I was a bit worried having booked two Bund view rooms and reading recent reviews but I guess I was one of the fortunate ones as I had a great room after checking in at 01:00 following our flight. I had two queen beds instead of one king but as I was alone in my room, it wasn't a problem. Room 427 had a fantastic view of the Bund and I found the hotel to be quiet which was more than can be said for some colleagues also at a conference who stayed at hotels closer to the new conference centre and were disturbed by car horns all night.
Anyway, the room was fine and the hotel was clean. The bathroom was great although I have no idea why they turned the shower head to the wall each night! The sweets left in the evening were pretty hideous though :) Other reviews have mentioned the hard beds and whilst they were a bit hard, I didn't find them uncomfortable. Internet access was reliable and pretty fast but only wired in the rooms (ethernet cable provided). Whilst we were there it was unseasonably hot (42 degrees) and we heard that power consumption was an issue which could explain why they turned my aircon temperature up every day but it didn't cause an issue as I just turned it down again to keep the room cool. There was a notice stating that the hotel was undergoing renovations, but I never noticed anything myself although I didn't try and use the gym or pool.
We checked in at 01:00 without any problem and checked out at 04:00. Check-out took a bit longer but we had two trainee's doing this for us but it went smoothly with no unexpected charges. We did pre-book an airport taxi though which was waiting at 04:00 for us.
Talking of taxi's, it cost us about RMB220 from the airport late at night and our driver did get a little lost trying to find the entrance even though we gave him the address in Chinese.
The location was great. About 5 minutes walk past the Pearl TV tower (always crowded) to get to the Metro over the 'man-roundabout' which was awesome and always totally packed. The Bund Sightseeing Tunnel is literally outside the hotel entrance and is a way of getting across the Bund easily although it is a little expensive at 70RMB for the return -- it does have to be seen to be believed though -- we couldn't stop laughing every time we went through it!
Breakfast was good with a massive selection although red beans in tomato (baked beans) only appeared on one day. The chinese version of western sausages didn't work out too well and they constantly moved the tea each day so breakfast turned into a bit of a game of hide and seek to make a brew. Breakfast was a bit expensive though at around 200RMB (about £20 GBP)
All the staff were pleasant and very helpful and most of them had a basic grasp of English meaning we could communicate. The bar was never busy when we were there and prices for both the bar and the mini-bar and room service were reasonable considering this is a 4* hotel (much cheaper outside of course!)
All in all, it surpassed my expectations and I wouldn't hesitate to stay there again. Even the working girls who stayed around the hotel entrance after dark (only two of them) were extremely polite and when you said that you didn't want a 'lady massage' or 'special massage', they didn't hassle unlike some of the chaps on opposite side of the river. Whilst smoking outside late at night they were happy to chat away.
For reference, we paid around £70 (GBP) for River View rooms in July via hotels.com. Others attending the conference with us paid well over £100 for rooms in hotels closer to the new conference centre. We preferred to stay close to the Bund for evening eating and drinking, but it did take us close to an hour to get from the hotel to the New conference centre via the Metro (cost of 40pence).
If you are heading to a busy conference at the New Conference Centre, think about getting a Day Pass for the Metro for 16RMB - it last 24 hours and means you don't have to queue for 30 minutes to get a ticket once the conference closes. Also, ensure you change at Longyang Road for the final stop on a separate line as it is quite a walk in 40 degree temperatures from Longyang Road!
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- Also Known As:
- Oriental Riverside Shanghai
- Hotel Oriental Riverside
- Oriental Riverside Hotel Shanghai