The Sofitel Shanghai Hyland is a rather dated luxury hotel with a prime location in Shanghai. In this extensive review we’ll explain what you can expect of staying here and what you should be aware before booking!
Shanghai has an incredible amount of incredible luxury hotels, but only few are located close to the Bund and Nanjing East Road, the city’s most important shopping street.
The Sofitel on the other hand is right on this shopping street and just a ten minute walk to the Bund. Sadly, the property still isn’t one of the best options in Shanghai, mainly as it is again quite a bit.
After I encountered some issues with my original (upgraded) room due to a strong smell, I was offered a further upgrade to a Prestige Suite, which I appreciated.
This suite category isn’t renovated either though (only few Superior Rooms and Junior Suites are), which means that the décor really is showing age. That’s something quite obvious in the living room, which is where you enter the room.
It comes with a very old and tired sofa, a small table and another armchairs, all with some odd colors.
Then there’s also a desk with a not really comfortable chair, which is just okay for working.
The main issue with this part of the suite is that it’s really dark though as the windows are very small. On the other hand, the view of the skyscrapers and other buildings around isn’t too bad.
Another funny aspect is the television, which sure has “lived” in this room for a while.
Some positive notes: There was quite a nice welcome amenity waiting for me upon arrival…
… and there was a complimentary coffee machine.
So much for the positives, let’s get back to the negatives: The rather smallish bedroom.
The size per se isn’t an issue, but the bed is incredibly uncomfortable as the mattress surely wasn’t replaced for a long time. That’s particularly sad as other Sofitel properties like the Sofitel Strasbourg or Sofitel Montreal offer incredibly comfortable beds, even when older otherwise. Furthermore, there was a really annoying noise from the wardrobe during my entire stay and nobody was able to fix it.
I’d consider the bathroom of the Prestige Suite at the Sofitel Shanghai Hyland to be surprisingly fine for an otherwise really old and tired room.
There’s a single sink with only limited storage, which didn’t bother me much.
The same is true for the toilet located not in a different room, but the main bathroom.
What’s fairly nice is the bathtub, which is relatively nice for an otherwise aging bathroom.
The walk-in shower with rain shower head is a positive highligh as well (don’t look too close though ;)).
What should I say? The upgrade to a Prestige Suite was generous, but this must have been one of the oldest hotel rooms I’ve stayed at for quite a while. Not only was the decor really tired, but the comfort of everything, from the sofa to the desk chair to the bed just wasn’t luxury standards. Actually, not even three star standard and definitely no comparion to the luxury of properties like the Waldorf Astoria Shanghai or the Four Seasons Shanghai.
An area where the Sofitel Shanghai Hyland shines is breakfast, particularly due to a very high quality of the food available.
For example, there is a really good bakery selections with surprisingly tasty croissants and baguettes – the French influence is obvious!
Further cold options even include sushi and other fish, plus the usual cold cuts, cheeses, yogurt, fruits, salad and more.
The selection of hot options, including classic Western options as well as Chinese dishes, is very good as well.
You may also order noodle soups as well as egg specialties like eggs benedict or omelettes at a live cooking station.
A further highlight is the waffle and pancake station, where you also have your order prepared à la minute.
All in all, a really good breakfast spread an definitely one of the highlights of a stay at the Sofitel Shanghai Hyland.
I also ended up visiting the bar of the Sofitel Shanghai Hyland to have a glas of wine as my welcome drink.
It was a decent wine, but service was only alright. Still, I’d say that the bar is fairly nice.
There are not a lot of better city hotels in Asia not offering a pool, the Sofitel Shanghai Hyland is one of those though. The only facility offered is a gym, which is also rather old and disappointing.
There’s a few equipment for strengh and cardio training, but I’d expect more of a property in Shanghai, where other hotels offer great gyms.
Particularly compared to even cheapter hotels like the Hilton Beijing, the offerings at the Sofitel are just not on the high standard you’d expect in a five star hotel.
I would say that I’m a fan of the Sofitel brand and I really enjoyed other properties in Asia, including the Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi and the Sofitel Saigon. Compared, the property in Shanghai is a real letdown. The hotel is old and run down and while breakfast and the location are good, I wouldn’t recommend staying. The only exception might be one of the few renovated rooms. If you don’t get those guaranteed though, better choose another property – there are many great options in Shanghai.