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 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. 
  • 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. 
  • 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. 
  • On April 30, 2013
    Sophie Friedman answered the question: Sophie Friedman

    What new museum exhibits are in Shanghai?

    Courtesy Rockbund Art Museum As temperatures start to creep up in China, air conditioned museums beckon. There are a handful of new museum exhibits in Shanghai now, and these are my top picks.

    The Power Station of Art, on the former world expo site, is my favorite museum in Shanghai. It opened with a bang, hosting the Shanghai Biennale and an exhibition on loan from Paris's Centre Pompidou, and now its hosting Andy Warhol: 15 Minutes Eternal. The show is fantastic—300 pieces, paintings, drawings, and sculptures. What isn't being exhibited is the famous Mao painting which, though beloved in the West, was deemed by the Chinese government to be offensive. The exhibitions runs through July 26th. 

    Through June 30th, Minsheng Art Museum is hosting Designing 007: 50 Years of Bond Style. The exhibition was organized to celebrate the film franchise's 50th anniversary and Bond fans will be bowled over by the wonderful exhibits. Everything from passports to costumes is featured here, and the large-scale installations, such as guns from the films, are particularly impressive.

    At the north end of the Bund is Rockbund Art Museum, one of the city's few privately owned museums. Through August 11th, the museum is hosting From Gesture to Language: Trans-Forming Practices of Art Expression, a group show of work by mostly foreign artists. The exhibition was curated by Pascal Torres Guardiola, who works at the Louvre as curator of the Chalcography (engraving copper or brass) department.
  • On April 30, 2013
    Sophie Friedman answered the question: Sophie Friedman

    What new museum exhibits are in Shanghai?

    Courtesy Rockbund Art Museum As temperatures start to creep up in China, air conditioned museums beckon. There are a handful of new museum exhibitis in Shanghai now, and these are my top picks.

    The Power Station of Art, on the former world expo site, is my favorite museum in Shanghai. It opened with a bang, hosting the Shanghai Biennale and an exhibition on loan from Paris's Centre Pompidou, and now its hosting Andy Warhol: 15 Minutes Eternal. The show is fantastic—300 pieces, paintings, drawings, and sculptures. What isn't being exhibited is the famous Mao painting which, though beloved in the West, was deemed by the Chinese government to be offensive. The exhibitions runs through July 26th. 

    Through June 30th, Minsheng Art Museum is hosting Designing 007: 50 Years of Bond Style. The exhibition was organized to celebrate the film franchise's 50th anniversary and Bond fans will be bowled over by the wonderful exhibits. Everything from passports to costumes is featured here, and the large-scale installations, such as guns from the films, are particularly impressive.

    At the north end of the Bund is Rockbund Art Museum, one of the city's few privately owned museums. Through August 11th, the museum is hosting From Gesture to Language: Trans-Forming Practices of Art Expression, a group show of work by mostly foreign artists. The exhibition was curated by Pascal Torres Guardiola, who works at the Louvre as curator of the Chalcography (engraving copper or brass) department.
  • On April 30, 2013
    Sophie Friedman answered the question: Sophie Friedman

    What new museum exhibits are in Shanghai?

    Courtesy Rockbund Art Museum As temperatures start to creep up in China, air conditioned museums beckon. There are a handful of new museum exhibitis in Shanghai now, and these are my top picks.

    The Power Station of Art, on the former world expo site, is my favorite museum in Shanghai. It opened with a bang, hosting the Shanghai Biennale and an exhibition on loan from Paris's Centre Pompidou, and now its hosting Andy Warhol: 15 Minutes Eternal. The show is fantastic—300 pieces, paintings, drawings, and sculptures. What isn't being exhibited is the famous Mao painting which, though beloved in the West, was deemed by the Chinese government to be offensive. The exhibitions runs through July 26th. 

    Through June 30th, Minsheng Art Museum is hosting Designing 007: 50 Years of Bond Style. The exhibition was organized to celebrate the film franchise's 50th anniversary and Bond fans will be bowled over by the wonderful exhibits. Everything from passports to costumes is featured here, and the large-scale installations, such as guns from the films, are particularly impressive.

    At the north end of the Bund is Rockbund Art Museum, one of the city's few privately owned museums. Through August 11th, the museum is hosting From Gesture to Language: Trans-Forming Practices of Art Expression, a group show of work by mostly foreign artists. The exhibition was curated by Pascal Torres Guardiola, who works at the Louvre as curator of the Chalcography (engraving copper or brass) department.
  • On April 30, 2013
    Sophie Friedman answered the question: Sophie Friedman

    What new museum exhibits are in Shanghai?

    Courtesy Rockbund Art Museum There are two new museum exhibitions in Shanghai right now, both held at the Power Station of Art. Housed in a lovingly renovated former power station on the one-time World Expo site, the massive museum is currently hosting two exhibitions—the Shanghai Biennale and “Electric Fields,” on loan from Paris’s Centre Pompidou.
     
    Fittingly, this theme of year’s Shanghai Biennale, which runs until March 31st, is “reactivation.” Work from the 83 participating artists is divided up into four sections—“Resources,” “Revisit,” “Reform,” and “Republic.”
     
    “Electric Fields” is packed with work from the big names in Surrealism—Duchamp, Erro Gudmundsson, and Chinese artist Chen Zhen. Dali is oddly absent, but pieces from Lichtenstein, Warhol, and Picasso manage the fill the void.
  • On April 30, 2013
    Sophie Friedman answered the question: Sophie Friedman

    What new museum exhibits are in Shanghai?

    Courtesy Rockbund Art Museum There are two new museum exhibitions in Shanghai right now, both held at the Power Station of Art. Housed in a lovingly renovated former power station on the one-time World Expo site, the massive museum is currently hosting two exhibitions—the Shanghai Biennale and “Electric Fields,” on loan from Paris’s Centre Pompidou.
     
    Fittingly, this theme of year’s Shanghai Biennale, which runs until March 31st, is “reactivation.” Work from the 83 participating artists is divided up into four sections—“Resources,” “Revisit,” “Reform,” and “Republic.”
     
    “Electric Fields” is packed with work from the big names in Surrealism—Duchamp, Erro Gudmundsson, and Chinese artist Chen Zhen. Dali is oddly absent, but pieces from Lichtenstein, Warhol, and Picasso manage the fill the void.
  • On April 29, 2013
    Sophie Friedman answered the question: Sophie Friedman

    What are the best museums in Shanghai?

    Shanghai Museum of Glass Shanghai is known for its happening nightlife and endless supply of shopping malls, but it's also home to more than 100 museums. You'll find museums dedicated to everything from the educational (Shanghai Science & Technology Museum) to the downright peculiar (the Public Security Museum comes to mind). These are my picks for the best of the bunch:

    Shanghai Science & Technology Museum. This is a fan-favorite among local families. The Pudong museum makes learning fun with interactive exhibits, including an indoor rainforest and archery-playing robot. It has its own subway stop so is easy to access but that also means it's enormously crowded. Admission makes New York museums look inexpensive.

    Shanghai Museum. This odd circular structure in the middle of People's Square is a sanctuary of Chinese culture and history. In fact, the building's exterior is supposed to resemble a bronze tripod vessel, the kind of artifact you'll find inside. Aside from ancient bronzes, it houses classical paintings, jade sculptures and masterful works of calligraphy. Venture upstairs and you will get a vivid glimpse into the history of China's more than 50 ethnic minorities.

    Shanghai Museum of Glass. Arriving to the city's artscape in 2011, this black-lacquered glass palace glitters with ancient and innovative pieces. There's also a demonstration room where you can watch an artist blow glass and classrooms where you can give it a go yourself. Paying homage to its former life as a glass factory, the museum adorns its dark façade with industry terms in 10 languages, which are backlit by LEDs to stunning effect.

    Shanghai Propaganda Poster Art Centre. Tucked away in the basement of an apartment complex is a museum unlike any other. Dubbed the "Propaganda Museum," this space contains more than 5,000 posters from Chairman Mao's tenure. Learn the history of propaganda in China as you make your way through some of the most iconic images of the Cultural Revolution and idealized conceptions of daily life. Afterward, pick up re-creations of some of the most famous posters in the museum's gift shop.

    Power Station of Art. All the way over at the former world expo site, this airy contemporary art museum, inside a former power station, stepped onto the scene with some serious street cred: Its first three exhibitions were the annual Shanghai Biennale (moved over from its one-time home at Shanghai Art Museum), "Electric Fields," an exhibition on loan from Paris's Centre Pompidou, and an Andy Warhol retrospective.

    China Art Palace. Also opened on the former expo site, inside the one-time China pavilion, is this whopping 64,000 square meter museum. Most of the pieces that were in the Shanghai Art Museum are now here. Art is spread out over five floors; there are many duds but just as many superb pieces. One floor is all works from Shanghai Film Animation Studio, including shorts, feature-length films, and a small collection of film posters; this floor is particularly good for kids. The touring exhibitions are the best; exhibitions from Amsterdam's Rijksmuseum and London's British Museum have both come through.
  • On April 29, 2013
    Sophie Friedman answered the question: Sophie Friedman

    What are the best museums in Shanghai?

    Shanghai Museum of Glass Shanghai is known for its happening nightlife and endless supply of shopping malls, but it's also home to more than 100 museums. You'll find museums dedicated to everything from the educational (Shanghai Science & Technology Museum) to the downright peculiar (Public Security Museum, anyone?). These are my picks for the best of the bunch:

    Shanghai Science & Technology Museum. This is a fan-favorite among local families. The Pudong museum makes learning fun with interactive exhibits, including an indoor rainforest and archery-playing robot. Of note: Admission here makes New York museums look inexpensive and, at the weekend, it's enormously crowded. 

    Shanghai Museum. This odd circular structure in the middle of People's Square is a sanctuary of Chinese culture and history. In fact, the building's exterior is supposed to resemble a bronze tripod vessel, the kind of artifact you'll find inside. Aside from ancient bronzes, it houses classical paintings, jade sculptures and masterful works of calligraphy. Venture upstairs and you will get a vivid glimpse into the history of China's more than 50 ethnic minorities.

    Shanghai Museum of Glass. Arriving to the city's artscape in 2011, this black-lacquered glass palace glitters with ancient and innovative pieces. There's also a demonstration room where you can watch an artist blow glass. Paying homage to its former life as a glass factory, the museum adorns its dark façade with industry terms in 10 languages, which are backlit by LEDs to stunning effect.

    Shanghai Propaganda Poster Art Centre. Tucked away in the basement of an apartment complex is a museum unlike any other. Dubbed the "Propaganda Museum," this space contains more than 5,000 posters from Chairman Mao's tenure. Learn the history of propaganda in China as you make your way through some of the most iconic images of the Cultural Revolution and idealized conceptions of daily life. Afterward, pick up re-creations of some of the most famous posters in the museum's gift shop.

    Power Station of Art. All the way over at the former World Expo site, this airy contemporary art museum, inside a former power station, stepped onto the scene with some serious street cred: Its first two exhibitions were the annual Shanghai Biennale (moved over from its one-time home at Shanghai Art Museum) and "Electric Fields," an exhibition on loan from Paris's Centre Pompidou.

    China Art Palace. This was opened on the former world expo side, inside the China pavilion. Since it's opened, the Shanghai Art Museum has closed. China Art Palace is a whopping 64,000 square meters, with work spread out over five floors. One floor is all works from Shanghai Film Animation Studio, including shorts, feature-length films, and a small collection of film posters. The touring exhibitions are superb; exhibitions from Amsterdam's Rijksmuseum and London's British Museum have both come through.
  • On April 29, 2013
    Sophie Friedman answered the question: Sophie Friedman

    What is the best new restaurant in Shanghai?

    courtesy Mandarin Oriental Shanghai New restaurants pop up in this city like worms after a heavy rain, so to choose the best new restaurants in Shanghai is a difficult task. Here are two places that opened up recently where the gorgeous food is as delicious as it looks

    The Commune Social
    The team at Table No. 1 have a new venture in Jing'an, a few blocks north of Jing'an Temple. The Commune Social is a tapas bar, a dessert bar, and a cocktail bar, with Table No. 1 head chef Scott Melvin running the kitchen. Though the tapas are beautifully plated, they're real food, no mucking about with molecular gastronomy. Pictured above is the baked smoked bone marrow; pescetarians will delight in dishes like miso-marinated grilled mackerel with wasabi avocado and cucumber chutney. The building that houses The Commune Social is a former concession-era police station. There's indoor seating at the bar and in the dessert area and plenty of outdoor seating in the courtyard and on the second-floor terrace.

    Napa Wine Bar and Kitchen
    Napa opened in 2007 in a lane house tucked behind JW Marriott Tomorrow Square. After nearly six years there, the owners decided to take advantage of a Bund-side space that had opened up and recently moved east. The old Napa had intimate rooms on different floors, but the new Bund-side Napa is one large open airy space, with a central bar and gas fireplace. Dishes include carbonara 2013, a play on pasta wherein cuttlefish shavings act as tagliatelle and instead of egg and bacon there's uni and pollock roe. When he opened Napa, owner Philippe Huser wanted to pair food with wine, rather than the other way around, and the restaurant has its own wine cellar, one of the city's largest.
  • On April 29, 2013
    Sophie Friedman answered the question: Sophie Friedman

    What is the best new restaurant in Shanghai?

    courtesy Mandarin Oriental Shanghai New restaurants pop up in this city like worms after a heavy rain, so to choose the best new restaurants in Shanghai is a difficult task. Here are two places that opened up recently where the gorgeous food is as delicious as it looks

    The Commune Social
    The team at Table No. 1 have a new venture in Jing'an, a few blocks north of Jing'an Temple. The Commune Social is a tapas bar, a dessert bar, and a cocktail bar, with Table No. 1 head chef Scott Melvin running the kitchen. Though the tapas are beautifully plated, they're real food, no mucking about with molecular gastronomy. Pictured above is the baked smoked bone marrow; pescetarians will delight in dishes like miso-marinated grilled mackerel with wasabi avocado and cucumber chutney. The building that houses The Commune Social is a former concession-era police station. There's indoor seating at the bar and in the dessert area and plenty of outdoor seating in the courtyard and on the second-floor terrace.

    Napa Wine Bar and Kitchen
    Napa opened in 2007 in a lane house tucked behind JW Marriott Tomorrow Square. After nearly six years there, the owners decided to take advantage of a Bund-side space that had opened up and recently moved east. The old Napa had intimate rooms on different floors, but the new Bund-side Napa is one large open airy space, with a central bar and gas fireplace. Dishes include carbonara 2013, a play on pasta wherein cuttlefish shavings act as tagliatelle and instead of egg and bacon there's uni and pollock roe. When he opened Napa, owner Philippe Huser wanted to pair food with wine, rather than the other way around, and the restaurant has its own wine cellar, one of the city's largest.
  • On April 29, 2013
    Sophie Friedman answered the question: Sophie Friedman

    What is the best new restaurant in Shanghai?

    courtesy Mandarin Oriental Shanghai New restaurants pop up in this city like worms after a heavy rain, so to choose the best new restaurants in Shanghai is a difficult task. Here are two places that opened up recently where the gorgeous food is as delicious as it looks

    The Commune Social
    The team at Table No. 1 have a new venture in Jing'an, a few blocks north of Jing'an Temple. The Commune Social is a tapas bar, a dessert bar, and a cocktail bar, with Table No. 1 head chef Scott Melvin running the kitchen. Though the tapas are beautifully plated, they're real food, no mucking about with molecular gastronomy. Pictured above is the baked smoked bone marrow; pescetarians will delight in dishes like miso-marinated grilled mackerel with wasabi avocado and cucumber chutney. The building that houses The Commune Social is a former concession-era police station. There's indoor seating at the bar and in the dessert area and plenty of outdoor seating in the courtyard and on the second-floor terrace.

    Napa Wine Bar and Kitchen
    Napa opened in 2007 in a lane house tucked behind JW Marriott Tomorrow Square. After nearly six years there, the owners decided to take advantage of a Bund-side space that had opened up and recently moved east. The old Napa had intimate rooms on different floors, but the new Bund-side Napa is one large open airy space, with a central bar and gas fireplace. Dishes include carbonara 2013, a play on pasta wherein cuttlefish shavings act as tagliatelle and instead of egg and bacon there's uni and pollock roe. When he opened Napa, owner Philippe Huser wanted to pair food with wine, rather than the other way around, and the restaurant has its own wine cellar, one of the city's largest.
  • On April 28, 2013
    Sophie Friedman answered the question: Sophie Friedman

    What are the best luxury hotels in Shanghai?

    (c) Waldorf Astoria If there’s one thing Shanghai has in spades, it's upscale accommodations. Forbes Travel Guide’s star-ratings rank the city’s best top hotels, and the best luxury hotels in Shanghai are two that received a Five-Star rating—Waldorf Astoria Shanghai on the Bund and The Peninsula Shanghai.

    Both hotels offer a Bund location, impeccable service, and gorgeous, plush rooms. What really sets both apart from the other luxury hotels in Shanghai is the in-room technology. At the Waldorf Astoria Shanghai on the Bund, rooms have energy-saving controls for the lights and temperature; when the room is empty, the lights go off and the temperature lowers automatically until someone returns and each is turned back on. The hotel has Wi-Fi throughout, as most do, but you needn’t bring a computer to use it; every room has a Bluetooth keyboard that works with the room’s LCD television, so you can check email and surf the net  on a big screen, from the comfort of your very luxe bed. At The Peninsula Shanghai, there are in-room controls for nearly everything, from checking the outside temperature to running a bath or drying your nails. Each room also has its own fax machine-cum-printer/copier. Free VOIP international calling makes it easier to check in at home or with the office.

    Both hotels are fantastic, and I love different things about each. The Waldorf’s history is long and rich—it was once home to the most exclusive men’s club in Shanghai and, later, the city’s first KFC. The Waldorf’s restaurants, Pelham’s and Wei Jing Ge, are superb, but the views from Sir Elly’s at the Peninsula, particularly from the terrace, are absolutely knock out.
  • On April 28, 2013
    Sophie Friedman answered the question: Sophie Friedman

    What are the best luxury hotels in Shanghai?

    (c) Waldorf Astoria If there’s one thing Shanghai has in spades, it's upscale accommodations. Forbes Travel Guide’s star-ratings rank the city’s best top hotels, and the best luxury hotels in Shanghai are two that received a Five-Star rating—Waldorf Astoria Shanghai on the Bund and The Peninsula Shanghai.

    Both hotels offer a Bund location, impeccable service, and gorgeous, plush rooms. What really sets both apart from the other luxury hotels in Shanghai is the in-room technology. At the Waldorf Astoria Shanghai on the Bund, rooms have energy-saving controls for the lights and temperature; when the room is empty, the lights go off and the temperature lowers automatically until someone returns and each is turned back on. The hotel has Wi-Fi throughout, as most do, but you needn’t bring a computer to use it; every room has a Bluetooth keyboard that works with the room’s LCD television, so you can check email and surf the net  on a big screen, from the comfort of your very luxe bed. At The Peninsula Shanghai, there are in-room controls for nearly everything, from checking the outside temperature to running a bath or drying your nails. Each room also has its own fax machine-cum-printer/copier. Free VOIP international calling makes it easier to check in at home or with the office.

    Both hotels are fantastic, and I love different things about each. The Waldorf’s history is long and rich—it was once home to the most exclusive men’s club in Shanghai and, later, the city’s first KFC. The Waldorf’s restaurants, Pelham’s and Wei Jing Ge, are superb, but the views from Sir Elly’s at the Peninsula, particularly from the terrace, are absolutely knock out.