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“Great location, lots to like but...”

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Grand Central Hotel Shanghai
Ranked #34 of 4,998 Hotels in Shanghai
Certificate of Excellence
Bury St. Edmunds, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
31 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“Great location, lots to like but...”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 20, 2014

Upon arrival in this rather swish hotel I was told that the rooms I'd booked were "rather small" and offered an upgrade (with accompanying costs). I said I'd like to see the rooms in question, so was shown up to the 13th and 15th floors by a polite gentleman on Reception called Eric. The original rooms were absolutely fine and, as it turns out, right next door to each other, which had been my only concern. Yes, the upgrade room was a grander affair, but...

I appreciate that hotels will try to make more money out of their customers, but it seemed a pity to have to go through this rigmarole when my family and I were tired after our internal flight and metro journey across the city.

Other than this, I have only positive comments to make about Grand Central Hotel Shanghai! The rooms were great, with separate bath and shower and also really nice furniture. Housekeeping was excellent - we found a subtle note pushed under our doors whenever the cleaners had tried to access our rooms but 'Do Not Disturb' was showing. The note politely asked us to contact Housekeeping when we were ready to go out, which only took a second and on each occasion we saw the Housekeeping team approaching as we made our way to the lifts. The rooms were always spotless upon our return. The swimming pool was also excellent and formed part of a very high quality, relaxed leisure facility. Our kids could do their lengths and then have some play-fun without impinging on anyone else's space, which was great. Location-wise, having stayed in the Jin Mao Tower in Pudong on a previous visit, I know that getting around Shanghai can be challenging and would definitely recommend Grand Central Hotel for being so close to the Bund and East Nanjing Road. We got about the city quite easily by Metro and on foot - apart from the odd crowded carriage to contend with it was absolutely fine.

After the check-in experience, our only encounters with 'front of house' were polite members of staff at the entrance and a quite friendly, efficient lady who helped us check-out in a couple of minutes. We did not eat breakfast at the hotel but found 'Croissants of France' on Hankou Road, which is no more than two minutes' walk away. Although it doesn't look much from the outside, inside there are places to sit and the pastries / breads are delicious. We ate there every morning and would recommend it.

In conclusion, Grand Central Hotel has lots going for it, but needs to get its customer service priorities right to warrant a five-star rating.

Room Tip: Rooms 1301 and 1303 face the internal atrium, although you are actually well above the atrium's...
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  • Stayed August 2014, traveled with family
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank JCC2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
grandcentralhotelsha, qc at Grand Central Hotel Shanghai, responded to this review, August 24, 2014
Dear Guest, Thank you very much for your great review of our Hotel. We are so pleased that you enjoyed your stay, and we truly appreciate your high esteem of our room facilities, location as well as the service. We look forward to welcoming you back.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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972 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (132)
Date | Rating
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English first
London
Level Contributor
42 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 65 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 20, 2014 via mobile

Synopsis (Overall + Value)

Fantastic stay, good location. We had a spacious twin room, at £90 per night (£45pp).

Location

Located centrally, the hotel was around 5-10minute walk to the subway. Lots of shops and amenities nearby, including a 24h ATM.

Transfer

We would have preferred to take the subway to the hotel, but our flight had been delayed so we were left with no option but airport transfer taxi. The hotel had advised us that it should cost ¥250 (useful as the taxi people tried to charge us ¥450 initially. Feel free to haggle).

Hotel Room

Luxurious, clean, spacious. Two large beds, TV, safe, fridge, a comfy chairs. What you'd expect from a decent quality hotel. Both a bath tub and walk in shower. Everything about the room oozes class.

Bed

Comfortable. Slept very well.

Wifi

Good speeds, no connection issues. Websites such as FaceBook, YouTube, Twitter, Google maps and google search are banned in China, but easily accessible using a VPN. After a little research I chose VyprVPN, which worked well on my iPhone too. Google it for more info.

Service

Friendly and helpful staff. Didn't need to interact too much. The bellboys always offered to help with luggage and held open doors, unlike the reviews of some previous tripadvisor members. Some people need to lighten up! Wheeling my own luggage to a lift isn't a big deal to me, god forbid that should happen.

Breakfast

Very expensive add on, so we chose not to eat here. Instead, there is a "Muslim Resyaurant" literally across the road in the alleyway that served excellent and affordable food.

Other

There are computers available in the executive lounge (we were lucky to get a free upgrade). Would suggest using the Mac, as the PC is a bit outdated.

Stayed August 2014, traveled with friends
Helpful?
4 Thank Narmak
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
grandcentralhotelsha, qc at Grand Central Hotel Shanghai, responded to this review, August 24, 2014
Dear Guest, Thank you for taking the time to share with us what you enjoyed most about your visit. We are very grateful for your encouraging feedback! We look forward to welcoming you back often upon your future stay.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Shanghai, China
Level Contributor
89 reviews
52 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 17, 2014

We choose this hotel based on location and the TripAdvisor ranking, we were very disappointed by the experience and wonder how the hotel can be rated so highly? It is in a good location, but there are many hotels in this area for similar price. Actually, the hardware is okay, it is the software/the service that is poor.
Like other reviewers, we got no assistance with luggage upon arrival and little help with taxis from the bellboys/doormen, it was faster to go to the street and get our own taxi. Check-out was very slow and the service was surly. Housekeeping was good, room was clean and tidy. Breakfast was below average, they cater mainly for Chinese and the service is bad/unfriendly. Despite the signage for no smoking, it is not enforced and constantly had to walk through smokers in the entrance way. We thought the rooms were very noisy, can hear lots of noise from the corridor.

  • Stayed August 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Qualitycontroller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
grandcentralhotelsha, qc at Grand Central Hotel Shanghai, responded to this review, August 24, 2014
Dear Guest, Thank you for your recent stay at our Hotel and taking the time to share your feedback. We understand your disappointment and we sincerely apologize for our service. Thank you for bringing it to our attention and we will take action to improve our service. We hope we will be given an opportunity to change your impression.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stockholm
Level Contributor
41 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 16, 2014

I stayed at this property with a friend for a week in late April-early May of 2014, sharing a double room with twin beds. As other reviewers have pointed out the hotel is in a very central location in Shanghai, a stone's throw from Nanjing Road and with the Bund within walking distance. After having explored Shanghai for a week on this trip, I realize that if I were to return, I would probably choose to stay in a more "genuine" neighborhood, perhaps the French concession, for instance. But for a first-time visit, the location of the Grand Central is practical, with restaurants, sights, shopping, subway and more nearby.

Our room was normal in size, with comfortable beds and a pretty nice view of central parts of Shanghai. Cleaning was good. The decor of the room and the entire hotel is terrible though - very late 80's-early 90's faux-deluxe style, pretty tacky actually. Wifi worked well for my friend and not at all for me, which probably had more to do with issues with my iphone than with the quality of the hotel's wifi. The gym at the hotel is small, as in so many other hotels around the world, but sufficient for a decent workout.

We found service at this hotel to appear confused and lacking in professionalism on a couple of occasions, such as checkin/checkout and, especially, at breakfast. Breakfast was not included in our room rate, but although it was pretty expensive we chose to pay the additional cost of having breakfast at the hotel every day. This seemed to cause great confusion with the staff - some times we were supposed to sign a bill at the breakfast table, other times we were told we had to inform the front desk no later than the day before if we wanted breakfast the following day... All this may very well have been the result of language issues, as the level of the staff's English was uneven, to put it diplomatically. Regardless, it was annoying and not something you wish to have to deal with every morning.

All in all an OK but not great hotel experience. Would I stay here again if I were to return to Shanghai? No, I'd try something with a more modern and professional feel to it, and in a different neighborhood. There are so many hotels in Shanghai to choose from, so why not try something else? This one is a little overrated by other reviewers it seems to me.

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Larshie_B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
grandcentralhotelsha, qc at Grand Central Hotel Shanghai, responded to this review, August 24, 2014
Dear Guest, Thank you for your recent stay at our Hotel and taking the time to share your feedback. We understand your disappointment and we sincerely apologize for our service. Thank you for bringing it to our attention and we will take action to improve our service. We hope we will be given an opportunity to change your impression.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bolzano, Italy
Level Contributor
83 reviews
64 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 15, 2014

Despite the optimal location, this hotel let us down for a series of issues. Just arrived nobody took us the luggage and we must bring them ourselves at check-in desk and then in the room (along an infinite aisle). The security check at every entrance was quite too zealous and indeed slow (I was expecting the guy took a latex glove and does me an internal inspection!!). We had breakfast for 2 days at 9.45AM (buffet closes at 10.30) and twice we found that some food and beverage was already finish and not refurbished (or, like the waffles, it was though and cold). The major issue was in the room where the temperature was pretty cold (outside, there was only 16C and I think in the room only a couple of degree more). We try the heating and it doesn't work (pretty normally in the middle of May); what it was not acceptable, it was that with the system set to OFF from the a/c grid comes out chilly air... we ask the reception to fix it without results, so we had to arrange ourselves with sheets of paper and other stuff (see photo)...not the top in a five star hotel. Last we ask for a late check-out till 6PM (we had the flight very late) and we are charged to the half of the standard rate, about 660 RMB (quite the same rate we pay for the overnight...).
In conclusion, maybe we were unlucky, but I cannot advice this hotel.

  • Stayed May 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank SandroRiz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
grandcentralhotelsha, qc at Grand Central Hotel Shanghai, responded to this review, August 24, 2014
Dear Guest, Thank you for sharing your recent experience at our Hotel. We will bring your valuable feedback to the concerned department head immediately and please accept our sincere apologies for all the inconvenience caused to you. We sincerely hope you’ll have a different experience in your next visit to our hotel.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 14, 2014

My wife & I stayed here for a couple of nights during our short visit to Shanghai during the first week of August. The hotel is very luxurious and the room given to us was large and well laid out with free wifi. The entrance to the lobby is really grand. The staff was quite friendly and accommodating. We came here after a very tiring 15 days of travel in China/Tibet ( tour organised by China Culture Tour) and found the 2 nights spent at GCHS to be very relaxing.
The hotel is located walking distance from the Bund & closer to a very large shopping area. There are ample restaurants(if you know what to eat) and grocery stores closer to the hotel.
Compared to most of the expensive hotels we have stayed this is 5 star treatment for an average price. By the way I hope the restaurant staff managed to catch that cockroach which took a trek across our breakfast table one morning. In general this is good value for money.

  • Stayed August 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Oliver F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
grandcentralhotelsha, qc at Grand Central Hotel Shanghai, responded to this review, August 24, 2014
Dear Guest, Thank you for taking the time to share with us what you enjoyed most about your visit. We are very grateful for your encouraging feedback! We look forward to welcoming you back often upon your future stay.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
27 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 13, 2014 via mobile

My friend and I arrived at the hotel via an airport shuttle service (costing ¥250, haggled down from ¥450). We had to take this option because we landed in Shanghai after midnight. Had we landed earlier, we would have taken the metro, which has a station located five-minutes away from the hotel by walk.
As soon as we entered the hotel you can tell how luxurious it is. The lobby/restaurant area looks amazing and all the hotel staff are friendly and helpful, speaking very good English.
The room is as luxurious as the lobby, being spacious and clean. The gold trim to the room's accessories helps add class to the experience.
The free hotel wifi worked perfectly in the room.
If you want breakfast at the hotel it will cost £16 per person. My friend and I decided against this as there are many restaurants close to the hotel.

Stayed August 2014, traveled with friends
Helpful?
1 Thank Mustansar H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
grandcentralhotelsha, qc at Grand Central Hotel Shanghai, responded to this review, August 14, 2014
Dear Guest, Thank you very much for your great review of our Hotel. We are so pleased that you enjoyed your stay, and we truly appreciate your high esteem of our room facilities, location as well as the service. We look forward to welcoming you back.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Grand Central Hotel Shanghai

Property: Grand Central Hotel Shanghai
Address: No.505 Jiujiang Road, Shanghai 200001, China
Location: China > Shanghai Region > Shanghai > People’s Square
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #34 of 4,998 Hotels in Shanghai
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Grand Central Hotel Shanghai 4.5*
Number of rooms: 353
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