which you can enjoy a view of while walking along the Bund.
The Park Hyatt occupies floors 79 to 93 of the World Financial Center and it's absolutely breathtaking in every sense. I had stayed at the Park Hyatt Tokyo the month before I checked in here, which is a favorite hotel of the travel blogging community, but there was no comparison for me. The Park Hyatt Shanghai is perfection.
I have found Park Hyatts to be a bit stuffy and somewhat old-fashioned in their decorating style from time to time, which I definitely thought was the case at the Park Hyatt Tokyo. However, the Park Hyatt Shanghai was just the right mix of modern and minimal.
Upon arriving at the hotel, you'll walk in a set of glass doors and wind around a bit to elevators that only go to three floors: floor 1, floor 87 (the lobby) and floor 91, which is where the hotel's restaurant, 100 Century Avenue, is located. From the lobby, you will take another set of elevators down to the guest rooms, gym, and pool area.
Unfortunately, the lobby area doesn't photograph very well, and there are so many employees standing around in case you need anything at all (seriously, there are usually like 5 or 6 just lingering around), getting good photos was nearly impossible. Once you come out of the elevator, you will see the front desk in front of you and lots of seating arranged behind it along the windows for the bar and "pantry". Since the lobby is on the 87th floor, the views from the windows are stunning.
Check in went very quickly. The front desk agent was extremely polite and efficient. I presented my passport and credit card and confirmed I wanted the points rather than the Diamond amenity and before I knew it, I was off to my room. I had been upgraded very slightly to a Park Deluxe King, which as far as I could tell, just meant that I had a few extra feet in my room which fit a long and very random table and two chairs. The guest rooms are on floors below the lobby, so I took the elevator down a few floors and found my room.
I really loved the abundance of dark wood throughout the hotel. It was used for accents and was all over the place, making everything look very rich and contrasting nicely to the white walls. The hallways were very dark but had dramatic lighting which made things very cozy.
Once I entered my room, there was longish hallway with a closet on my left, then the main room straight ahead. The hallway also housed the minibar and coffee machine as well as the bathroom and the toilet, which was separate and several feet away from the bathroom itself. The bedroom was minimal, beautiful, and comfortable with a TV, a desk and chair, a long somewhat random table, a chaise lounge, and the bed. All of the lights and window coverings were controlled next to the bed, which is something I love in hotel rooms. It's so much easier to push a button once you're already in bed rather than having to bump around trying to find all of the light switches. Pure luxury.
The bathroom was absolutely my favorite part of the room. There was a double sink vanity with marble countertops, an enclosed glass room that held both the shower and tub, the shower itself had a rain option and a handheld option, then there was also a second closet available in the bathroom for keeping clothes handy. The toilet was separate from the bathroom and the small room had a Japanese toilet and sink for washing your hands. I was staying here by myself, but this feature would have been nice for a couple staying in the room and being able to access the toilet while someone else was in the bathroom. The toiletries were Aromatherapy Associates branded, which I thought was a bit odd since they definitely aren't on the same level as Park Hyatt Tokyo's Aesop toiletries or Park Hyatt Washington DC's Le Labo, but I digress.
All in all, the rooms at the Park Hyatt Shanghai are exceptional. They are cozy and comfortable and extremely luxurious and I still very much associate them with calm and cleanliness. This truly makes spending two weeks in China at factories so much more bearable when you can "come home" to a place like this. I have coworkers who have complained about the noise from wind in the rooms, but I honestly didn't notice it. Since you're so extremely high up, there is obviously a lot of wind, but I don't think it was really significant.
Breakfast is served each morning in the hotel's restaurant, 100 Century Avenue, which is located on the 91st floor. Somewhat annoyingly, you have to go up to the lobby then walk across to the other elevator that will take you up to the restaurant. Once you arrive, the restaurant is expansive, with incredibly high ceilings, stunning views across the river, and plenty of seating.
Not only is the restaurant itself stunning, but the buffet was even more amazing. As a Diamond member, I received breakfast free each morning, which included anything I could want from the buffet, as well as a choice of hot dish like an omelette, freshly cooked eggs, etc. This was quite the bargain because paying for the buffet will set you back 299CNY. Service was always incredibly prompt and I was always offered a choice of tea or coffee to go along with my breakfast. The buffet is without a doubt, one of the most expansive I have seen. There was everything from cold cuts, to fruit, to parfaits, breads, congee, dim sum, pancakes, bacon, ham, etc - even sushi! It truly went on and on. There was also a selection of every fruit juice you could imagine. Needless to say, I spent every day overwhelmed.
On a Sunday morning during my stay, I went to the gym for a workout. The gym is located on the 85th floor along with the pool and spa. When arriving at the 85th floor, you'll walk out to see the pool right in front of you, then the spa is to the left and the gym is on the right. A staff member greeted me and confirmed my room number, then proceeded to kind of lurk around, refilling towels that didn't need to be refilled, etc.
The gym is quite small, but it still has everything you'd need for a workout. There are treadmills and ellipticals as well as a full set of free weights and various machines. The gym also has a refrigerator with cold towels, as well as another with bottles of water and some sort of Chinese electrolyte drink.
The pool is quite a stunning infinity pool, although it's raised off the ground quite a bit, so when I walked into the room the first time, I didn't even notice it was a pool. All you will see initially are the walls. There is also a hot tub next to the pool as well as plenty of seating around it. It's truly a gorgeous pool and naturally has great views of the Shanghai skyline.
After several more trips, I have stayed at nearly every Hyatt property in Shanghai and I still absolutely love the Park Hyatt. It's the most gorgeous, luxurious hotel you will find, and it really is so relaxing. It also offers hands down the best Diamond breakfast of any of the others in Shanghai. The service is top notch and I never wanted for anything the entire time I was at the hotel.
All of this being said, there are some downsides to the Park. First of all, as I mentioned, the hotel is on the Pudong side of the river. Essentially, this is the business district of Shanghai, so at night and on weekends, there's not really anyone around. One weekend night, I went to dinner at Mr. & Mrs. Bund and then needed to get back to the hotel afterwards, around 11PM. Not one single taxi driver would agree to take us (and we tried 5 of them). None of them wanted to go to Pudong because they knew it would be difficult to find a fare going back across the river. No matter, we just ordered an Uber and were able to get back just fine, but this is something to consider. The other thing that I admittedly didn't love was the sheer number of employees the hotel had. I felt awkward many times trying to take photos and just hang around the lobby waiting for coworkers, because employees were everywhere and they were always lurking trying to see if you needed anything. This is great and is the sign of a 5 star hotel, but it still bothers me and is something I wish was different.
However, at the end of the day, you truly can't go wrong with the Park Hyatt Shanghai and I would recommend it no matter what.
Just a twenty-something with a full-time job and a full-time obsession with traveling. It's best to LiveTraveled.