I can find no fault with the Renaissance at Yu Garden. We have traveled extensively through China over the past six years and have stayed at numerous hotels in various provinces, although this was our first visit to Shanghai. I can say enthusiastically that the positive reviews on this site are not misleading. The Renaissance is located ideally in old town Shanghai and in walking distance of the Bund and even the French Concession or the Nanjing shopping street for these with a bit more stamina and time. The entrance on a side street just off Henan Rd. South is a bit unassuming but the hotel rooms, the lobby and reception area a few floors up are modern, well designed and well appointed.Our room was spacious, very clean with a great view of part of the old town as well as the Bund. The bathroom was also up to date and clean. Some have complained about inadequate Wi-Fi in the room. We did not find this to be a problem , although there apparently is a charge if you are not a Marriott Reward Member. The small problem that we had initially in accessing the internet was rapidly resolved by one of the hotel staff who appeared within minutes after our inquiry. One factor that clearly differentiates this hotel from others that we have stayed in in China is the exemplary service provided. All our requests were promptly and professionally attended to by the concierge or the front desk, from obtaining train tickets, making restaurant reservations, banking issues, postal problems, travel issues, etc. The hotel staff at the Renaissance were by far the most efficient, cheerful and professional we have met in our travels in this nation. It is really hard to place a value on such service. And yes, English is spoken by many. I would also highly recommend that you seek out Mr. Morgan Zhang, the chief concierge, if you have any need for services provided by the concierge desk. Mr. Zhang is a consummate professional as well as a very charming fellow. We immensely enjoyed our discussions with him about China and the Chinese character in English as well as our broken Mandarin.Since we had reserved our room through the internet at rock bottom rates,we were not entitled to breakfast nor were we willing to pay the relatively high price for a buffet we had no interest in. However, an authentic Shanghainese breakfast can be had for 10-20 rmb just a few blocks away in the small shopping complex adjacent to Yuyuan Garden ( a bit redundant since yuan means garden). Make a left when you exit the hotel and follow the small alley that takes you for a block or so through an older residential area. Cross Houjia Rd. and take a small jog to the right where you will pick up another small street that will lead you into the shopping complex of tourist oriented stores. In one corner of the courtyard you will find eateries that will fulfill your breakfast or luncheon needs. I would try the one on the second floor which is essentially a large room with a number of concessions lining one wall, serving all types of dim sum as well as congee ( rice gruel or soup ). Just walk down the row and pick out what you might want to try, pay the cashier, and enjoy. After breakfast, the whole area is worth a look if you are interested in scoring a few tourist nicknacks or if not then head for the Yu Garden, which is one of the more beautiful Chinese gardens we have seen, including those in Suzhou. While you are in the area and if you are interested in purchasing either Chinese, Japanese or Tahitian pearls, head to Pearl City, a block away. This is by far the best place to learn about pearls as well as to buy some and not get ripped off by scam artists. The ladies on the second floor were patient as well as helpful. Getting back to the Renaissance. As mentioned previously, this hotel enjoys an excellent location to explore the older areas of Shanghai. In addition, it is located just across the street from the Yuyuan metro station on line 10. If you do not care to walk to Nanjing Rd., just hop on the line 10 metro and take it up one stop to the Nanjing Rd. East station for 3 rmb, or change to line 2 and take it to People's Square, or etc. The Shanghai metro system is a true wonder and a great resource to efficiently and inexpensively visit almost any part of the city. At times it is faster than a taxi, especially for longer trips when road traffic is heavy. As the hotel is located in the old town of Shanghai where the Chinese were principally confined during the concession era, take advantage to explore these old streets by foot before they succumb to the wreckers ball. Shanghai Old St., a tourist oriented walking street two blocks south, is worth a look. A bit further to the south west is Dongtai Rd. which is also closed to traffic and filled with stalls and small shops selling stuff that seems to have been liberated from grandma's attic. The markets around the latter area reflect a China from times past and are rapidly being overtaken by modernity, so take a look-see before they are gone. If you walk down to the Bund make sure that you stop by the New Heights at 3 On The Bund on the 7th floor for a drink and a fantastic view of Pudong across the river from the outdoor terrace. All in all ,we truly enjoyed our stay in the Renaissance and will be looking forward to a visit in the future when we return to Shanghai.
- Also Known As:
- Renaissance Shanghai
- Shanghai Renaissance
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Located downtown near the famous Yu Garden and Old Town, the new Renaissance Shanghai Yuyuan Hotel is just minutes away from the Bund, Xintiandi and other tourist attractions. Whether staying for business or leisure, you'll be right at home at the Renaissance Shanghai Yuyuan Hotel. Our accommodations feature contemporary guest rooms and suites with luxurious bedding, high-speed Internet, safe, mini-bar and refrigerator. Top-notch facilities include a business centre, four event rooms and banquet halls, and a 17th-floor Club Lounge with expansive views of the city skyline. ... more less
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