Just returned with my girlfriend from a week's stay in Shanghai at the Salvo. The lowdown: for the price we paid, this hotel was acceptable. I would have been quite unhappy if we had paid significantly more.
Price - We paid $60/night for an "Executive" room with breakfast, after a 15%-off coupon on booking.com. This seemed like a particularly good bargain when looking at comparable hotels in the city.
Location - Very well located, close to People's Park, the Bund, Nanjing road, many great shops and restaurants, and major subway lines.
The Room and Bed - A spacious, nicely-laid out room with a very comfortable bed and a beautiful high-floor view of the Bund and the skyscrapers in Pudong. A cool thing also is that even on the high floors the windows open partway, so you can listen to the sounds of the city - if the air isn't too bad, that is. The maid service was fine and the whole hotel in general felt well cleaned.
Internet - nonexistent in the guest rooms, the only wifi was in the lobby. Anyone in the spacious lobby bar was rudely chased out by the staff at all hours of the day if they didn't want to buy overpriced drinks, leaving at times a dozen people crowding into the one corner of the lobby where a few small couches outside of the "bar" allowed one to sit and surf. Bottom line is that if you stay in this hotel, consider it to be internet-less and bring your own device (cell phone/ipad) with a local SIM card (cheap and easy to find) for wireless data service, as the hotel offering is not going to be acceptable.
Breakfast - the morning buffet included in our room rate offered one the largest and most varied spreads of completely mediocre food that I've ever encountered. There were at least two dozen different items on offer - eggs, noodles, rice, sausage, dim sum, salads, breads, vegetables, meats, cheeses, pastries, and more... and every bit of it ranged from bland to outright bad. It did fill you up and for one or two days, it would be passable - but by the end of our stay we were using it for coffee and perhaps a bite of cereal, then going elsewhere for a real meal. If it's included in your rate, you might as well take it... but keep expectations very low. The view from the top floor lounge however is very nice - as long as the air isn't too polluted.
Concierge - somewhere between useless to outright malicious. We asked them one day about tickets to a specific acrobatics show and were told that the theater was closed that night. After investigating ourselves, we headed over to the theater and had no issues purchasing tickets for that evening's show. Several days later, we asked about another show and were told that it was sold out. Once again, after calling the theater in person we had no issues purchasing tickets. The worst insult however was with the cabs whose drivers wait in the lobby talking to the hotel staff. After a week in Shanghai, we had taken at least a dozen cabs hailed on on the street with no issue. The morning of our departure, we used one of the cabs whose driver was waiting in the lobby that morning - big mistake. He took us a long, circuitous out of the way route to our destination (confirmed via watching on Google Maps on my phone) and we watched the meter racing up at least double the rate as every other cab we had taken previously. Some negotiation brought the price down to a more reasonable level, but the cab drivers and the concierge are obviously colluding to rip off visitors.
Maintenance/Service/Staff - The toilet ran constantly unless the handle was jiggled, and the bathtub drain was broken (not a problem as we just used the shower anyway). Toilet paper was limited to a single roll, for a week's stay we had to ask at the front desk several times for more, which was left wrapped in plastic on the counter instead of hung on the empty roll. In general the staff either ignored us or were very dismissive when we attempted to ask for anything - so we basically just avoided them.
Air quality - this is not anything that is the hotel's fault but just a general note - the air in Shanghai can be pretty bad. At least half of the days of our trip it was noticeably, visibly hazy/smoggy, and after a full day of walking around, our lungs literally hurt by the evening. It can be mitigated somewhat by keeping an eye on the air quality website and planning indoor activities and traveling more by taxi than walking on particularly bad days - and there were several very nice, clear days - but be aware that it's a problem that you'll have to deal with - the locals told us that it's gotten much worse over the last few years. We both returned with chest colds and it sounds like most visitors end up this way.
Bottom line - The Salvo delivers what you pay for with good rooms in a very good location - just don't expect any level of service, and be sure you don't pay very much.
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- Also Known As:
- Salvo Hotel Zhongfu Shifuhui