I travel internationally a lot and I have four main priorities when selecting a hotel other than location, which is unique to each person’s travel needs: 1) solid air conditioning that can be controlled from the room, 2) no-smoking rooms that truly are no-smoking rooms (read: no nasty smell in the room), 3) free in-room wi-fi, and 4) access to good Western breakfasts with the breakfast charge included in the room rate. Give me these four things and I’m willing to pay up a bit. The Grand Central Hotel-Shanghai was excellent, overall. The air conditioning was terrific, the room did not smell of smoke (I was on the 11th floor) and the included breakfast was stellar. The only issue I had with this hotel is that free wi-fi was only available n the lobby. However, the hotel said they’d be happy to bring some sort of unit to my room if I wanted it. Since I was only staying one night I took a pass. While in the lobby, though, the wi-fi worked great and was easy to access. I should also mention that the people there were friendly and helpful, the whole hotel was clean and modern and I checked in and out in a flash. The rate was very reasonable and I felt like I was staying in a more expensive hotel. Last, for RMB600, the hotel arranged for an airport pickup in a nice Audi. The driver was right there waiting for me when I came into the arrivals hall and we were off like a shot. Worth every penny after a very long trip. Next time I’m in Shanghai, I’ll stay at Grand Central Hotel-Shanghai again in a second.
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