What are the best family hotels in Shanghai?

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Sophie Friedman

There are millions of kids running around Shanghai and plenty of businesses catering to pint-sized customers. Here are my picks for the best family hotels in Shanghai.

The Kerry Hotel, Pudong 
Shanghai’s most family-friendly hotel has one amenity other places just can’t beat: Adventure Zone. A ball pit, climbing structures, and super fast slides will occupy kids for hours, so parents can slip off to the hotel’s microbrewery The Brew and enjoy a pint or two. There’s an outdoor playground with climbing wall, as well as tennis and basketball courts. Just across the street from the hotel is Century Park, where boats and bicycles—single, tandem, and four-wheel—can be hired. The hotel also offers babysitting services, and while you’re out, your kids can continue whooping around Adventure Zone.

The Ritz-Carlton Shanghai, Pudong 
Guests at the Ritz Pudong can take advantage of free babysitting services. Let the concierge know when you need a sitter and one will be sent up to your room. The hotel has no play spaces, but the front desk will be able to provide a few kid-appropriate flicks, or you can easily pick a few up at one of the city’s multitude of DVD shops. The hotel itself is a short walk to Shanghai Ocean Aquarium and, after seeing swimming fish there, kids can hop into the hotel’s 53rd-floor infinity pool.

The Portman Ritz-Carlton, Shanghai
On the roof of the hotel, surrounded by a grassy lawn, is a small, shallow outdoor pool, perfect for taking a dip in between running around. Inside, the gym offers special kids’ dance and swim classes each week. Come weekend brunch, in-house restaurant Tables has a dedicated kids area complete with babysitter. The hotel also offers regular babysitting services; there’s a daycare center and in-room sitters are available (RMB180/three hours).

The Peninsula, Shanghai 
The Peninsula doesn’t get too many guests with young children, but when it does, its prepared. Sitters should be booked 24 hours in advance; English-speaking sitters are available for RMB100 (approx. US$16) per hour, and French-, German-, Korean-, and Japanese-speaking sitters will run you RMB200 (US$32). The Peninsula caters to its “junior guests,” just as it does to its taller ones, and there’s a kids academy where pint-sized guests can make their own chocolate and team up for a scavenger hunt through the hotel.

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