I stayed at this hotel from March 6 to March 13, 2011, with a small group of American students visiting local businesses over spring break. Overall, the hotel is in an excellent location for tourists whose major intentions in Shanghai are to visit popular attractions and to shop. It is a 5 minute walk to the People's Square Metro station and about 10 to East Nanjing Road station. The rooms are relatively spacious and the bathrooms generally look nice.
Having said that, there are several major caveats to keep in mind when considering this hotel. You will be staying right above East Nanjing Road, one of the busiest shopping districts in the world. There is constant noise and a barrage of fake watch salesmen, women selling flowers, and women selling themselves will pounce upon you asking for their goods. It's annoying (just yell "bu yao, xie xie" or speak in another language and they generally disperse).
Upon arrival, you are greeted by a tiny lobby with a smoking security guard and a desk worker who speaks nothing but Mandarin. You are also greeted with the looming appearance of a long staircase, because the elevator (an experience in itself) starts on the second floor. If you dare to take the staircase, be cautious of the sometimes uneven heights of the stairs. The elevator smells and can only hold 4-5 people if you like being a sardine, and it has a very feisty door close.
The rooms and hallways are covered in red and yellow carpet, along with a ton of black splotches from shoes, feet, and God-knows-what. You have to use your hotel key or some kind of card to turn and keep the power on. My room was perpetually freezing, although I tried to turn the AC up to 30˚C. The toilet works once in a while, and the housekeeping staff will only give you half a roll per day. The water temperature likes to change its mind every day and the hot you enjoyed once will scald you the next. The bed is made of wood, but although it seems weird, I slept relatively comfortably - more sheets or a thicker comforter would have been better.
No breakfast is served, but there are tons of local stands and restaurants that serve for unbelievably low prices, unless you need Starbucks or Costa every morning. The Internet is available through Ethernet and is super slow.
I would recommend this hotel to budget travelers who like to be in the middle of it all and those seeking a truly "Chinese" hotel on the border between Chinese Shanghai and Western Shanghai. I would not recommend it to the common Western traveler or tourist - the Royal Meridian is right across the street and has a full-service elevator.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.