On my first travels to China, my first visit was a stop in Shanghai, one of the largest cities in this country. With its skyline and stunning river views, the Grand Kempinski Hotel Shanghai was the perfect home base for exploring this historic city.
High Speed Shanghai Arrival
After landing and passing surprisingly quickly through customs, my host from Mandarin Journeys met me, and we boarded the high speed maglev train to arrive in less than 30 minutes in Shanghai’s Pudong District. Although we avoided the traffic from the airport and more than an hour commute, we still took a taxi to get to the hotel, and that’s when I first experienced the craziness of traffic in China. All you can do is sit back, relax and enjoy the ride — and the consistent and persistent horn honking.
Located in the Lujiazui financial and trade section with its prestigious address in the financial and trade district, the Grand Kempinski Hotel Shanghai is one of many towering skyscrapers in a city with buildings and architects constantly competing to be the tallest.
With so many hotels and skyscrapers and my inability to speak Chinese, I also quickly learned to snap a phone photo of my hotel to show to the taxi drivers.
Upon arrival, the expansive and elegant lobby included a bar to the left and the reception desk to the right.
The decor was impressive, almost contemporary art museum quality, and I couldn’t help but notice the numerous Chihuly pieces. My late afternoon arrival allowed for no-wait check-in and within minutes I was in the elevator and in my room.
Accommodations With a River View
With 686 rooms and suites and an abundance of meeting space, the hub of elevators surprisingly transports guests quickly to their rooms.
My deluxe room with two queen beds is the largest in this category in the city with contemporary design, and the best part was the view of the Huangpu River. Shanghai is a port city, south of where the Yangtze River empties into the East China Sea. This prime location gives Shanghai the perfect storm as an excellent sea and river port, and oftentimes I was drawn to the window (day and night) simply to watch the river traffic.
I shared my accommodations with my friend writer/blogger Danielle. The bathroom was also a surprise, large with a shower, tub, two sinks, and a door for privacy in the toilet, perfect for two.
The larger room was comfortable for the two of us, with plenty of space to spread our belongings.
I confess I took over the work desk (big space and great place to connect), but for the short time we stayed here, we literally co-mingled our electronics to keep plugged in and charged.
Did I mention the views of the river from my deluxe room? Not as impressive as the views from the Presidential Suite.
Worth the Upgrade: Executive Lounge
The Executive Lounge gave us access to yet another impressive view of the Huangpu River and complimentary WiFi in our room (not as dependable) and the Executive Lounge (strong signal).
Also included were daily complimentary food and beverage services: impressive breakfast buffet with local Chinese dishes as well as traditional American breakfast; afternoon tea; and evening happy hour. Throughout the day, guests can stop by the lounge for complimentary coffee, tea and other beverages, and simply a quiet place to unwind and work.
Other than sleeping, breakfast and one evening night cap at the Red Passion Bar on the 30th floor (views of the city), I spent most of my time experiencing and exploring the city, so I did not take advantage of the many amenities at the Grand Kempinski Hotel Shanghai including the indoor swimming pool, spa and gym.
Several on-site food and dining options were available, including Elements, an all day dining and buffet restaurant; the Cantonese Suntime Century restaurant; Italian Acqua restaurant with open kitchen and views over Huangpu River; Spanish tapas at Albero; and the Lobby Bar.
The Grand Kempinski Hotel Shanghai is located in the heart of Asia’s financial centre, overlooking the Huangpu River. Its location allows guests easy access to major landmarks and tourist attractions. Bring comfortable shoes as you’ll put a lot of walking miles exploring Shanghai landmarks, such as the 100 floors of the Shanghai World Financial Cente and Old China, the Pu-Xi, historical part of the city with the famous Yu Gardens.