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“Over hyped and under delivered”

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URBN Boutique Shanghai
Ranked #21 of 5,146 Hotels in Shanghai
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed January 3, 2009

My partner and I booked the URBN as a final treat after six weeks of travelling through Canada and Europe - this was meant to be two days of comfort before the final leg of journey home to Melbourne. We'd both read much about URBN in Vogue Travel, Conde Naste Traveller etc. so spent a bit more than we would have normally to stay here. We were both dissapointed to find that the hotel which was promoted as 'boutique' is actually far from it - there are no facilities, the finish is cheap and the whole feel of the place is a bit off. The bathrooms are finished in cheap slate with sharp edges and the wood is slimy - I wouldn't rest my toothbrush on the bench. There was no cable television - the hotel claimed it was govt censorship! Strangely the JIA seemed to have more channels than we had in Melbourne!
This is all hype - the hotel is 4 star at best and is cheaply finished and not to what I would call western standards. Nothing in the room looked like something I should have paid AUS$400 a night for. Concierge service was reluctant and the desk staff had attitude. We checked out after two days and stayed at the JIA - the two hotels cannot be compared. See my review for JIA and you'll understand why.

  • Stayed: November 2008, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank LosHombresFlacos
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed December 29, 2008

The Urbn Hotel Shanghai October 2008

This new hotel in Shanghai where I stayed for 5 nights is well situated near to many restaurants and the famous Nanjing road for high end shopping and the fake market.
We arrived in the evening and the attractive outside courtyard - thru which you enter - lobby, lounge and restaurant are very welcoming. Sadly during the day these areas are seemingly used by the hotel management as office working space creating an unprofessional atmosphere and a rather awkward ambience for guests wishing to use these particular facilities.

The bedrooms are modern in design but unfortunately very user unfriendly with sunken baths which in my view are quite dangerous being surrounded by slate which becomes very slippery when wet added to which they are exceptionally awkward to get in and out of.

To reach the sunken seating areas you need to be relatively agile and must avoid sharp corners and dark lurking steps. The rooms are dark and dreary therefore needing lights on at all times. Beds are comfortable, TVs did not work (only two channels - non English!) despite assurances this would be fixed.

The young trendy staff were always helpful and obliging but I felt a certain lack of direction as far as the management was concerned.

1  Thank ValerieBathEngland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 14, 2008

I had a milestone birthday in October and this was our trip to celebrate -- and what a celebration. This is a gorgeous hotel, centrally located, with quite lovely amenities. The rooms are gigantic, with their own seating areas, and a lovely view of bamboo through courtyard.

A few oddities to mention: first, the bathroom design. It's very glamorous but you do have to pay attention to where the water's going -- we found the floor wasn't canted quite as much as it probably ought to have been. The TV does indeed only get a few channels. When we arrived, the hotel included a notice explaining that the government had cracked down on satellite service and that the management was trying to find alternatives. I'm not sure they've been able to; here in Hong Kong, this bit of Olympics-driven paranoia was pretty widely covered so it hardly surprised us.

But the pluses were so many. There's a nifty little bar on the fourth floor, quite nice, and the restaurant is quite beautiful (although expensive so we decided to eat elsewhere).

The service was quite competent, if not super-warm. That, from what Chinese friends who've lived in Shanghai have told us, is rather part of Shanghai's culture.

Oh, and the location really is tough to bit, right near a subway station and on the border between the International Settlement and the French Concession. Walking around was itself a huge pleasure.

  • Stayed: October 2008, traveled as a couple
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Thank Christian J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 23, 2008

When I arrived at URBN, I was exhausted and irritable from my 20 hour flight from Canada, couldn't wait to set my things down. My taxi pulled up in front of this huge, beautiful wooden gate and URBN staff was actually there waiting for me. As I walked into the courtyard, I knew instantly that I had found an oasis within the hectic city. There were several fountains that drained out the noise from the streets and more greenery than I thought possible in Shanghai. The lobby and rooms were even more impressive. The service was friendly and quick -- I was in my room before I knew it, relaxing in my sunken lounge while running a bath in the japanese style free-standing tub.

As a nice touch, I received a phone call a few hours later from someone at the hotel's management, inviting me to enjoy a complimentary cocktail in the private lounge. I ended up in there till late and met tons of interesting people. THe next day, I got another call, inviting me to an exclusive art exhibit opening, Yoko Ono's art debut in China. That had to be my favourite part of the hotel. It's small enough that you feel like you get special attention and are well taken care of. The front desk was very useful when I had questions about where to go in Shanghai, they suggested restaurants, shopping and wrote down addresses for me.

All in all, I had a great experience at URBN and will be back whenever I get another chance to go to Shanghai.

  • Stayed: November 2008, traveled as a couple
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Thank worldtraveler2point0
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 6, 2008

Stayed at URBN for four nights while on vacation in Shanghai the last week of October. All the press and reviews of this hotel are mainly true - the rooms are beautifully designed and a soothing oasis within the hectic city. We stayed in an Atrium room, and the all black bathroom was quite unique and impressive. The location of the hotel is good - in a bustling, more residential part of the city.

Unfortunately, our stay was tainted by the terrible service we received from staff during our entire stay. From the moment that we checked in, we were treated with a total lack of interest to help us. There were always several people behind the front desk at any given time, but they always seemed more interested in talking to each other and surfing the web than greeting us or answering our questions. In a city as overwhelming as Shanghai - it would've been nice to feel like we were being taken care of. We didn't have a safe in our room upon check-in and the staff did not have interest in placing one in there until I requested it twice. The common excuse I got when I asked a question (my missing safe, no more than 3 Chinese TV channels, no more than 5 outdated DVDs available from their "catalog") was that this is a new hotel. Since this hotel has been open for almost a year, I didn't find that to be a good reason.
And lastly, on our very first morning, we were given a very chilly warning by hotel management for bringing outside breakfast snacks to eat in the hotel outdoor dining space since that was "commercial space". I understand that we shouldn't be eating our own food in the hotel restaurant, but it was 8am and we were sitting there for no more than 5 minutes. Since the manager hadn't met us before, I think it would've been nice to warmly welcome us to the hotel first before scolding us to please eat our own food in our room. This unfriendly encounter is not something I expect to have when we are only one of 26 guests staying at a hotel?! it was disappointing.

The design and location are great, but I would not go back or recommend URBN to anyone else.

  • Stayed: October 2008, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank repeattraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 27, 2008

The URBN in Shanghai was exactly what my husband and I needed after a grueling 3 days the bamboo forest, Yellow Mountain, and Suzhou. We spent two nights here in hopes of catching a glimpse of Shanghai on our whirlwind China trip. The staff was very helpful and arranged dinner reservations as well as hailed taxis for us. They spoke excellent English and were always willing to help at any time. The beds were perfect. Everything was very clean. The smell was fresh and nice. Our room was closest to the street but we didn't even hear the sounds of the Shanghai traffic. The elements of color and design inside this hotel are very pleasing. The only thing we did not like was the restaurant at the hotel. Though they served us an excellent western breakfast in our room, the dinner the night before was very mediocre. The preparations were fine but the specific food combinations did not please my palate. If we go to Shanghai again, we would stay at the URBN.

  • Stayed: October 2008, traveled as a couple
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Thank EmilyTeresia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 1, 2008

I've stayed in a thousand hotels, in 15 countries. I've never had a GM sit with me and my travel companion at breakfast twice to write out suggested place to visit and help us plan our travels.

I've never had a hotel staff walk with me to local restaurant and help me order dinner in a restaurant that has no english menu.

At truly unique experience. I will be shocked if i ever stay in a different hotel in Shanghai.

  • Stayed: September 2008, traveled as a couple
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Thank Lou_NYC_Chelsea
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about URBN Boutique Shanghai

Address: No.183 Jiaozhou Road, Jing'an District, Shanghai 200040, China
Phone Number:
Location: China > Shanghai Region > Shanghai > Jing'an
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#21 Luxury Hotel in Shanghai
#28 Business Hotel in Shanghai
#42 Romantic Hotel in Shanghai
#152 Best Value Hotel in Shanghai
Price Range: $160 - $688 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — URBN Boutique Shanghai 4*
Number of rooms: 26
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
URBN Boutique Shanghai, the award-winning design-meets-sustainable boutique hotel, is ideally located in Shanghai's bustling downtown. A former warehouse, the redesigned hotel is located on a quiet tree-lined street in Jing'an District with an abundance of independent bars and cafes in the surrounding streets and is only minutes away from the commercial shopping district and subway lines 2 and 7. URBN Boutique Shanghai offers sleek rooms and suites over 4 floors with a blend of contemporary, minimalist aesthetics and modern day comforts such as the COCO-MAT Renewal Bed, free wifi, a DVD home theater unit, high-definition television, an in-room safe, a selection of New York fashion designer Jay Godfrey's paraben-free bathroom amenities, a well-stocked mini bar and one-of-a-kind artwork. The hotel also features a 24-hour gym and an on-property restaurant which serves a selection of cuisine with a wide selection of craft beers, artisanal cocktails, and wine in a casual atmosphere both inside and under the tented courtyard. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Urbn Hotel Shanghai

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