Check In, Check Out: Hotel Review: Andaz Shanghai

Written By wartini cantika on Rabu, 26 Desember 2012 | 17.35

Hyatt Hotel

The lobby of the Andaz Shanghai.

A large hotel with a Westernized, boutique feel. Rooms start at 1,600 renminbi (about $260, at 6.15 renminbi to the dollar).


From the moment you arrive at the Andaz Shanghai, you encounter a departure from typical understated Chinese hospitality. The chatty host immediately offers you a cup of coffee or tea, inviting you to relax on one of the lobby's sofas while he scuttles off to check you in. As you wait, you'll be faced with prominently displayed framed photos of people at Andaz hotels around the world, having fun around a pool or posing by a giant guitar. Subtlety is not a strong suit nor a goal at this 307-room, 28-story hotel, which introduced the Hyatt boutique brand and its Western-style quirkiness to Asia in the fall of 2011.


The hotel is in the heart of Xintiandi, a neighborhood filled with bars and restaurants that occupy traditional shikumen (stone gate) houses from the 19th century, which combine Western and Chinese architectural elements. It's also close to a Metro station and Huaihai Zhong Road, an upscale shopping street.


The most striking element of my Andaz King room was the windows, which were almost floor to ceiling and provided a sweeping city view. The wood floors of alternating dark and light strips and the headboard swathed in patterned fabrics gave an elegant air. Wireless Internet and nonalcoholic minibar items are free, which meant my husband and I had our fill of White Rabbit candy, juices and sodas. The panel of buttons that controlled the lighting was confusing. It was great to be able to choose three "Bedroom Scene" options and to select a color for the LED mood lighting emanating from the ceiling, but I had to call housekeeping to figure out how to turn one specific reading light on.


Truly impressive, from the heated floor and toilet seat to the craggy rock walls that make you feel as if you're showering in a grotto. The combination toilet and bidet comes with a panel that determines sprays of water, and another panel shifts the colors of the translucent, glowing sink and bathtub from blue to red to green. It took another call to housekeeping, though, to learn that the shallow wooden contraption we thought was a shoe box beneath the sink was our "trash can."


The hotel offers a happy hour, serving free wine along with sweets like Chinese haw flakes and a snack that tasted like a savory Rice Krispies Treat. Éclair, a patisserie off the lobby, sells pastries and chocolates; Hai Pai, the hotel's restaurant, serves Chinese and French bistro dishes. The quality of customer service, however, was mixed. When we mentioned a restaurant in passing to our host while checking in, he quickly produced a printed-out map, review and directions. But when we texted the e-concierge to ask about nearby lunch options, it took over half an hour to get a response. Later, however, our text concierge helped make a complicated dinner reservation without a hitch.


The breakfast provided with the room consisted of coffee, tea, apple juice and a tray of cold, tough buns filled with red-bean paste (along with various recycled happy hour snacks) set out in the reception area.


A comfortable, if slightly offbeat, boutique hotel experience that will be worth the money if the customer service kinks can be worked out.

Andaz Shanghai, 88 Songshan Road, Shanghai; (86-21) 2310-1234; 

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