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Hotel Review: Sofitel Shanghai Hyland

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.

  • Classification: Five Stars
  • Room Category: Prestige Suite
  • Month of Stay: October

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.

Prestige Suite at the Sofitel Shanghai Hyland

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.

Sofitel Shanghai Hyland Prestige Suite

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.

Sofitel Shanghai Hyland Prestige Suite

It comes with a very old and tired sofa, a small table and another armchairs, all with some odd colors.

Sofitel Shanghai Hyland Prestige Suite

Then there’s also a desk with a not really comfortable chair, which is just okay for working.

Sofitel Shanghai Hyland Prestige Suite

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.

Sofitel Shanghai Hyland Prestige Suite View

Another funny aspect is the television, which sure has “lived” in this room for a while.

Sofitel Shanghai Hyland Prestige Suite

Some positive notes: There was quite a nice welcome amenity waiting for me upon arrival…

Sofitel Shanghai Hyland Welcome Gift

… and there was a complimentary coffee machine.

Sofitel Shanghai Hyland Prestige Suite

So much for the positives, let’s get back to the negatives: The rather smallish bedroom.

Sofitel Shanghai Hyland Prestige Suite

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.

Sofitel Shanghai Hyland Prestige Suite

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.

Sofitel Shanghai Hyland Prestige Suite Bathroom

There’s a single sink with only limited storage, which didn’t bother me much.

Sofitel Shanghai Hyland Prestige Suite Bathroom

The same is true for the toilet located not in a different room, but the main bathroom.

Sofitel Shanghai Hyland Prestige Suite Bathroom

What’s fairly nice is the bathtub, which is relatively nice for an otherwise aging bathroom.

Sofitel Shanghai Hyland Prestige Suite Bathroom

The walk-in shower with rain shower head is a positive highligh as well (don’t look too close though ;)).

Sofitel Shanghai Hyland Prestige Suite Bathroom

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.

Breakfast at the Sofitel Shanghai Hyland

An area where the Sofitel Shanghai Hyland shines is breakfast, particularly due to a very high quality of the food available.

Sofitel Shanghai Hyland Breakfast

For example, there is a really good bakery selections with surprisingly tasty croissants and baguettes – the French influence is obvious!

Sofitel Shanghai Hyland Breakfast

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.

Sofitel Shanghai Hyland Breakfast

You may also order noodle soups as well as egg specialties like eggs benedict or omelettes at a live cooking station.

Sofitel Shanghai Hyland Breakfast

A further highlight is the waffle and pancake station, where you also have your order prepared à la minute.

Sofitel Shanghai Hyland Breakfast

All in all, a really good breakfast spread an definitely one of the highlights of a stay at the Sofitel Shanghai Hyland.

Welcome Drink 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.

Sofitel Shanghai Hyland Welcome Drink

It was a decent wine, but service was only alright. Still, I’d say that the bar is fairly nice.

Gym at the Sofitel Shanghai Hyland

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.

Sofitel Shanghai Hyland Fitness

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.

Overall impressions of the Sofitel Shanghai Hyland

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.

You like this review? Be sure to check out our other hotel reviews!

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