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“Old colonial hotel in Shanghai”
Review of Astor House Hotel

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Astor House Hotel
Ranked #86 of 5,069 Hotels in Shanghai
Port Coquitlam, Canada
Level 6 Contributor
161 reviews
62 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 264 helpful votes
“Old colonial hotel in Shanghai”
Reviewed May 30, 2010

If you want a bit of old colonial Shanghai stay at the Astor House. Old wooden floors and panelling everywhere, and my room (on the third floor) was huge. Modern bathroom, but lovely wood floors and old furniture and lots of space in between. Fantastic location at the end of The Bund, and walking distance or short taxi ride from many of the major attractions - Shanghai Museum; old city; major shopping areas. They charge for internet, but very reasonable rates. Didn't try the restaurant, because we wanted to sample places in the city centre that had been recommended, but the prices looked OK. Twin beds in my room were clean and comfortable. Many famous people have stayed here, and there is lots of historical information on the walls.

  • Stayed May 2010, traveled on business
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Helpful?
2 Thank old-jogger
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Boston, Massachusetts
2 reviews
Reviewed May 12, 2010

Astor House is apparently the oldest hotel in Asia...we could tell. However, despite it's age, the hotel's rooms were enough and incredibly accomodating. The bathroom was also very big. We had plenty of room to spread out and relax. Also, the fact that it is located at the head of the Bund (base of the river) means that you are in the perfect location to do a walking tour of either side of the river. Very convenient and quite close to the shopping district of Nanjing. If you like to walk and don't mind the spooky vibe, this is the perfect hotel for you!

  • Stayed April 2010, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank jenga100
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Miami Beach, Florida
Level 6 Contributor
138 reviews
93 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 139 helpful votes
Reviewed May 9, 2010

I'd give an overall review of 3/5 rather than a 4/5 were it not for the charms of the building itself.

The Good:
I recommend staying here for the character of the building and rooms alone, especially the "Celebrity" rooms. We had the Ulysses S. Grant room. It's humongous with original wood floors. They put us for one night in one of the newer executive class rooms and that was also very nice--in fact much better appointed--but did not have the historic character. However, the executive room was much nicer in terms of the bathroom facility, LCD TV, and sleek feel. The Celebrity room we stayed in had a dowdy bathroom and no frills but the overall character of the space made up for it. The whole hotel creaks with the memories of those who have stayed here in the past.

The Bad:
I'll go so far to say the service was bad. We stayed for 10 nights, and and the service was uniformly icy. We booked in advance all 10 nights in the Celebrity Room. Far from being warmly welcomed, when we checked in they said the Celebrity room was unavailable and they will put us in an executive room. This was stated as a matter of fact, with no smile and no apology. Quite the opposite. She even tried to sell us on paying more for some other room. I thought it was bad taste to change my reservation and then ask me to pay more because of their error. Of course we said no, and we also had to ask them when the Celebrity room was available because they were not about to notify us. Unprofessional and rude. I also noticed that each time we walked past reception, no one would look up. Not once in 10 days did anyone at the front desk acknowledge our existence when we walked past towards the elevator. I found that extremely depressing. All in all, the staff were a sullen, dowdy bunch except for a few friendly women who worked at the breakfast lounge and one or two of the doormen/women. Those were the only smiles I recall from our stay.

Incidentally, breakfast was decent (congee, omlet station, buffet) but not the best quality stuff. The location is...well it's alright. On the one hand you are practically on the Bund, off a bridge that offers the best spot for pictures of Pudong. Also nearby is the Old Post Office which has a superb museum (free) I would highly recommend. However, there is no good food nearby and the metro is not close either. It took us quite a while to get where we wanted to go.

Summary:
A characterful building makes it a good place for a first visit to Shanghai, but the reception is cold and unfriendly.

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank raincitysunshine
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Perth
Level 5 Contributor
74 reviews
45 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
Reviewed May 2, 2010

Location, location wow. I'm sitting in our hotel room at the moment windows open listening to the sounds of Shanghai, its amazing. The hotel is over 160 yrs old, but with modern day finishes. We are in a delux room with two doule beds, its huge. My son has been sitting at the desk doing his homework and found a little container with a ruler, eraser, pencil, paper clips etc I have never seen this in a hotel before such a homely touch. The bathrooms are very modern and large. Very clean.
The staff at the front desk are very friendly and speak good english, the resturant staff are great as well. When we arrived last night we where greeted by staff in kilts with smiles on their face, then walking into the lobby was like walking back in time, its beautiful. Even one of the elevators is a step back in time having a elevator operator using the old levers.

The locations is about a 2 minute walk to The Bund and close to all points of interest.

The only thing to let the hotel down so far is the shower, its cold then boiling hot it might just be our room, its a minor problem.

  • Stayed May 2010, traveled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank Trace_Nick_Blake
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
taipei
Level 5 Contributor
58 reviews
38 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed April 16, 2010

Few things about this historical hotel.
1. The construction at bund is totally finished and it looks so beautiful that you could not believe it. One side is the modern Shanghai and the other is the old Shanghai with it's nt charm. Recommend you can visit the bund at least twice, day time and night. It only takes 3 minutes walking from the hotel to the bund.
2. The breakfast is quite nice. Manage to find fruit, vegatables, bread, toast, bacon, ham , most of the Chinese tradition foods, fresh fruit drink, milk....
3. I observe some misunderstanding between customers and the hotel staff is really because of the language. The hotel staffs want to be as much helpful as possible but sometimes just could not get it immediately because of the language. I would recommend to slow down if you speak other lamguage than Mandarian.
4. I stay at the "Richard Executive Room" for 3 nights. The room and bathroom are big. The bed is firm in the chinese way but comfortable.

Almost love everything about the hotel but the noise from the street. It doesn't stop 24 hours a day even midnight...terrible.

But would still recommend this hotel to all who love non regular hotel and surprise. Be patient about the communication with hotel staff then everything will be perfect.

  • Stayed April 2010, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank SeanAndIanAtTaipei
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Anchorage, ak
Level 6 Contributor
98 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
Reviewed April 13, 2010

Stayed at the Astor for about 1 week and absoutely loved it. It is not the hotel for everyone...It is like living in the past but with all the modern conveniences. It is one of the oldest hotels in Shanghai....It had the first electric lights and I believe the first phone installed. Anyone who was anybody in the 1800's and early 1900's stayed at the Astor. Chou En Lai, Edgar Snow, Einstein, Bertrand Russel, the British royal family, and numerous more have stayed here......and I am absolutely sure that Bertrand Russel sat on the same couch that I did in his room.....The celebrity rooms are enormous by today's standards, the bathrooms also....Everything works....Free internet,,,free bottled water...the location I think is wonderful. Within easy walking distance to the pedestrian shopping streets, across from the Russian consulate, across from the Garden bridge which is featured in Emperor of the Sun....Good transportation....and cabs are very cheap. The restaurant serves both Western and Chinese food....the bar plays wonderful jazz...think 30's with Ella and Billy....The breakfast buffets are bounteous and have both Western and Chinese food. When we were there, there were Chinese weddings everyday inside the hotel...I will be back to Shanghai....and I will stay here again.

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank laughinghusky
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
Reviewed March 16, 2010

The Astor House is Shanghai's oldest hotel but the rooms have been modernised sympathetically in a fabulous blend of old and new. I can't recommend this place highly enough for anyone with a sense of history who hates the sterility of a modern hotel. Everything about the Astor House reeks of a glorious past, including its celebrated former guests like Albert Einstein, Charles Chaplin and Bertrand Russell. Strolling its faded corridors, you can almost feel the ghosts of the place around you, though I hasten to say there's nothing creepy about any of it. Even the ordinary rooms are vast, the bathrooms are spacious and the mattresses firm in the Chinese style, which I happen to like. We booked a Richard's executive room but be warned; these face the street where the jackhammers are busy getting the Bund area ready for the Shanghai Expo in May. When I complained to the sympathetic management, they upgraded us to one of the best rooms in the hotel, a vast third floor suite with an area of 110 square metres, a grand entrance corridor, large desk with computer, a juliet balcony facing the Russian consulate and adjoining bridge plus lighted display cabinets containing 18 century ornaments and relics. Wonderful. We felt like celebrities visiting Shanghai in the 1930s. The Astor is government owned, so the staffing levels are constant and seem to bear no relationship to demand. We ate in the second floor restaurant one night and were the only people there. But a full staff of 8 or 9 people hovered around us and the kitchen produced an exemplary meal of Shanghainese fare, including a spectacular dish of beef tendons. I strongly recommend washing all this down with Chinese Dynasty red wine and a half bottle of fiery Chinese spirits ( 52 proof ). Breakfasts at the Astor House are impressive, a vast dining area under amazing chandeliers where you can order eggs cooked any way you like, good, strong coffee and a selection of cereals and fruit. We found the staff highly professional and eager to please, even if some have yet to fully develop their English language skills. It was my partner's birthday the day after we arrived and reception organised the most beautiful bunch of flowers, which we were not charge for. A wonderful gesture which we very much appreciated. The Astor House may not be for everyone and aficionados of the modern, minimalist and sleek are best advised to look elsewhere. But if you spend your working life in Hiltons, Hyatts and the like, maybe you'll appreciate a place with extraordinary character, a throwback to a gentler age and a chance to experience what old Shanghai must have been like when the Astor's roll call of famous former guests strolled the same corridors. We loved every minute. Highly recommended and unique.

  • Stayed March 2010, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank Talanoaman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Astor House Hotel

Property: Astor House Hotel
Address: No.15 Huangpu Road, Hongkou District, Shanghai 200080, China
Location: China > Shanghai Region > Shanghai > Hongkou , The North Bund
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#24 Best Value Hotel in Shanghai
#60 Romantic Hotel in Shanghai
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Astor House Hotel 3.5*
Number of rooms: 130
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Astor House Hotel Shanghai
Astor Hotel Shanghai

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