Hotel Review: Waldorf Astoria Shanghai
The Waldorf Astoria Shanghai is one of the most famous luxury hotels in the Chinese metropolis. In this extensive hotel review, whether staying here is worth it!
If you are looking for a luxury hotel in Shanghai, you’ll find plenty of options. Usually, the most popular are the ones located on the Puxi side right by the Bund promenade.
- Classification: Five Stars
- Room Category: Panoramic River View Room
- Month of Stay: November
Here, the Waldorf Astoria Shanghai definitely is one of the best located properties in town.
That said, the flagship of Hilton in Shanghai didn’t fully amaze me and I’m not sure whether I’d choose to stay here again despite the great location just a stonethrow away from the River Bund and the great views of the Pudong Skyline!
Panoramic River View Room at the Waldorf Astoria Shanghai
There’s not all that much to complain about when it comes to the Panoramic River View Room I received as an upgrade (due to my Hilton Diamond Status and a Hilton Impresario booking) for my stay at the Waldorf Astoria Shanghai.
While I’m not that much of a fan of the rather classical design, the room felt spacious and luxuriously furnished – yet with a very different design than for example the Four Seasons Shanghai.
The centerpiece is the usual King Bed, which comes with very comfortable bedding and feels plush – I really slept quite well here.
Right opposite of bed, you can find a flat-screen television and a drawer with some storage space.
Further to the window, you can find a nice little lounging area with a couch, a comfortable chair and a little table.
Here, some fruits were already waiting for me as a welcome gift.
Right next to this arrangement, you can find a large working desk, which comes with two comfortable chairs – something I always appreciate!
The highlight sure should be the views, particularly in this category, but as the weather was really bad, they didn’t really feel that great.
Yet, the weather was not the only problem, because the location of the room (on the 12th floor) meant that it was facing a not-so-nice roof and the river and skyline of Pudong in the distance only. When the weather cleared up, the view also became much nicer and definitely picturesquare.
Back to the room itself: Closer to the entrance area, there was not only a large minibar (with the usual insane pricing) and a complimentary coffee machine with capsules.
The bathroom comes with the luxurious feel you’d expect in a property of this quality with lots of marble and old-world-charm.
Aside from a dual vanity, a toilet and a seperated toilet, there’s also a marble bathtub, which I thought is really charming.
The walk-in shower is a bit tight, but comes with two shower heads and a good pressure.
All in all, I very much enjoyed the room at the Waldorf Astoria Shanghai, but I’d also like to be honest: I expected a bit more, particularly of the view and the decor, which just didn’t hit my taste.
Breakfast at the Waldorf Astoria Shanghai
The breakfast experience at the Waldorf Astoria Shanghai is really good and I’d say that there’s not all that much too improve when it comes to the buffet spread.
There are several stations with the typical cold options, including Western classics like bread, croissants, cheeses and cold cuts.
Obviously, there are also lots of Chinese options and other hot dishes from all cuisines, including Indian, American and more.
The highlight though are the live cooking stations, where you can order omelettes or custom made noodle soups.
In addition, there’s an extensive menu, which has options like eggs benedict or steak & egg on it.
While I really liked the quality and choice, the service was just mediocre and I also didn’t love the atmosphere of the somewhat crowded breakfast restaurant.
Long Bar at the Waldorf Astoria Shanghai
During my stay, I had the chance to try the famous Long Bar, which is located in the historic part of the hotel (which consists of one more modern tower and a historic building right by the Bund, which only has very few rooms and facilities).
You can get to the Long Bar through the lobby area and I’m sure you’ll enjoy the charme of this historic place, which feels much more like a historic bar in London than a spot to have a drink in a city like Shanghai. The choice of drinks also has a classical touch and Western price point.
I did not only go for drinks here, but also tried some snacks, which are not the typical bar classics, but come with quite an interesting spin.
From tacos to a special style of chicken nuggets and classics from the sea – the bar menu here is not only delicious, but also unique!
Service once again wasn’t a highlight though as everything took a while and communication proofed to be a little more difficult than I would have expected of a place with this price tag.
Pool & Gym at the Waldorf Astoria Shanghai
At the Waldorf Astoria Versailles and the Waldorf Astoria Chengdu, I really loved the pool area. At the property in Shanghai, it’s just okay, in my opinion.
The pool is nice to go for a swim, but I didn’t like the atmosphere of the pool area all that much – it’s just not a spot where you want to spend more time than needed.
The jacuzzi is a nice addition and so are the sauna and steam bath in the changing rooms, but the pool area definitely isn’t a highlight.
Another weakness of the Waldorf Astoria Shanghai is the gym, which is really tiny and just comes with basic cardio and strengh equipment.
This might be complaining on a high level, but I’d just expect a little more of a property with this price point. For example, the Hilton Shanghai Hongqiao offers a much more elaborated recreation area.
Overall impressions of the Waldorf Astoria Shanghai
I’m a bit torn when it comes to my overall impressions of the Waldorf Astoria Shanghai. The hotel sure is good, comes with great views, luxurious rooms and a lovely historic ambience. And while I’m usually a real fan of the luxury Hilton properties, including the likes of the Conrad Singapore or Conrad Koh Samui, I somewhat didn’t fall in love with the Waldorf Astoria Shanghai. I’d go as far as saying that there are a couple of other luxurious options in Shanghai, which are just offering a little more value for the money – but the location of the Waldorf is also hard to beat, so that might be an argument to stay here after all.