Review: Grand Hyatt Shanghai
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The third of four Hyatt properties in Shanghai that I've stayed at is the Grand Hyatt Shanghai. It's located in Pudong, just across the street from the Park Hyatt Shanghai in the third tallest building in Shanghai, the Jin Mao Tower. Pudong is Shanghai's business district, so it's bustling during the day, but at night, the area is dead. If you venture across the river to other parts of Shanghai for dinner or drinks at night, be prepared for the fact that taxis won't want to take you back across the river because they likely won't be able to get a fare back. This is easily remedied by ordering an Uber, but is something to consider location-wise with this hotel.
Upon arriving at the Grand Hyatt, you'll enter a lobby area and head straight for the elevators. The lobby is found on the 54th floor and just like the Park Hyatt, has an amazing view of the surrounding area. The Grand Hyatt is tastefully decorated with many traditional Chinese elements, but unlike the Park Hyatt, it's a bit less subtle and not so modern. I prefer the decor at the Park Hyatt, but it's certainly a personal preference.
From the lobby, you'll head past the front desk and wind around past the restaurant to the guest room elevators. As with many skyscraper hotels, there's a separate elevator for rooms from the one that goes to the lobby, so you'll exit the elevator, walk through the lobby and then get in another elevator down from the lobby. You'll notice that you're often winding around in circles in this hotel and it's because it's laid out in circles to take advantage of the windows and leave a striking open air atrium in the center of the hotel. This feature is certainly one of the most photogenic elements of the hotel and it adds a bit of drama.
The guest rooms occupy the 58th to 85th floors of the building. Being so high up, the guest rooms have some amazing views and I was lucky enough to have a perfect view of the Pearl Tower from my room, which was really nice and unexpected.
Upon entering the room, there's a short hallway with a closet and the minibar. The hallway opens in to the room, which is quite spacious. My room had a desk with two chairs, two more chairs, and a king bed, so it would have been easy to have a small party in the room if necessary. As I mentioned earlier, the hotel's style is traditional Chinese and the decor continues in to the guest rooms. Overall, I prefer the minimal, modern style of the Park Hyatt or the more funky, eclectic style of the Andaz to the Grand Hyatt's style. It just seems a bit more formal to me.
The bathroom is a good size, but it's covered in a somewhat garish marble tile (which reminds me a lot of the Grand Hyatt Shenzhen) and has a lot of mirrors everywhere. Again, it's really not quite my style and looks a bit dated in my opinion.
You'll have a full shower, a soaking tub and the toilet is tucked away behind a door, which is always a nice feature. One of my favorite aspects of the bathroom was actually the fact that the closet you can reach from the hallway also opens in to the bathroom, which was really clever. It's nice to have access from both sides and not need to move things around. Definitely a thoughtful touch.
Similar to both the Park Hyatt and the Andaz, the room's lights and blinds are controlled by keypads located next to the bed. I always find this is a novel experience and I like the fact that I don't need to stumble around the room in the dark or worry about the blinds not closing all the way and letting in bits of light.
The Grand Club is located on the 83rd floor and is available for Diamond guests and guests staying on the hotel's club level floors. Breakfast is included in the Grand Club for Diamond guests, as well as an evening cocktail and canapé selection. I was able to visit for both instances and found that the club is a bit small and cramped, but is well-staffed as to be expected. I would much prefer a more open concept space, but you'll find instead that it's fairly enclosed and has various small rooms with seating spread throughout. The club absolutely has incredible views due to it's location so high up, but overall, I was not exceptionally excited about it. I usually prefer staying in hotels without clubs because the breakfast selection is rarely as good as that of the hotel's main restaurant, which is what Diamond members will be offered if there is no club. Additionally, as I have found consistently throughout Asia, there is an abundance of staff in these clubs, which, for me, makes it a bit awkward since I just like to be left alone.
The evening spread was pretty good and for me, it was enough food that I could skip dinner that night. You'll find a selection of wine, beer, liquor, soft drinks, meats, cheeses, sushi, salads, desserts, fruits and breads. As usual, there was also a small selection of hot items that could be ordered from the servers in the lounge. The selection this day consisted of: Bulgogi Beef Slider with Braised Cabbage and Sesame Bun, Fish Cake with Sweet and Sour Sauce, and Green Vegetable Bun.
The next morning, I returned for breakfast and found the space a bit more welcoming during daylight. The breakfast spread was typical and included fruits, salads, cereals, meats, cheeses, pastries, Asian specialties and juices, coffee and tea. The hot selection for the breakfast was: Pain Congee or Daily Congee, Shanghainese Wonton Noodle Soup, or Scrambled Egg or Omelette with Ham and Mushroom served with pork sausage, bacon, hash brown, tomato and baked beans.
I didn't get a chance to check out the pool or gym on this trip unfortunately, but the pool can be found on the 54th floor along with the hotel's spa.
Overall, the Grand Hyatt is a fine hotel for an overnight and it's a nice option to have if some of the other Hyatt properties are booked or unreasonably expensive. I won't go out of my way to stay at the Grand Hyatt again because I much prefer the Park Hyatt for the comfort and quiet it offers and the Andaz for the location, but my stay was perfectly acceptable.
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