Greg Fleming stays at the Sofitel Hyland in Shanghai.

Location

This is the real plus with this hotel. It's right on the pedestrian shopping East Nanjing Road. 5 km of high end shops - one of the world's premier shopping districts. Also a few minutes walk to the subway station. Subway is definitely the best way to get around Shanghai - and very cheap - all lines are colour coded and the stops are in English as well as Mandarin. Beware - it gets really, really busy. Cabs here are hit and miss - there's no Uber only a Chinese Uber-like Didi service. No-one speaks English.

Getting there About an hour's drive from Pudong airport.

Check in experience Ok, but do make sure you notify your bank that your credit card will be used in China. They take a 500 CNY deposit per night (around $100 NZD) and you give them your passport too as they need to notify the police you've checked in. Got a free welcome drink voucher to use at the bar.
I arrived early so had a few hours to kill before my room was ready - I was directed to the seventh floor spa where I could freshen up. This proved a little challenging as it took a while for someone up there to arrive who understood English. Got there in the end.

Advertisement

Price Around $200 NZD per night. Wi Fi was free and seemed to bypass the infamous Great China Firewall without a VPN. Four bottles of water complimentary each night - you can't drink the Shanghai water out of the tap - and if you need more ring housekeeping and they're at your door within minutes. If your Mandarin's a little rusty download Pleco a translation app - the hotel receptionist and concierge can speak English but hardly anyone else can.

Room 2106 on the 21st floor. Room is a little dated, tv is small and has seen better days - CNN Asia and a few English channels. Air conditioning was loud and very cold - had to call to get it adjusted. Bed quite hard but actually grew to like it. Universal plugs so no need to bring a special adaptor. Hotel and the room is very clean - like the city itself.

Bathroom Great, bathtub and shower - has obviously been renovated recently, L'Occitane toiletries.

Amenities Gym, Japanese restaurant (didn't hear good things about this), also the Sofitel restaurant off the lobby where we breakfasted. A good buffet, a mix of Chinese and Western food - and some very good pastries. The layout is a bit confusing with stations in three separate parts of the dining room. But explore the alleys off East Nanjing Road - amazing Chinese food where ever you look and again - very cheap.

Verdict Great location, room pretty average and not really up to the usual Sofitel standards, but offered a great view out along East Nanjing Road and staff were great.

Hotel website