Updated: Sep 20, 2019
I finally visited Shanghai for the first time over the weekend - and I have to admit this was one of the most fun weekend retreats of my entire life. Much of it due to the hotel I stayed at over the duration of my stay - the W Shanghai at The Bund. The full meaning of a 'lifestyle hotel' comes to life at the W Shanghai, through the eccentric designs of its facilities, the various modern F&B outlets, and glamorously decked out guest rooms. It's a young and buzzing hotel, with music blasting from some event or other on the lobby floors and a constantly flowing crowd of hip international clientele. It was the perfect setting for a weekend away with friends (and I imagine the same for solo travelers, couples and families). Read on to find out why.
I stayed in the Spectacular Room Guest Room (1 King) with Bund View for two nights, which boasts a luxurious space of 46 sq. meters with a complete view of the famous Bund skyline. The room itself is very clean and comfortable, with a massive cushy king bed adorned with a xiao long bao / chopsticks. The marble bathroom has a separate shower and bathtub, and amenities are available upon request, due to the hotel's new policy for using less single-use plastics. Just dial the "Whatever/Whenever" button on your phone, and someone brings it up in a minute.
The skies cleared up on the last day of my stay here since it was typhooning all weekend, and the resulting view was absolutely mesmerising. People kept telling me I was missing out on the 'real' Shanghai during the downpour, even though I was already having so much fun eating soup dumplings, checking out the local spas and Didi-ing around the city as it's SO cheap compared to Uber in Hong Kong.
Dinner at YEN Chinese Restaurant
For our first night, we had dinner at YEN Chinese Restaurant located on the fifth floor of the hotel, following pre-dinner cocktails at the sixth floor Liquid at YEN bar. We had a tasting menu of the signature dishes by the chef, who mentioned his training at various dai pai dongs (open-air food stalls) throughout his early career set the foundation of his current knowledge of Chinese cooking. I was very impressed by the homemade kimchi that first came out as an appetiser, made with a Chinese twist of fermented bean curd. I am always a sucker for soothing Chinese-style soups, and the traditional consomme soup course with Yunnan matsutake was also one of my favourites, along with the steamed Iceland cod fillet with olive-black beans sauce. The view from the restaurant is also excellent, so do take a night out of your stay to enjoy a tasty Shanghai-style dinner here.
Breakfast in Bed
Honestly one of the biggest joys of my Shanghai trip was my time in the room. What made it even better was being served this monster breakfast one morning while I was still in bed recovering from a hangover after a night out. Fresh fruits, waffles, jams, eggs, sausages, tomatoes, and an assortment of pastries made for a very filling Saturday morning breakfast. Also, orange juice and a very generous glass of Veuve Clicquot champagne.
Afternoon Tea at WOOBAR
I got to try the newly launched afternoon tea (August 2019) at WOO Bar, aptly themed on booze and mixology. Every bite in the afternoon tea set contains 1% alcohol in it, and each treat is set upon a tool used by bartenders and mixologists, like jiggers, strainers and shakers. Super cute and an aesthetically pleasing set-up. We also got to try a range of new cocktails from the bar, which you should definitely sip on to complement the small bites.
For reservations, call +86 21 2286 9961.
Sunday Social Retox Brunch at THE KITCHEN TABLE
If only we had al fresco brunches like this in Hong Kong. Such a dreamy setting too, with the iconic Shanghai skyline as our backdrop. The Kitchen Table outdoor patio overlooks the W pool as well, so has that poolside party vibe going on with the live DJ music and free-flowing bubbly. I loved the crowd as well - very diverse, friendly and even a few famous faces in the mix like actor Ian Somerhalder (just casually).
The menu consists of appetisers and seafood served to the table, as well as brunch staples like eggs benny. You can choose your main course, and there's a buffet of amazing desserts you can check out at the end. Don't forget to mix up your own customised G&T at the bar, or go for the delicious rose & cucumber Aperol Spritz.
Social Retox brunch is available on Sundays at 12:30pm at The Kitchen Table.
RMB 398 – Keep It Fun (food, no booze) RMB 498 – Soak It In (food, unlimited cocktails) RMB 688 – Live It Up (food, unlimited cocktails & champagne)
I had an incredible experience over the mere two and a quarter days I spent in Shanghai. The W Shanghai is literally like an adult playground, with top notch service and luxurious & comfortable guest rooms. The hotel is well located at The Bund, and was around a 40 minute Didi ride to Hongqiao airport (can vary depending on traffic). My new go-to hotel in Shanghai for sure!
W Shanghai Booking & Contact Details
Tel: +86 21 2286 9999
Address: No.66 Lvshun Road, Shanghai 200080 China
About W Shanghai
W Shanghai -The Bund is located on the up-and-coming North Bund. Unveiling views of the Huangpu River, 374 supremely chic guestrooms and suites fuse sophisticated Mandarin designs with playful contemporary twists. Innovative in design, 5,800 square meters of function space, including the 2,050 square meters Great Room and 12 function rooms illuminated in natural light, ensures extraordinary meetings remixed. We have 4 social and dining options including The Kitchen Table, a modern New York City style bistro with international cuisine, YEN, a two-story destination restaurant that creates authentic Cantonese dishes with a twist, Liquid at YEN, a golden age inspired cocktail bar and WOOBAR, an energized playground spotlighting world renowned DJs and crafted concoctions. To unwind in spectacular style, guests can visit the well-equipped FIT gym, pampering AWAY Spa and city’s exclusive outdoor and indoor WET with a playful WET Deck that faces the iconic skyline.