Replies: 16 - Last Post: Dec 12, 2012 10:07 AM Last Post By: SoloHobo
Dec 5, 2012 9:23 PM
Shanghai Hotels/Restaurants/BarsSoooooooo. Anyone got any central, mid-range (300-600RMB/night) hotel recommendations for 3 people? Preferably with a website through which I can book, or that won't require a credit card to hold the room after a certain time? We'll be in Shanghai from 12/16-12/18. It doesn't have to be fancy but it does have to be clean and reasonably central. Fairly convenient access to both airports would be great, as we arrive in one and leave from another.
Many of the LP mid-range hotel listings don't come with websites, and it's kind of a pain to call China from Taiwan. I tried to book the Shanghai Railway Hotel through another service (CTrip), but we're arriving after 8pm so they wanted a credit card guarantee. Fine, except it was declined for no reason, and right after we sent the info, someone else tried to withdraw 16 cents from the card. The bank says they got ahold of the number and were trying to test it to see if it'd work, and they probably hacked it from that transaction. They won't hold the room past 8pm on our check in day (we arrive at 7:15pm, no way are we checking in by 8) without a card, and I refuse to give them another card seeing as the first one got hacked and has since been cancelled. They're not budging and as far as I'm concerned, they can stuff it - I'm not taking that risk. They don't seem terribly concerned that their website is not secure.
I'm also interested in any recommendations for your favorite restaurants - local Shanghainese or just plain amazing/unique? I can speak and read Chinese, although I read Traditional better than Simplified, and am well acquainted with Chinese food, so no language worries. Willing to splurge a bit here but would prefer not to have to book too far ahead as, again, calling China from Taiwan is a pain. In Taipei the LP listed restaurants are never my favorites, and the last Shanghai restaurant thread I found here in a search was from 2007.
Also, bars. Just lively enough to be fun but not pretentious, no super loud music, but more than a cafe/bistro. A good music club (I heart jazz) would be great. I can't find many listings that pique my interest in the LP.
Dec 5, 2012 9:31 PM
Dec 5, 2012 10:58 PM
2Hey. I've had quite a few friends and family in town who ask for hotels within that budget - and I've never been able to find a perfect fit unfortunately. I usually suggest that they just take a real budget option (Motel 178/Home Inn etc.) and spend the cash they have saved elsewhere, or bump up their budget a bit and get something nice.
However, a friend swears by Shanghai Baolong Home on Nanyang Road and says it's the best value. I've not seen the rooms - but have been in the lobby and it seems like a decent place. I think their rooms run at 300RMB + per night. It's located in Jinag'an, not far from the temple - and this area has the best connections to both airports (subway to Hongqiao, subway or the faster airport bus 2 to Pudong). For work I have also ended up once staying in the RuTai Jing'an Hotel on Taixing Road near Nanjing West. It is a very bland Chinese business hotel (don't bother with b'fast!) - but the room they gave me was large, clean and decent. 2 walk minutes from Line 2 subway.
I always think Shanghai food is better than many people give it credit for - but you do need to pick and choose your places carefully, and at any of the decent places you do need to book ahead (and/or be prepared to wait). I love Jessie on Tianping Rd/Huahai Rd, and also like the Fu Restaurants (Fu1039, Fu1086 - though they both have minimum charges). If you go to any of these do a bit of research online as to the recommended dishes - some of them are just downright odd. For less hassle (and less atmosphere) chains like Yuan Yuan and Xiao Nan Guo (aka Shanghai Min) have more branches and don't require such planning ahead!
For other Chinese regional cuisines I find that Hunan is one of the best represented in Shanghai. My personal favourite is Guyi (Fumin Lu branch being the best one). Spicy Moment is also decent, and Guo Yuan for those that like to get off the beaten track (Di Shui Dong is very popular too but I've never 'got' it really). For 'hole in the wall' (but still clean and respectable) Sichuan food I've recently developed a thing for Zhu Wu - a tiny place on Nanchang Road.
For bars - I'm not really the out and out party type - my current favorite is a great little cocktail bar on Wuyuan Lu called Senator Saloon and there area also other bars in this part of town. Salute on Fuxing Lu is a great place to hangout for reasonably priced wine. Yongkang Road is also popular these days and has a few great little places (Ginseng). For jazz, I won't claim to be an expert, but of those I have been to I think JZ Club is the best. I don't hang out at the Bund places on a regular basis - but if I do end up there Glamour Bar is the choice - decent drinks and unpretentious. Sometimes around Christmas I have seen 20s style burlesque shows there - which can be fun.
Dec 5, 2012 11:23 PM
3Try the Sofitel Hyland on Nanjing Rd. If you go through agoda.com or booking.com a room would be about 700Y - which is where I agree with #2's philosophy. Either go cheap 'n' cheerful & it's just a plac to drop your bags & sleep, or pay a bit more & have a nice place to stay.
The Sofitel is vey central, walking distance to the Bund, People's Sq., plus the Metro for both airports.
For going out check out www.smartshanghai.com or www.cityweekend.com.cn It's almost a year since I was last in Shanghai, so I bet my recommendations are way out of date. Fave bar for the time being is Atanu, in a semaphore tower on the Bund. Great views; nice cocktails. Zpata's on Hengshan Lu gets lively at night & there is plenty of choice along Hengshan Lu....
Sichuan Citizen on Donghu Lu (off Huaihai Lu) is a great place to eat. Check out the Cool Docks at 479 Zhongshan Nan Lu: last time I was in there (it's like a complex, done-up docks) there was a Greek restuarant, curry, kebabs, Chinese & a few more.eople we've taken to Lost Heaven (Yunnan food) loved it, but I find it caters to expats & is overpriced. 38 Gao You Lu, nr. Fuxing Xi Lu. For Thai try Coconut Paradise, 38 Fumin Lu. And please double check these addresses on the shanghai sites above: things change VERY fast in Shanghai, & I'm a year out of date!!
Dec 5, 2012 11:27 PM
Dec 6, 2012 12:24 AM
5OK, all sounds great. Thanks!
It looks like I can get an even cheaper room at The Pacific Hotel (!!!) - sth ridiculous like RMB450/night (again, !!!). I am sure it'll be one of the tinier rooms but it's only for 2 nights, so why not.
All those bars look pretty cool. I think some are in LP. I managed to spend a month in Istanbul without going to a bar on the Bosphorus, so I think I'll be OK spending a day in Shanghai without going to a bar on the Bund. Will also check out the food - Taiwan is the same way, at least Taipei: if you want to eat anywhere well-known and good you have to book ahead, but after 6 years I have found a bunch of fantastic restaurants that don't require pre-booking.
Dec 6, 2012 1:35 AM
6What surprises me is that most of these recommendations are in LP. LP Taiwan has improved in recent years, but my main experience is that the restaurants they list (and some of the hotels) are not the best ones, some are OK, others meh, others fine but touristy...and my favorites tend not to be listed. That's improved in the most recent edition so maybe they finally noticed that their restaurant recommendations sucked. The same for Istanbul and for any number of other cities.
So I kind of expected it to be the same way for Shanghai...but all of these places are listed. So - I can trust the LP on this?
Dec 6, 2012 2:23 AM
Dec 6, 2012 2:48 AM
8I gave up on Lonely Planet Shanghai a while back as it was always outdated - I'm not familiar with their latest addition. I vouch for all the suggestions I made above as being decent though. A couple of the places I mentioned are pretty new - so I'd be surprised if they are in there though.
As per Maggah, I think Smart Shanghai is a great resource, especially for dining, as they cover everything from high end to obscure.
To be honest though (and no offence to you Maggah), Zappata's is pretty awful these days and the Cool Docks area really has not taken off - it's pretty much always empty, especially in winter.
Dec 6, 2012 8:06 AM
9In my defense, I DID say it'd been a LOOOONG time since I was last in Shanghai!!! :))
Dec 6, 2012 8:30 PM
Dec 9, 2012 10:03 PM
11So I looked at Jesse - am quite interested in going, but calling China from Taiwan is a pain in the butt, and I can't reserve online. Would it be possible to call once we get to Shanghai the night before and still have a chance in hell of getting a reservation, or do I have to suck it up and call China?
Dec 10, 2012 12:30 AM
13I think you need to book further out. Some of the special dishes also need to be ordered ahead of time too (see here or here). But they have plenty of other stuff so it's really not essential.
If it's a problem then you can PM me the necessary details and I can help make the booking. Bear in mind that even with a booking they do make you wait sometimes. They have this attitude that plenty of popular local Shanghainese joints have - 'we can fill up our tables every night so whatever'. Though it's not exactly cheap, the style of the place and the service is that of a much cheaper restaurant - though I, for one, think the food is worth the hassle.
Dec 10, 2012 3:41 AM
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