What are the best riverfront hotels in Shanghai?

Answers from Our Experts (1)

Sophie Friedman
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.

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