Sophie Friedman

Correspondent

  • Shanghai, China, Asia

Sophie Friedman is a correspondent who lives in Shanghai and covers hotels and travel trends in Asia for Forbes Travel Guide. The American journalist has covered a range of travel-related topics including the development of the mountain resort town Moganshan, the Chinese fashion scene’s rising international profile, and the expanding craft cocktail and beer scene in Asia. She has written half a dozen Shanghai guidebooks and has an encyclopedic knowledge of the city. When not writing, Sophie loves cycling through the former French Concession and getting bargains on everything from Pellegrino to porcelain.

  • On May 16, 2013
    Sophie Friedman answered the question: Sophie Friedman

    What are the best hotels in Pudong in Shanghai?

    Pudong skyline In 20 years, Pudong, the once rural section of Shanghai, has gone from swampland to skyscraping. With that boom came a rise in hotels, and there are now plenty of places to stay on what downtown folk call the other side of the river. These are the best hotels in Pudong.

    Lujiazui
    These Pudong hotels are in Lujiazui, Shanghai’s CBD, which can be reached by metro line 2 to Lujiazui or Dongchang Lu stops.


    The Ritz-Carlton Shanghai, Pudong 
    Attached to the ifc Mall, the hotel has super easy access to metro line 2, which’ll whisk you across the Huangpu River to downtown Shanghai; the Nanjing Dong Lu station is the next stop. Still, it can be sorely tempting not to leave the Ritz at all. The contemporary Art Deco-inspired rooms are enormously comfortable, and so too are the public areas. The view of Shanghai from rooftop bar Flair is unbelievable; sitting outside, you’ll feel like reaching out to touch the glowing pearl tower.

    Pudong Shangri-La
    Just around the corner from the Ritz is this enormous, 1,000-room hotel, a Lujiazui mainstay. The hotel has six restaurants, including the excellent, ultra family friendly Yi Café, with its for-the-young-and-young-at-heart make your own sundae bar. The Shangri-La is particularly popular with business travelers, especially those here in large groups, so do a little mingling in the lobby and you may find yourself with new opportunities.

    Park Hyatt Shanghai
    The views alone are worth coming up here, even if you’re staying across the river in Puxi. This is China’s tallest hotel—its floors 79-93—and you’ll be staring straight into the clouds. Shanghai World Financial Center, which houses Park Hyatt Shanghai, has a slew of its own restaurants and a few shops, but for knock-out views, tuck into lunch at one of the hotel’s in-house restaurants, like 100 Century Avenue, or work up an appetite for dainty afternoon tea.

    Grand Hyatt Shanghai
    The older sibling to Park Hyatt and once China’s tallest hotel, Grand Hyatt Shanghai has spectacular views of the Bund as well as the surrounding Pudong cityscape. The hotel is home to a 33-floor atrium, one of the world’s highest, as well as the world’s longest laundry chute.

    Century Park
    These two hotels are right across the street from Century Park and close to metro line 2’s Century Park stop and Huamu Lu station on line 7.

    Kerry Hotel, Pudong
    This is Shanghai’s most family friendly hotel. The Adventure Zone has climbing structures, a ball pit, slides, and plenty of open play space for kids…and those who are kids at heart. Grown ups should take full advantage of the gym and spa, as well as The BREW, where Kiwi brewmaster Leon Mickelson whips up IPAs and a nice, crisp cider. Just across the street is Century Park, where visitors can hire paddle boats or take a spin on tandem bikes.

    Jumeirah Himalayas Hotel
    Across the street from the Kerry is this Dubai import, adjacent to the Zendai Himalayas Center. The hotel design is eye-popping; there’s a 500-year-old pagoda in the lobby, and the ceiling doubles as an LCD screen. Inside the Himalayas Center, visitors will find the Himalayas Art Museum, which showcases contemporary works. Jumeirah, too, is a stone’s throw from lush Century Park.

    Expo
    This hotel sits on the former Pudong Expo site, near the new China Art Museum, inside the China pavilion.

    Intercontinental Shanghai Expo
    Though it was built for the 2010 World Expo, this hotel is still going strong. With the new China Art Museum now open inside the China pavilion, guests at this Four-Star hotel can take in a few Rembrandts by day before retiring to the hotel’s luxe spa come late afternoon. After a massage, slip down to the hotel’s English pub, Liquor Factory, for a few pints.
  • On May 16, 2013
    Sophie Friedman answered the question: Sophie Friedman

    What are the best hotels in Pudong in Shanghai?

    Pudong skyline In 20 years, Pudong, the once rural section of Shanghai, has gone from swampland to skyscraping. With that boom came a rise in hotels, and there are now plenty of places to stay on what downtown folk call the other side of the river. These are the best hotels in Pudong.

    Lujiazui
    These Pudong hotels are in Lujiazui, Shanghai’s CBD, which can be reached by metro line 2 to Lujiazui or Dongchang Lu stops.


    The Ritz-Carlton Shanghai, Pudong 
    Attached to the ifc Mall, the hotel has super easy access to metro line 2, which’ll whisk you across the Huangpu River to downtown Shanghai; the Nanjing Dong Lu station is the next stop. Still, it can be sorely tempting not to leave the Ritz at all. The contemporary Art Deco-inspired rooms are enormously comfortable, and so too are the public areas. The view of Shanghai from rooftop bar Flair is unbelievable; sitting outside, you’ll feel like reaching out to touch the glowing pearl tower.

    Pudong Shangri-La
    Just around the corner from the Ritz is this enormous, 1,000-room hotel, a Lujiazui mainstay. The hotel has six restaurants, including the excellent, ultra family friendly Yi Café, with its for-the-young-and-young-at-heart make your own sundae bar. The Shangri-La is particularly popular with business travelers, especially those here in large groups, so do a little mingling in the lobby and you may find yourself with new opportunities.

    Park Hyatt Shanghai
    The views alone are worth coming up here, even if you’re staying across the river in Puxi. This is China’s tallest hotel—its floors 79-93—and you’ll be staring straight into the clouds. Shanghai World Financial Center, which houses Park Hyatt Shanghai, has a slew of its own restaurants and a few shops, but for knock-out views, tuck into lunch at one of the hotel’s in-house restaurants, like 100 Century Avenue, or work up an appetite for dainty afternoon tea.

    Grand Hyatt Shanghai
    The older sibling to Park Hyatt and once China’s tallest hotel, Grand Hyatt Shanghai has spectacular views of the Bund as well as the surrounding Pudong cityscape. The hotel is home to a 33-floor atrium, one of the world’s highest, as well as the world’s longest laundry chute.

    Century Park
    These two hotels are right across the street from Century Park and close to metro line 2’s Century Park stop and Huamu Lu station on line 7.

    Kerry Hotel, Pudong
    This is Shanghai’s most family friendly hotel. The Adventure Zone has climbing structures, a ball pit, slides, and plenty of open play space for kids…and those who are kids at heart. Grown ups should take full advantage of the gym and spa, as well as The BREW, where Kiwi brewmaster Leon Mickelson whips up IPAs and a nice, crisp cider. Just across the street is Century Park, where visitors can hire paddle boats or take a spin on tandem bikes.

    Jumeirah Himalayas Hotel
    Across the street from the Kerry is this Dubai import, adjacent to the Zendai Himalayas Center. The hotel design is eye-popping; there’s a 500-year-old pagoda in the lobby, and the ceiling doubles as an LCD screen. Inside the Himalayas Center, visitors will find the Himalayas Art Museum, which showcases contemporary works. Jumeirah, too, is a stone’s throw from lush Century Park.

    Expo
    This hotel sits on the former Pudong Expo site, near the new China Art Museum, inside the China pavilion.

    Intercontinental Shanghai Expo
    Though it was built for the 2010 World Expo, this hotel is still going strong. With the new China Art Museum now open inside the China pavilion, guests at this Four-Star hotel can take in a few Rembrandts by day before retiring to the hotel’s luxe spa come late afternoon. After a massage, slip down to the hotel’s English pub, Liquor Factory, for a few pints.
  • On May 15, 2013
    Sophie Friedman answered the question: Sophie Friedman

    What are the best riverfront hotels in Shanghai?

    Courtesy The Peninsula, Shanghai The best riverfront hotels in Shanghai are along the Bund. The Waldorf Astoria Shanghai on the Bund, Fairmont Peace Hotel, and Peninsula Shanghai all stand along the Bund at different intervals; the Waldorf is towards the lower tip while the Peninsula sits near the northern end. Each offers views of the Huangpu River and Pudong skyline and an excellent location for exploring the city.

    Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star property the Fairmont Peace Hotel is Shanghai’s most storied and historically rich hotels. The original Peace Hotel, built in 1929, was two separate buildings; the then-Sassoon House housed the Cathay Hotel—what is today the Fairmont Peace Hotel. The Palace Hotel, built in 1908, is now the Swatch Art Peace Hotel. Pre-1949, it was the city’s most exclusive place to stay. The government took over in 1949; in 1956, the hotel opened again under the name Peace Hotel. It wasn’t until 2007 that Fairmont took over operations and gave the building a loving and much needed refurbishment. The result is a hotel with beautiful, plush interiors and an exterior that continues to stand the test of time. 

    Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star property the Waldorf Astoria Shanghai on the Bund, too, has quite the history. The hotel is made up of two buildings—the Shanghai Club Building, a gorgeous Baroque Revival structure from 1910, and the new building, which sits behind the original and opened in 2011. The older building once housed Shanghai’s most exclusive men’s club and later Shanghai’s first KFC. Like the Peace Hotel, there was much tumult between 1949 and when the hotel became the Waldorf but today, the building has been restored to its former glory. Architecture buffs will be particularly keen on the original details that remain in the Shanghai Club Building. Though its got plenty of historical cred, the Waldorf is fully in the 21st century, with Bluetooth keyboards that enable your room’s plasma TV to become a computer screen.

    Because of its location at the northern end of the Bund, Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star property the Peninsula Shanghai’s rooms have knock-out views of the curve of the river and skyline. Every guest here is treated phenomenally, and that includes kids; the Peninsula Shanghai refers to them as junior guests and arranges fun activities so parents can enjoy the wonderful Peninsula Spa by ESPA. The rooms, of course, are luxurious, and each as its own combination fax, printer and copy machine, which the staff will use to get in touch should your “Do Not Disturb” light be switched on. Be sure to enjoy a drink on the terrace of house restaurant Sir Elly’s.
  • On May 15, 2013
    Sophie Friedman answered the question: Sophie Friedman

    What are the best riverfront hotels in Shanghai?

    Courtesy The Peninsula, Shanghai The best riverfront hotels in Shanghai are along the Bund. The Waldorf Astoria Shanghai on the Bund, Fairmont Peace Hotel, and Peninsula Shanghai all stand along the Bund at different intervals; the Waldorf is towards the lower tip while the Peninsula sits near the northern end. Each offers views of the Huangpu River and Pudong skyline and an excellent location for exploring the city.

    Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star property the Fairmont Peace Hotel is Shanghai’s most storied and historically rich hotels. The original Peace Hotel, built in 1929, was two separate buildings; the then-Sassoon House housed the Cathay Hotel—what is today the Fairmont Peace Hotel. The Palace Hotel, built in 1908, is now the Swatch Art Peace Hotel. Pre-1949, it was the city’s most exclusive place to stay. The government took over in 1949; in 1956, the hotel opened again under the name Peace Hotel. It wasn’t until 2007 that Fairmont took over operations and gave the building a loving and much needed refurbishment. The result is a hotel with beautiful, plush interiors and an exterior that continues to stand the test of time. 

    Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star property the Waldorf Astoria Shanghai on the Bund, too, has quite the history. The hotel is made up of two buildings—the Shanghai Club Building, a gorgeous Baroque Revival structure from 1910, and the new building, which sits behind the original and opened in 2011. The older building once housed Shanghai’s most exclusive men’s club and later Shanghai’s first KFC. Like the Peace Hotel, there was much tumult between 1949 and when the hotel became the Waldorf but today, the building has been restored to its former glory. Architecture buffs will be particularly keen on the original details that remain in the Shanghai Club Building. Though its got plenty of historical cred, the Waldorf is fully in the 21st century, with Bluetooth keyboards that enable your room’s plasma TV to become a computer screen.

    Because of its location at the northern end of the Bund, Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star property the Peninsula Shanghai’s rooms have knock-out views of the curve of the river and skyline. Every guest here is treated phenomenally, and that includes kids; the Peninsula Shanghai refers to them as junior guests and arranges fun activities so parents can enjoy the wonderful Peninsula Spa by ESPA. The rooms, of course, are luxurious, and each as its own combination fax, printer and copy machine, which the staff will use to get in touch should your “Do Not Disturb” light be switched on. Be sure to enjoy a drink on the terrace of house restaurant Sir Elly’s.
  • On May 15, 2013
    Sophie Friedman answered the question: Sophie Friedman

    What are the best hotels in Pudong in Shanghai?

    Pudong skyline In 20 years, Pudong, the once rural section of Shanghai, has gone from swampland to skyscraping. With that boom came a rise in hotels, and there are now plenty of places to stay on what downtown folk call the other side of the river. These are the best hotels in Pudong.

    Lujiazui
    These Pudong hotels are in Lujiazui, Shanghai’s CBD, which can be reached by metro line 2 to Lujiazui or Dongchang Lu stops.


    The Ritz-Carlton Shanghai, Pudong 
    Attached to the ifc Mall, the hotel has super easy access to metro line 2, which’ll whisk you across the Huangpu River to downtown Shanghai; the Nanjing Dong Lu station is the next stop. Still, it can be sorely tempting not to leave the Ritz at all. The contemporary Art Deco-inspired rooms are enormously comfortable, and so too are the public areas. The view of Shanghai from rooftop bar Flair is unbelievable; sitting outside, you’ll feel like reaching out to touch the glowing pearl tower.

    Pudong Shangri-La
    Just around the corner from the Ritz is this enormous, 1,000-room hotel, a Lujiazui mainstay. The hotel has six restaurants, including the excellent, ultra family friendly Yi Café, with its for-the-young-and-young-at-heart make your own sundae bar. The Shangri-La is particularly popular with business travelers, especially those here in large groups, so do a little mingling in the lobby and you may find yourself with new opportunities.

    Park Hyatt Shanghai
    The views alone are worth coming up here, even if you’re staying across the river in Puxi. This is China’s tallest hotel—its floors 79-93—and you’ll be staring straight into the clouds. Shanghai World Financial Center, which houses Park Hyatt Shanghai, has a slew of its own restaurants and a few shops, but for knock-out views, tuck into lunch at one of the hotel’s in-house restaurants, like 100 Century Avenue, or work up an appetite for dainty afternoon tea.

    Grand Hyatt Shanghai
    The older sibling to Park Hyatt and once China’s tallest hotel, Grand Hyatt Shanghai has spectacular views of the Bund as well as the surrounding Pudong cityscape. The hotel is home to a 33-floor atrium, one of the world’s highest, as well as the world’s longest laundry chute.

    Century Park
    These two hotels are right across the street from Century Park and close to metro line 2’s Century Park stop and Huamu Lu station on line 7.

    Kerry Hotel, Pudong
    This is Shanghai’s most family friendly hotel. The Adventure Zone has climbing structures, a ball pit, slides, and plenty of open play space for kids…and those who are kids at heart. Grown ups should take full advantage of the gym and spa, as well as The BREW, where Kiwi brewmaster Leon Mickelson whips up IPAs and a nice, crisp cider. Just across the street is Century Park, where visitors can hire paddle boats or take a spin on tandem bikes.

    Jumeirah Himalayas Hotel
    Across the street from the Kerry is this Dubai import, adjacent to the Zendai Himalayas Center. The hotel design is eye-popping; there’s a 500-year-old pagoda in the lobby, and the ceiling doubles as an LCD screen. Inside the Himalayas Center, visitors will find the Himalayas Art Museum, which showcases contemporary works. Jumeirah, too, is a stone’s throw from lush Century Park.

    Expo
    This hotel sits on the former Pudong Expo site, near the new China Art Museum, inside the China pavilion.

    Intercontinental Shanghai Expo
    Though it was built for the 2010 World Expo, this hotel is still going strong. With the new China Art Museum now open inside the China pavilion, guests at this Four-Star hotel can take in a few Rembrandts by day before retiring to the hotel’s luxe spa come late afternoon. After a massage, slip down to the hotel’s English pub, Liquor Factory, for a few pints.
  • On May 15, 2013
    Sophie Friedman answered the question: Sophie Friedman

    What are the best hotels in Pudong in Shanghai?

    Pudong skyline In 20 years, Pudong, the once rural section of Shanghai, has gone from swampland to skyscraping. With that boom came a rise in hotels, and there are now plenty of places to stay on what downtown folk call the other side of the river. These are the best hotels in Pudong.

    Lujiazui
    These Pudong hotels are in Lujiazui, Shanghai’s CBD, which can be reached by metro line 2 to Lujiazui or Dongchang Lu stops.


    The Ritz-Carlton Shanghai, Pudong 
    Attached to the ifc Mall, the hotel has super easy access to metro line 2, which’ll whisk you across the Huangpu River to downtown Shanghai; the Nanjing Dong Lu station is the next stop. Still, it can be sorely tempting not to leave the Ritz at all. The contemporary Art Deco-inspired rooms are enormously comfortable, and so too are the public areas. The view of Shanghai from rooftop bar Flair is unbelievable; sitting outside, you’ll feel like reaching out to touch the glowing pearl tower.

    Pudong Shangri-La
    Just around the corner from the Ritz is this enormous, 1,000-room hotel, a Lujiazui mainstay. The hotel has six restaurants, including the excellent, ultra family friendly Yi Café, with its for-the-young-and-young-at-heart make your own sundae bar. The Shangri-La is particularly popular with business travelers, especially those here in large groups, so do a little mingling in the lobby and you may find yourself with new opportunities.

    Park Hyatt Shanghai
    The views alone are worth coming up here, even if you’re staying across the river in Puxi. This is China’s tallest hotel—its floors 79-93—and you’ll be staring straight into the clouds. Shanghai World Financial Center, which houses Park Hyatt Shanghai, has a slew of its own restaurants and a few shops, but for knock-out views, tuck into lunch at one of the hotel’s in-house restaurants, like 100 Century Avenue, or work up an appetite for dainty afternoon tea.

    Grand Hyatt Shanghai
    The older sibling to Park Hyatt and once China’s tallest hotel, Grand Hyatt Shanghai has spectacular views of the Bund as well as the surrounding Pudong cityscape. The hotel is home to a 33-floor atrium, one of the world’s highest, as well as the world’s longest laundry chute.

    Century Park
    These two hotels are right across the street from Century Park and close to metro line 2’s Century Park stop and Huamu Lu station on line 7.

    Kerry Hotel, Pudong
    This is Shanghai’s most family friendly hotel. The Adventure Zone has climbing structures, a ball pit, slides, and plenty of open play space for kids…and those who are kids at heart. Grown ups should take full advantage of the gym and spa, as well as The BREW, where Kiwi brewmaster Leon Mickelson whips up IPAs and a nice, crisp cider. Just across the street is Century Park, where visitors can hire paddle boats or take a spin on tandem bikes.

    Jumeirah Himalayas Hotel
    Across the street from the Kerry is this Dubai import, adjacent to the Zendai Himalayas Center. The hotel design is eye-popping; there’s a 500-year-old pagoda in the lobby, and the ceiling doubles as an LCD screen. Inside the Himalayas Center, visitors will find the Himalayas Art Museum, which showcases contemporary works. Jumeirah, too, is a stone’s throw from lush Century Park.

    Expo
    This hotel sits on the former Pudong Expo site, near the new China Art Museum, inside the China pavilion.

    Intercontinental Shanghai Expo
    Though it was built for the 2010 World Expo, this hotel is still going strong. With the new China Art Museum now open inside the China pavilion, guests at this Four-Star hotel can take in a few Rembrandts by day before retiring to the hotel’s luxe spa come late afternoon. After a massage, slip down to the hotel’s English pub, Liquor Factory, for a few pints.
  • On May 15, 2013
    Sophie Friedman answered the question: Sophie Friedman

    What are the best hotels in Pudong in Shanghai?

    Pudong skyline In 20 years, Pudong, the once rural section of Shanghai, has gone from swampland to skyscraping. With that boom came a rise in hotels, and there are now plenty of places to stay on what downtown folk call the other side of the river. These are the best hotels in Pudong.

    Lujiazui
    These Pudong hotels are in Lujiazui, Shanghai’s CBD, which can be reached by metro line 2 to Lujiazui or Dongchang Lu stops.


    The Ritz-Carlton Shanghai, Pudong 
    Attached to the ifc Mall, the hotel has super easy access to metro line 2, which’ll whisk you across the Huangpu River to downtown Shanghai; the Nanjing Dong Lu station is the next stop. Still, it can be sorely tempting not to leave the Ritz at all. The contemporary Art Deco-inspired rooms are enormously comfortable, and so too are the public areas. The view of Shanghai from rooftop bar Flair is unbelievable; sitting outside, you’ll feel like reaching out to touch the glowing pearl tower.

    Pudong Shangri-La
    Just around the corner from the Ritz is this enormous, 1,000-room hotel, a Lujiazui mainstay. The hotel has six restaurants, including the excellent, ultra family friendly Yi Café, with its for-the-young-and-young-at-heart make your own sundae bar. The Shangri-La is particularly popular with business travelers, especially those here in large groups, so do a little mingling in the lobby and you may find yourself with new opportunities.

    Park Hyatt Shanghai
    The views alone are worth coming up here, even if you’re staying across the river in Puxi. This is China’s tallest hotel—its floors 79-93—and you’ll be staring straight into the clouds. Shanghai World Financial Center, which houses Park Hyatt Shanghai, has a slew of its own restaurants and a few shops, but for knock-out views, tuck into lunch at one of the hotel’s in-house restaurants, like 100 Century Avenue, or work up an appetite for dainty afternoon tea.

    Grand Hyatt Shanghai
    The older sibling to Park Hyatt and once China’s tallest hotel, Grand Hyatt Shanghai has spectacular views of the Bund as well as the surrounding Pudong cityscape. The hotel is home to a 33-floor atrium, one of the world’s highest, as well as the world’s longest laundry chute.

    Century Park
    These two hotels are right across the street from Century Park and close to metro line 2’s Century Park stop and Huamu Lu station on line 7.

    Kerry Hotel, Pudong
    This is Shanghai’s most family friendly hotel. The Adventure Zone has climbing structures, a ball pit, slides, and plenty of open play space for kids…and those who are kids at heart. Grown ups should take full advantage of the gym and spa, as well as The BREW, where Kiwi brewmaster Leon Mickelson whips up IPAs and a nice, crisp cider. Just across the street is Century Park, where visitors can hire paddle boats or take a spin on tandem bikes.

    Jumeirah Himalayas Hotel
    Across the street from the Kerry is this Dubai import, adjacent to the Zendai Himalayas Center. The hotel design is eye-popping; there’s a 500-year-old pagoda in the lobby, and the ceiling doubles as an LCD screen. Inside the Himalayas Center, visitors will find the Himalayas Art Museum, which showcases contemporary works. Jumeirah, too, is a stone’s throw from lush Century Park.

    Expo
    This hotel sits on the former Pudong Expo site, near the new China Art Museum, inside the China pavilion.

    Intercontinental Shanghai Expo
    Though it was built for the 2010 World Expo, this hotel is still going strong. With the new China Art Museum now open inside the China pavilion, guests at this Four-Star hotel can take in a few Rembrandts by day before retiring to the hotel’s luxe spa come late afternoon. After a massage, slip down to the hotel’s English pub, Liquor Factory, for a few pints.
  • On May 15, 2013
    Sophie Friedman answered the question: Sophie Friedman

    What is nightlife like in Shanghai?

    Nightlife in Shanghai defies a single descriptive word. For expats, the scene is fairly concentrated to the former French Concession and the Bund, with a small but growing outpost in the area north of Jing’an Temple. Shanghai is a hard-partying town; a number of bars and clubs stay open until the sun comes up. Based not on location but on drink type, we’ve outlined a handful of Shanghai’s best nightlife options.

    Wine
    Salute has a cult following, thanks in no small part to its courtyard, which is absolutely teeming all spring, summer, and fall long. During winter, it’s the bar’s interior that’s packed, with expats and a smattering of locals sipping wine by the bottle and nibbling on cheese and/or charcuterie plates. The bathroom is tiny, the tables crowded, and the chairs mismatched, none of which stops oenophiles from pouring in.

    The area north of Jing’an Temple was, until recently, rather sleepy after dinner, but bars are now popping up on and just off Wuding Road. UVA was one of the earliest to do so, a harbinger of things to come. Here you’ll find Italian owners who are knowledgeable about what they sell but far from pushy. The pizzas are sizeable, solid, and well-priced.

    Beer
    With two downtown locations, Boxing Cat Brewery packs in craft beer enthusiasts, offering beers from the Cat’s brewing outpost in one of Shanghai’s southern suburbs. American brewmaster Michael Jordan has been on hand for two-plus years, after a stint in Denmark; in addition to IPAs, Jordan has a history of teaming up with other brewers to whip up concoctions like the Bruce ChiLee IPA—Chinese green chillies , rye malt, and American Simcoe hops—which he produced with Danish brewery Mikkeller.

    Puxi—the downtown side of the Huangpu River—has most of Shanghai’s nightlife, but since Pudong has the city’s CBD, we’ve included Kerry Hotel’s The BREW. Kiwi brewmaster Leon Mickelson brews his beers on-site—the giant tank sits just behind the bar—and offerings include a vanilla stout, the requisite IPA, and a nice, crisp cider.

    Cocktails
    Speakeasy-style Senator Saloon is as packed as any underground watering hole was during prohibition and, though it’s not hidden, the unmarked entrance is easy to miss. American bar manager David Schroeder and his bow-tied, waistcoat-wearing staff mix classics like the Old Fashioned as well as contemporary offerings such as the Stinky Pig—bacon-infused bourbon with maple syrup, finished off with a mescal rinse.

    The lighting is very, very low at Shanghai cocktail scene stalwart el Coctel but—indicative of the level of planning that goes into everything here—the menus are brought with tiny, strong flashlights. Medicinal drinks like the Dr. M—a mix of Jagermeister, Underberg, Picon, and Cynar will cure what ails you. Cocktails are serious business here, and so are the crowds; be sure to make a reservation.
  • On May 15, 2013
    Sophie Friedman answered the question: Sophie Friedman

    What is nightlife like in Shanghai?

    Nightlife in Shanghai defies a single descriptive word. For expats, the scene is fairly concentrated to the former French Concession and the Bund, with a small but growing outpost in the area north of Jing’an Temple. Shanghai is a hard-partying town; a number of bars and clubs stay open until the sun comes up. Based not on location but on drink type, we’ve outlined a handful of Shanghai’s best nightlife options.

    Wine
    Salute has a cult following, thanks in no small part to its courtyard, which is absolutely teeming all spring, summer, and fall long. During winter, it’s the bar’s interior that’s packed, with expats and a smattering of locals sipping wine by the bottle and nibbling on cheese and/or charcuterie plates. The bathroom is tiny, the tables crowded, and the chairs mismatched, none of which stops oenophiles from pouring in.

    The area north of Jing’an Temple was, until recently, rather sleepy after dinner, but bars are now popping up on and just off Wuding Road. UVA was one of the earliest to do so, a harbinger of things to come. Here you’ll find Italian owners who are knowledgeable about what they sell but far from pushy. The pizzas are sizeable, solid, and well-priced.

    Beer
    With two downtown locations, Boxing Cat Brewery packs in craft beer enthusiasts, offering beers from the Cat’s brewing outpost in one of Shanghai’s southern suburbs. American brewmaster Michael Jordan has been on hand for two-plus years, after a stint in Denmark; in addition to IPAs, Jordan has a history of teaming up with other brewers to whip up concoctions like the Bruce ChiLee IPA—Chinese green chillies , rye malt, and American Simcoe hops—which he produced with Danish brewery Mikkeller.

    Puxi—the downtown side of the Huangpu River—has most of Shanghai’s nightlife, but since Pudong has the city’s CBD, we’ve included Kerry Hotel’s The BREW. Kiwi brewmaster Leon Mickelson brews his beers on-site—the giant tank sits just behind the bar—and offerings include a vanilla stout, the requisite IPA, and a nice, crisp cider.

    Cocktails
    Speakeasy-style Senator Saloon is as packed as any underground watering hole was during prohibition and, though it’s not hidden, the unmarked entrance is easy to miss. American bar manager David Schroeder and his bow-tied, waistcoat-wearing staff mix classics like the Old Fashioned as well as contemporary offerings such as the Stinky Pig—bacon-infused bourbon with maple syrup, finished off with a mescal rinse.

    The lighting is very, very low at Shanghai cocktail scene stalwart el Coctel but—indicative of the level of planning that goes into everything here—the menus are brought with tiny, strong flashlights. Medicinal drinks like the Dr. M—a mix of Jagermeister, Underberg, Picon, and Cynar will cure what ails you. Cocktails are serious business here, and so are the crowds; be sure to make a reservation.
  • On May 15, 2013
    Sophie Friedman answered the question: Sophie Friedman

    What are the best hotels in Pudong in Shanghai?

    Pudong skyline In 20 years, Pudong, the once rural section of Shanghai, has gone from swampland to skyscraping. With that boom came a rise in hotels, and there are now plenty of places to stay on what downtown folk call the other side of the river. These are the best hotels in Pudong.

    Lujiazui
    These Pudong hotels are in Lujiazui, Shanghai’s CBD, which can be reached by metro line 2 to Lujiazui or Dongchang Lu stops.


    The Ritz-Carlton Shanghai, Pudong 
    Attached to the ifc Mall, the hotel has super easy access to metro line 2, which’ll whisk you across the Huangpu River to downtown Shanghai; the Nanjing Dong Lu station is the next stop. Still, it can be sorely tempting not to leave the Ritz at all. The contemporary Art Deco-inspired rooms are enormously comfortable, and so too are the public areas. The view of Shanghai from rooftop bar Flair is unbelievable; sitting outside, you’ll feel like reaching out to touch the glowing pearl tower.

    Pudong Shangri-La
    Just around the corner from the Ritz is this enormous, 1,000-room hotel, a Lujiazui mainstay. The hotel has six restaurants, including the excellent, ultra family friendly Yi Café, with its for-the-young-and-young-at-heart make your own sundae bar. The Shangri-La is particularly popular with business travelers, especially those here in large groups, so do a little mingling in the lobby and you may find yourself with new opportunities.

    Park Hyatt Shanghai
    The views alone are worth coming up here, even if you’re staying across the river in Puxi. This is China’s tallest hotel—its floors 79-93—and you’ll be staring straight into the clouds. Shanghai World Financial Center, which houses Park Hyatt Shanghai, has a slew of its own restaurants and a few shops, but for knock-out views, tuck into lunch at one of the hotel’s in-house restaurants, like 100 Century Avenue, or work up an appetite for dainty afternoon tea.

    Grand Hyatt Shanghai
    The older sibling to Park Hyatt and once China’s tallest hotel, Grand Hyatt Shanghai has spectacular views of the Bund as well as the surrounding Pudong cityscape. The hotel is home to a 33-floor atrium, one of the world’s highest, as well as the world’s longest laundry chute.

    Century Park
    These two hotels are right across the street from Century Park and close to metro line 2’s Century Park stop and Huamu Lu station on line 7.

    Kerry Hotel, Pudong
    This is Shanghai’s most family friendly hotel. The Adventure Zone has climbing structures, a ball pit, slides, and plenty of open play space for kids…and those who are kids at heart. Grown ups should take full advantage of the gym and spa, as well as The BREW, where Kiwi brewmaster Leon Mickelson whips up IPAs and a nice, crisp cider. Just across the street is Century Park, where visitors can hire paddle boats or take a spin on tandem bikes.

    Jumeirah Himalayas Hotel
    Across the street from the Kerry is this Dubai import, adjacent to the Zendai Himalayas Center. The hotel design is eye-popping; there’s a 500-year-old pagoda in the lobby, and the ceiling doubles as an LCD screen. Inside the Himalayas Center, visitors will find the Himalayas Art Museum, which showcases contemporary works. Jumeirah, too, is a stone’s throw from lush Century Park.

    Expo
    This hotel sits on the former Pudong Expo site, near the new China Art Museum, inside the China pavilion.

    Intercontinental Shanghai Expo
    Though it was built for the 2010 World Expo, this hotel is still going strong. With the new China Art Museum now open inside the China pavilion, guests at this Four-Star hotel can take in a few Rembrandts by day before retiring to the hotel’s luxe spa come late afternoon. After a massage, slip down to the hotel’s English pub, Liquor Factory, for a few pints.
  • On May 15, 2013
    Sophie Friedman answered the question: Sophie Friedman

    What are the best hotels in Pudong in Shanghai?

    Pudong skyline In 20 years, Pudong, the once rural section of Shanghai, has gone from swampland to skyscraping. With that boom came a rise in hotels, and there are now plenty of places to stay on what downtown folk call the other side of the river. These are the best hotels in Pudong.

    Lujiazui
    These Pudong hotels are in Lujiazui, Shanghai’s CBD, which can be reached by metro line 2 to Lujiazui or Dongchang Lu stops.


    The Ritz-Carlton Shanghai, Pudong 
    Attached to the ifc Mall, the hotel has super easy access to metro line 2, which’ll whisk you across the Huangpu River to downtown Shanghai; the Nanjing Dong Lu station is the next stop. Still, it can be sorely tempting not to leave the Ritz at all. The contemporary Art Deco-inspired rooms are enormously comfortable, and so too are the public areas. The view of Shanghai from rooftop bar Flair is unbelievable; sitting outside, you’ll feel like reaching out to touch the glowing pearl tower.

    Pudong Shangri-La
    Just around the corner from the Ritz is this enormous, 1,000-room hotel, a Lujiazui mainstay. The hotel has six restaurants, including the excellent, ultra family friendly Yi Café, with its for-the-young-and-young-at-heart make your own sundae bar. The Shangri-La is particularly popular with business travelers, especially those here in large groups, so do a little mingling in the lobby and you may find yourself with new opportunities.

    Park Hyatt Shanghai
    The views alone are worth coming up here, even if you’re staying across the river in Puxi. This is China’s tallest hotel—its floors 79-93—and you’ll be staring straight into the clouds. Shanghai World Financial Center, which houses Park Hyatt Shanghai, has a slew of its own restaurants and a few shops, but for knock-out views, tuck into lunch at one of the hotel’s in-house restaurants, like 100 Century Avenue, or work up an appetite for dainty afternoon tea.

    Grand Hyatt Shanghai
    The older sibling to Park Hyatt and once China’s tallest hotel, Grand Hyatt Shanghai has spectacular views of the Bund as well as the surrounding Pudong cityscape. The hotel is home to a 33-floor atrium, one of the world’s highest, as well as the world’s longest laundry chute.

    Century Park
    These two hotels are right across the street from Century Park and close to metro line 2’s Century Park stop and Huamu Lu station on line 7.

    Kerry Hotel, Pudong
    This is Shanghai’s most family friendly hotel. The Adventure Zone has climbing structures, a ball pit, slides, and plenty of open play space for kids…and those who are kids at heart. Grown ups should take full advantage of the gym and spa, as well as The BREW, where Kiwi brewmaster Leon Mickelson whips up IPAs and a nice, crisp cider. Just across the street is Century Park, where visitors can hire paddle boats or take a spin on tandem bikes.

    Jumeirah Himalayas Hotel
    Across the street from the Kerry is this Dubai import, adjacent to the Zendai Himalayas Center. The hotel design is eye-popping; there’s a 500-year-old pagoda in the lobby, and the ceiling doubles as an LCD screen. Inside the Himalayas Center, visitors will find the Himalayas Art Museum, which showcases contemporary works. Jumeirah, too, is a stone’s throw from lush Century Park.

    Expo
    This hotel sits on the former Pudong Expo site, near the new China Art Museum, inside the China pavilion.

    Intercontinental Shanghai Expo
    Though it was built for the 2010 World Expo, this hotel is still going strong. With the new China Art Museum now open inside the China pavilion, guests at this Four-Star hotel can take in a few Rembrandts by day before retiring to the hotel’s luxe spa come late afternoon. After a massage, slip down to the hotel’s English pub, Liquor Factory, for a few pints.
  • On May 15, 2013
    Sophie Friedman answered the question: Sophie Friedman

    What’s new in Shanghai?

    Courtesy D.O.C. Gastronomia Italiana Shanghai is not so much a developing city as one that’s constantly evolving. Here’s what’s new in Shanghai.
     
    Restaurants
    The biggest thing to hit Shanghai since sliced bread is Tock’s, where sandwiches that wouldn’t look out of place at Katz’s are devoured by hungry expats and locals alike. Proprietor Brian Tock hails from Montreal and he’s smoking his meat in house just as one would back in Canada. Though the meat could stand on its own, the rye bread, toppings, and poutine are all excellent. A short walk from the PuLi and just behind the Portman Ritz-Carlton is La Poste. The French restaurant has the standard low lighting and dark wood, and the dishes—many of which are seafood—won’t disappoint. Xinjiang, the autonomous region in far western China, bordering Pakistan, has its own cuisine in which lamb plays a starring role. Spice Bazaar serves these dishes up in an environment that’s as welcoming to couples as it is to families. For dessert, head west to Nom Nom Dessert Bar, where local cookie purveyor Strictly Cookies has teamed up with Shanghai-based gelato mongers Snow Maple Desserts. 


    Nightlife
    Those who like porky snacks paired with cocktails will find themselves in heaven at The Trotter Bar, the tiny back section of American restaurant The Grumpy Pig, which itself is the back section of streetwear shop KIN. There are two new bars open on Dagu Lu, a few blocks from The Four Seasons (http://www.forbestravelguide.com/shanghai-china/hotels/four-seasons-hotel-shanghai); one is the third branch of Le Café des Stagiaires—a café-cum-bar run by Francophone hospitality school students—and the other is Bar XYZ, which serves Japanese-style cocktails. Opening towards the end of the month in the former French Concession is RePublic, the second iteration of The Public, a cocktail bar that closed late last year. If it’s whiskey over cocktails that you prefer, squeeze into tiny Whiskey Corner, which has just four seats at the bar and two tables. The friendly owner speaks English and is happy to chat with patrons about his whiskey collection.

    Art
    There are three excellent exhibitions on this summer, all of which are worth checking in. The Power Station of Art is hosting ”Andy Warhol: 15 Minutes Eternal,” the largest Warhol retrospective ever to come to Asia. Rockbund Art Museum is currently showing “From Gesture to Language,” with a number of pieces on loan from the Louvre. At Minsheng Art Museum, through the end of June, is “Designing 007: 50 Years of Bond Style,” an exhibition that celebrates the Bond film franchise’s 50th anniversary.
  • On May 15, 2013
    Sophie Friedman answered the question: Sophie Friedman

    What’s new in Shanghai?

    Courtesy D.O.C. Gastronomia Italiana Shanghai is not so much a developing city as one that’s constantly evolving. Here’s what’s new in Shanghai.
     
    Restaurants
    The biggest thing to hit Shanghai since sliced bread is Tock’s, where sandwiches that wouldn’t look out of place at Katz’s are devoured by hungry expats and locals alike. Proprietor Brian Tock hails from Montreal and he’s smoking his meat in house just as one would back in Canada. Though the meat could stand on its own, the rye bread, toppings, and poutine are all excellent. A short walk from the PuLi and just behind the Portman Ritz-Carlton is La Poste. The French restaurant has the standard low lighting and dark wood, and the dishes—many of which are seafood—won’t disappoint. Xinjiang, the autonomous region in far western China, bordering Pakistan, has its own cuisine in which lamb plays a starring role. Spice Bazaar serves these dishes up in an environment that’s as welcoming to couples as it is to families. For dessert, head west to Nom Nom Dessert Bar, where local cookie purveyor Strictly Cookies has teamed up with Shanghai-based gelato mongers Snow Maple Desserts. 


    Nightlife
    Those who like porky snacks paired with cocktails will find themselves in heaven at The Trotter Bar, the tiny back section of American restaurant The Grumpy Pig, which itself is the back section of streetwear shop KIN. There are two new bars open on Dagu Lu, a few blocks from The Four Seasons (http://www.forbestravelguide.com/shanghai-china/hotels/four-seasons-hotel-shanghai); one is the third branch of Le Café des Stagiaires—a café-cum-bar run by Francophone hospitality school students—and the other is Bar XYZ, which serves Japanese-style cocktails. Opening towards the end of the month in the former French Concession is RePublic, the second iteration of The Public, a cocktail bar that closed late last year. If it’s whiskey over cocktails that you prefer, squeeze into tiny Whiskey Corner, which has just four seats at the bar and two tables. The friendly owner speaks English and is happy to chat with patrons about his whiskey collection.

    Art
    There are three excellent exhibitions on this summer, all of which are worth checking in. The Power Station of Art is hosting ”Andy Warhol: 15 Minutes Eternal,” the largest Warhol retrospective ever to come to Asia. Rockbund Art Museum is currently showing “From Gesture to Language,” with a number of pieces on loan from the Louvre. At Minsheng Art Museum, through the end of June, is “Designing 007: 50 Years of Bond Style,” an exhibition that celebrates the Bond film franchise’s 50th anniversary.
  • On May 15, 2013
    Sophie Friedman answered the question: Sophie Friedman

    What’s new in Shanghai?

    Courtesy D.O.C. Gastronomia Italiana Shanghai is not so much a developing city as one that’s constantly evolving. Here’s what’s new in Shanghai.
     
    Restaurants
    The biggest thing to hit Shanghai since sliced bread is Tock’s, where sandwiches that wouldn’t look out of place at Katz’s are devoured by hungry expats and locals alike. Proprietor Brian Tock hails from Montreal and he’s smoking his meat in house just as one would back in Canada. Though the meat could stand on its own, the rye bread, toppings, and poutine are all excellent. A short walk from the PuLi and just behind the Portman Ritz-Carlton is La Poste. The French restaurant has the standard low lighting and dark wood, and the dishes—many of which are seafood—won’t disappoint. Xinjiang, the autonomous region in far western China, bordering Pakistan, has its own cuisine in which lamb plays a starring role. Spice Bazaar serves these dishes up in an environment that’s as welcoming to couples as it is to families. For dessert, head west to Nom Nom Dessert Bar, where local cookie purveyor Strictly Cookies has teamed up with Shanghai-based gelato mongers Snow Maple Desserts. 


    Nightlife
    Those who like porky snacks paired with cocktails will find themselves in heaven at The Trotter Bar, the tiny back section of American restaurant The Grumpy Pig, which itself is the back section of streetwear shop KIN. There are two new bars open on Dagu Lu, a few blocks from The Four Seasons (http://www.forbestravelguide.com/shanghai-china/hotels/four-seasons-hotel-shanghai); one is the third branch of Le Café des Stagiaires—a café-cum-bar run by Francophone hospitality school students—and the other is Bar XYZ, which serves Japanese-style cocktails. Opening towards the end of the month in the former French Concession is RePublic, the second iteration of The Public, a cocktail bar that closed late last year. If it’s whiskey over cocktails that you prefer, squeeze into tiny Whiskey Corner, which has just four seats at the bar and two tables. The friendly owner speaks English and is happy to chat with patrons about his whiskey collection.

    Art
    There are three excellent exhibitions on this summer, all of which are worth checking in. The Power Station of Art is hosting ”Andy Warhol: 15 Minutes Eternal,” the largest Warhol retrospective ever to come to Asia. Rockbund Art Museum is currently showing “From Gesture to Language,” with a number of pieces on loan from the Louvre. At Minsheng Art Museum, through the end of June, is “Designing 007: 50 Years of Bond Style,” an exhibition that celebrates the Bond film franchise’s 50th anniversary.
  • On April 30, 2013
    Sophie Friedman answered the question: Sophie Friedman

    What are the best attractions in Shanghai?

    (c) S.F. Brit Shanghai's best attraction is the Bund, a mile-long promenade that's as synonymous with Shanghai as the Great Wall is to Beijing or the Terracotta Warriors are to Xi'an. Come in the early-morning hours to see groups of locals performing the ancient art of tai chi, or follow the other tourists and pose for a picture with the large, dark reddish Bund bull, sculpted by Arturo Di Modica to mimic his Charging Bull on Wall Street. The main reason to stroll the Bund, though, is to admire the historic buildings on the Puxi side of the Huangpu River, including the 1927 Shanghai Custom House's clock tower, and the futuristic skyscrapers on the Pudong side, like the barbell-shaped Oriental Pearl Tower. At night, both halves light up, making the skyline even more striking.

    The former French Concession neighborhood is a popular spot for tourists and locals alike. Colonial mansions are quietly tucked away down leafy lanes, but you'll also find noodle shops and cute boutiques. Directly east is Xintiandi, a pedestrian-only area with narrow stone paths lined with traditional shikumen (stone gate) houses that now are filled with upscale shops and restaurants.

    M50, so named for its address 50 Moganshan Road, is a complex of dozens of galleries and personal studios housed in converted factories and warehouses. For more historical art, check out the Shanghai Museum, located in the southern most corner of People's Square.  It is home to an impressive collection of ancient Chinese art, including furniture from the Ming and Qing dynasties and a range of elegant jade pieces. The Power Station of Art, all the way east at the former 2010 World Expo site, offers visitors world-class contemporary art; the museum's opening shows were this year's Biennale and a surrealist exhibition on loan from Paris's Centre Pompidou. Also on the former world expo site is the China Art Palace, inside the former China pavilion. It's an enormous space with five floors of work, including one floor devoted entirely to animation.

    Another one of the city's best attractions is Yu Garden. Inside the classic Chinese garden's stone walls, stroll through five acres of plants, ponds and ancient bridges dating back to the 16th century. Keep an eye out for details like the massive black dragon whose body curves along the top of a wavy white wall. The bazaar surrounding the gardens is a tourist trap, but it's worth braving the crowds to see the traditional red, black and gold buildings with upturned roofs; stand on the packed bridge at the Huxingting Tea House and peer at the schools of koi. Queue up for a taste of the xiaolongbao (soup dumplings) at Nanxiang Dumplings — just be prepared for a long wait, and be sure to bring cash. The best time to come is on a weekday; avoid during national holidays.