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“Fabulous luxury, elegant and state of the art” 5 of 5 stars
Review of The Peninsula Shanghai

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The Peninsula Shanghai
5.0 of 5 Hotel   |   No.32 Zhongshan East First Road, Shanghai 200002, China (The Bund)   |  
Hotel website
Hotel amenities
Special Deal
Free breakfast with your stay
Ranked #6 of 3,934 Hotels in Shanghai
Top Contributor
52 reviews 52 reviews
48 hotel reviews
Reviews in 32 cities Reviews in 32 cities
53 helpful votes 53 helpful votes
“Fabulous luxury, elegant and state of the art”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 13, 2010

Still in its soft opening phase so some minor construction going on in the lobby shops. A lot of consturction going on outside the hotel. Not the prettiest building around (and its NEW?!) but the lights at night are quite stunning. Lobby and decor are classic and elegant and a throwback to Shanghai in the roaring 1920s. There are live bands/performances every now and again in the lobby throughout the day. Thanks to the general decor and the black and white marble in the lobby, walking around the hotel makes you feel like you are living in the 20s/30s. The prices certainly werent though. The reception area is tucked away on the right side, with the left side/wing being the domain of yet to be completed apartments. Great older style lifts and loved the dark elegant corridoors with thick pile carpets. Check-in was efficiently handled and they take the effort to escort you to your room and explain all the features.

Stunning (deluxe) rooms, partitioned into three sections with bedroom/lounge, dressing and bathroom. Dressing room/walk in closet is beautiful but a waste of space unless you insist on changing outfits five times a day, brought enough outfits to do so and have an aversion to bathroom mirrors. Mood lighting/sounds in the bathroom and bedroom, ipod dock, massive tv, sounds system, printer/fax, nespresso machine, proper tea set, integrated sound system and lights that turn on automatically when you stop the alarm clock are all nice touches. The blinds were electric, furnishings plush and elegant, the ceilings had stunning cornices and a chandelier and the remote control illuminates when you pick it up. There’s also free internet, local and international VOIP calls. They even program the time in your home city onto the phone display. Might be worth paying the exorbitant premium for a room with a view of the Bund unless you enjoy staring at other buildings.

The bathroom was decked out in marble, twin sinks and a nice bath. The shower door wouldn’t close properly which meant water leaking everywhere. Nice touch having dummy proof separate controls for the rainforest and hand held showers. They also have the most comfy bed ever. An enormously thick mattress that was super firm and heavy with a soft duvet like layer right on top that made it akin to sleeping on a solid cloud. Great pillows too. Breakfast was a la carte and good, although the choice was rather limited the quality apparent, especially in the fruits and juices. They do breakfast till 11am which is great if you're not an early riser.

A few gripes however; there was one small bottle of evian in the minibar, and they only gave two small bottles of water at turndown, which isnt good when there are no convenience stores in the vicinity. We never got any fruit or newspapers, and they teasingly laid out plates, cutlery and napkins on the table but never furnished the fruit/snacks. Strange at best and a slap in the face at worst. Unacceptable when paying top dollar. There were no chocolates nor a turndown service either which was disappointing.

Great looking massive roman style pool with skylight and a small gym with a friendly but zealous attendant fixated on footwear and other rules/regulations. The ESPA was reasonably priced compared to its peers. Although the hotel isnt on a main street, taxis were generally waiting at reception or a short wait. Take the cards with the hotel directions on it whenever you go out - most taxi drivers have heard of the place but not many know where it actually is. The doormen record the taxi numbers and destinations so the chances of you being taken for a ride or ransom are arguably less.

Amazing hotel but rather expensive (unless you're a sheik or an oligarch in which case you woudln't be reading this) compared to other properties notwithstanding the differences in luxury. At these prices one would expect everything to be perfect but it wasnt, perhaps due to the soft opening. The rate included airport transfers but it was disappointing and some would say misleading when it was provided by a third party and an E class Mercedes instead of the promised S class. Minor issues admittedly but at this level you dont expect that. Phantom transfers are priced out of this world and absurd when compared to HK. Clientele is mostly old money and just plain old (no families with kids and no road warriors either), which lends itself to a slightly stuffy atmosphere. It really is a cracking hotel with the only issue being that it is rather expensive. Havent stayed at the Park Hyatt so cant compare but for old world luxury with a modern twist you cant go past this place.

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
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Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 8, 2010

We had a stopover in Shanghai and decided instead of staying near the airport we would book a room for the day. It could be because we were arriving from the Peninsula in Bangkok, but we could not have received better VIP treatment than what we received. I was expecting good service from the Peninsula in Bangkok, but based on reviews I was concerned that might not be the case in Shanghai. The service at the Peninsula in Bangkok was great as always, but the service in Shanghai was outstanding!

Airport transfer was included in our stay, but we were upgraded to the Rolls Royce both directions. Upon arrival we were greeted by name by many English speaking staff members.

We were escorted to our upgraded beautiful and spacious executive suite. There is a lot of construction around the hotel right now getting the city ready for expo, so the views from the room were not as good as they will be in a few months when the construction is finished. But the hotel itself is gorgeous! The bed is super comfortable!

The pool is an oasis! It was so nice that I made my wife bring the camera down to take pictures. The service was excellent! When you sat down the attendant brought you an additional towel, a glass of ice water and a chilled wet towel. We ate our lunch pool side and it was delicious.

The stay was exactly what we needed to refresh ourselves before our long journey home!

Thank you Peninsula Shanghai

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Hong Kong, China
11 reviews 11 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 19, 2009

Stayed in the Peninsula Shanghai the 3rd week of November for 1 day only. The hotel pick up included in my package was fully worth it: friendly and efficient assistance on the airport. I got upgraded to a suite with an amazing view on the Bund. The room is simply great, elegant but not overdone. The bed is very comfy, not too hard, not too soft and a spacious bathroom with all amenities you can wish for, and free internet and voip calls, much appreciated, more hotels should offer this. As others wrote before; the service is not at the same level as offered by the Peninsula in Hong Kong. However , I stayed in a number of hotels in Shanghai before and the service in the Peninsula was by far the best. What I don't understand is the lobby with its tables and chairs; no sofa's or lounge chairs, nothing comfortable to sit on. Not a place to bring your business partners to to have a quit conversation. It is the one part of the hotel that reminded me of (a luxurious version of) the good old Communist style. I very much liked Sir Elly's bar though, and the food of the restaurant with the same name is great. The Peninsula Shanghai will definitely see me return, best hotel in town, will just meet my business partners in the lobby of the Ritz.

  • Stayed November 2009, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Makati, Philippines
Top Contributor
56 reviews 56 reviews
56 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
180 helpful votes 180 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 1, 2009

Date of Stay: November 27-29,2009
Room Type: Deluxe River Vie Room
Upgrade: none
Amount Paid Per Night: 3,800RMB (560USD) plus taxes
Reservation Method: Peninsula Website
Loyalty Card: None

Airport/Hotel Transfer: Came with the hotel package but they picked me up at the Park Hyatt instead of the airport since I was just moving between hotels. The driver doesn't speak english at all, but I'm not all that chatty anyway.

Location: It's directly on the "main" Bund area (which is under a lot of road work these days for the World Expo in 2010) just two blocks from Nanjing Road. Taxi's don't know where the hell it is but I suppose its because it's new.

Check-in: check in counter was filled with staff but they can't seem to get it right, it took them 15 minutes to get my key to work but after 15 minutes they decided to just take me up first to the room and just send up the key later. (it finally took them 2 hours to do that because of some malfunction on the system)

Room: The room was weird. it was big enough to be a Junior suite or at least a Grand Deluxe room. When you enter the door you have an anteroom, ahead is the door to the bedroom and to your left is the walk in closet.

The problem was the window in the bedroom was on the corner and not as big as those on the photos, it was like just 1 meter wide, so you can see part of the Pudong Skyline (with the correct angle you can see the Pearl TV tower) and on the other side you can see another river. I'm not really particular about the view but the problem was the roof of the tent they placed in front of the window which obstructed the view even more. Like I said i'm really not particular about it but when you pay so much for a river view, you expect at least a descent one. I called the operator they said the front desk is busy but will call as soon as they can, i waited for an hour, literally finished watching the latest episode on Glee on the TV from my iPod.

They eventually called after I called the operator again to follow up, at first they told me there is nothing they could do about it but they could move me to a suite the following day. When I told them that since I'm only in for 2 night and having just transferred after my first night at Park Hyatt I don't want to go through the inconvenience of moving to another room again.

They finally showed another room a smaller one this time but it has the same problem because half the view was blocked by the hotel building. In fact from the bed, you can only see the other side of the huangpu river, the Pudong skyline could only be seen from the side where the work desk and TV are. So left between a bigger room with half a small obstructed view or a small room with the wrong view, we settled for the bigger room.

Bathroom: is big, instead of the relief shown on the bathroom photos, they have a window. The shower stall was adequate, not really small but not as big as the one at Park Hyatt either. The toilet is pretty standard, I expected it to be automated like the ones at Peninsula Tokyo or Park Hyatt Beijing & Shanghai, so I was quite disappointed when I said it wasn't .

Bed: Bed was very comfortable not really too soft and not hard either, but the pillows were too soft, I use down feather pillows at home and they aren't that soft...your head literally sinks on it..

Breakfast: breakfast was chaotic, it felt more like a Chinese restaurant at lunch hour than a hotel lobby and it wasn't even because of the hotel guests. You'd expect that after a month the staff would be a bit better in what they were doing than that and the american breakfast was served cold.

Check-out: Check out okay but when I was going up to my room from breakfast I told the guy at the front desk that I am running a bit late for my flight and could they print my stuff so we could make it faster. But when I got down I was surprised they didn’t do anything given that the front desk didn’t have much guests so they weren’t even too busy to accede to my request.

Overall Evaluation: The Peninsula never made it feel like that I was special or welcome. Okay, the "Good Morning". "Zhao shang hao", "nin hao", is perfunctory so it doesn't really count. They won't even greet you when you pass the front desk, they would be busy minding their own stuff talking to other staff. I really have to say it wasn't very welcoming. They also have to work on their English, I have been to China so many times that I'm pretty much used to the level of English they use, but even for a new hotel (having stayed at the Le Royal Meridien and Hyatt on the Bund just months after they opened) I have to say the Peninsula staff just doesn't cut it.

Would I stay there again? I doubt I would ever come back, on my next trip I might just stay at the Park Hyatt instead since they did offer a room upgrade on my next visit or the Fairmont might be open by then.

  • Stayed November 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 21, 2009

Inspite of many of the hotel's services not being fully operational, it is clear that this will be an excellent place to stay when all is completed. The rooms are spectacular.

Stayed November 2009, traveled as a couple
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London, UK
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
22 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 18, 2009

The Peninsula has probably the most beautiful hotel room I have ever stayed in - a perfect combination of ancient and modern Chinese, with a slice of art deco
(check out the photos). Every detail is exquisite and the idea of the dressing room
outside the bathroom is so superb I wonder why nobody has ever thought of it before.
And the details are carried through into the public areas too which are
gorgeous too. The bed was also the most comfortable I have ever slept in anywhere. And the internet radio worked well, as did the internet phone which allows free international calls.

The service from the front of house staff was generally excellent as was the pick-up
from the airport. But the service in the restaurants definitely needs some work. We
went to the Cantonese restaurant one evening and the poor service let the place down
- wine brought late and seemingly fresh from a microwave rather than a fridge, wine
refills unforthcoming, general inattentiveness from the staff. Even worse was
breakfast where service was pretty shoddy for a top-class hotel with wrong orders
being delivered, refills of tea/coffee missing, and tables generally being ignored.
Worst of all was one morning when my plate was delivered with some unwanted bacon
which I had specifically said was not needed. When I said it was the wrong order the
waitress offered to remove the bacon from the plate and kindly explained that the
food had been cooked separately. Only when I explained why I wanted a new plate did
she bring one. Laughably inept.

It's great that the hotel is training new staff but I'd leave it a while until the
staff are up to speed. By contrast, the other hotel we stayed in Shanghai (the Puli, see
separate review) was impeccable. I'd give that one a go while the Peninsula gets up to speed.

  • Stayed November 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
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hong kong
2 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 10, 2009

After an absence of a decade, I finally returned to Shanghai, and was stunned to find a city that I barely recognized; luxury and style could be found all around.

I arrived in Pudong's new terminal 2 - world class. Hoped on the Maglev Train, and has a great ride! A shame it doesn't take you all the way into town - badly thought out - but still a fun experience.

Stayed at the newly opened Peninsula Hotel. Though I still prefer their Hong Kong property, their rooms were beautiful and well appointed! Was blown away by the afternoon tea in the Park Hyatt out in Pudong.

Had several exceptional dinners: Mr. and Mrs. Bund, and Franck's. Both French. Service was impeccable, atmosphere lively and sophisticated, food terrific. What more can one ask. Drinks at Bar Rouge, M1NT and Lounge 18.

Shanghai is definitely on its way to competing with the NY's and Londons of this world.

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Additional Information about The Peninsula Shanghai

Address: No.32 Zhongshan East First Road, Shanghai 200002, China
Phone Number:
Location: China > Shanghai Region > Shanghai > The Bund
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#3 Family Hotel in Shanghai
#6 Romantic Hotel in Shanghai
#6 Luxury Hotel in Shanghai
#14 Business Hotel in Shanghai
#333 Best Value Hotel in Shanghai
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — The Peninsula Shanghai 5*
Number of rooms: 235
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located along the historic Bund with spectacular views of the Bund, Huangpu River, Pudong and former British Consulate gardens, The Peninsula Shanghai perfectly blends with the historic architecture of its landmark neighbours. The Peninsula Shanghai, which opened in October 2009, is the first new building to be constructed on the historic Bund in over 60 years. Offering the best of Peninsula traditions and a range of signature services and facilities, including Shanghai's largest guestrooms and the city's highest staff-to-guest ratio, The Peninsula also heralds the return of parent company, The Hongkong and Shanghai Hotels, Limited, to Shanghai where it owned and operated four of the city's premier hotels in the 1920s to 1940s - The Kalee, The Astor House, The Palace and The Majestic. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
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