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“The Waldorf experience”

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Waldorf Astoria Shanghai on the Bund
Ranked #6 of 5,222 Hotels in Shanghai
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 24 May 2012

The Waldorf Astoria Shanghai is one of the best City 5* hotels we ever stayed in. The classic elegance of the Shanghai Club part (Long bar/Salon de Ville) and the wonderful designed rooms in the tower are just outstanding. Upon arrival we received an updgrade to a river suite in the 24th floor with an amazing view to Pudong. Staff was friendly and helpful but always discreet and the Concierge can book you any in-place even on very short notice.
Definitively the place to stay when you are in Shanghai. Even if you don't stay here don't miss a visit to the Long bar!

  • Stayed: May 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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1  Thank mg1864
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
WaldorfAstoria2011, Marketing and Communication at Waldorf Astoria Shanghai on the Bund, responded to this reviewResponded 25 May 2012

Thank you for the delightful review on the hotel as well as your overall experience. We are indeed most motivated by your comments and will continue our efforts to do even better. We hope to welcome you back to the hotel in the near future.

Waldorf Astoria Shanghai On The Bund

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Reviewed 24 May 2012

Loved my room! Across from the bund was great, but when I got back to my room what luxury !
We have a beautiful home in Texas, so when we travel it is hard to beat what we have at home ...Well our room was a 10, Luxury all the way from our self opening , closing and flushing toilet, it will even clean and dry you, to the controls next to the bed for light and drapes with ONE touch, very nice sheets,pillows ,bed and a chandelier in the bedroom , and a window in the bathroom that with a flip of a switch would go from clear to opaque, fresh fruit brought up daily and tea biscuits.....And for you Facebookers, sign up with Astrill, 7 day free trail and you can send pictures daily of your beautiful trip in Shanghai ! Enjoy !

  • Stayed: May 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Thank JMichaelONE
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
WaldorfAstoria2011, Marketing and Communication at Waldorf Astoria Shanghai on the Bund, responded to this reviewResponded 25 May 2012

Thank you so much for your high esteem of our guestroom and amenities. It is always a delight to receive compliments as well as rewarding to know that our guests enjoyed their stay. We hope you to serve you again on your return visit to Shanghai.

Waldorf Astoria Shanghai On The Bund

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Reviewed 24 May 2012

This hotel is as good as it gets! Great Service, Great Location and Great Hotel!

Stayed: May 2012, travelled with family
Thank lee w
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
WaldorfAstoria2011, Marketing and Communication at Waldorf Astoria Shanghai on the Bund, responded to this reviewResponded 25 May 2012

We are extremely delighted with your high regard of our hotel and which makes us very proud of our team for their continuous efforts as well as commitment to deliver high standards of service to our guests such as yourself. We look forward to welcoming you back and thank you for your encouraging comments.

Waldorf Astoria Shanghai On The Bund

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Reviewed 23 May 2012

The Waldorf Astoria Shanghai is part of the Waldorf’s worldwide collection of luxury hotels, which also forms the upper most tier of the Hilton hotel group. Inspired by the iconic and historic Waldorf Astoria New York, the Waldorf Astoria promises a stay that will be defined by elegance, style, perfection and service to deliver a top notch luxury hotel experience. Or so the hotel’s promotion clip says so, but does it?

As usual, at the end of my hectic business trip, I often like to book a luxury hotel stay in Shanghai to relax and unwind. Located right along the bund, adjacent to the other top tier hotels like the Peninsula and the Fairmont Peace hotel, most rooms command great views of the Bund. I usually stayed at the Peninsula but decided to book for one night just to try out the hotel.


Arriving

I arrived by Taxi after checking out from the Renaissance Zhongshan. The hotel is actually comprised of two buildings, the heritage building and the newly constructed club tower. My room is located in the new building. However, finding the entrance prove challenging. One has to pass thru the car park and make a few rounds before arriving at the new tower’s entrance.

On arrival, my luggage was collected and I was escorted to my front-desk for check-in. I requested for an early check-in which was granted and a friendly lady staff escorted me to my room, introduce the features of the room and even stay to make a cup of coffee for me. A good start! The luggage was only delivered after some chasing which should not happen as there weren’t many guests checking in during that time.


The Room

The room I booked is a Deluxe river view room which is more expensive but has a front row view of the Bund, overlooking the river, the pearl tower and the skyscrapers of Pudong. The room is decorated in classical luxury style. The furnishing and fittings are all beautiful and high quality, with an over-dose of “bling” factor. This is a room that ozze old-style aristocrat luxury.

The room itself is not very spacious, as the King Size bed takes up most of the space. It measures about 45m2. Still, the hotel managed to fit in a large workdesk, a reading sofa chair with ottoman, a walk in closet and a spacious ensuite bathroom. The in-room technology is very modern and up-to-date, which is expected as it is a relatively new hotel. For entertainment options, there’s a flat screen LCD TV, a build-in blu-ray player with hifi speakers, automated windows blind, TV in the bathroom and even a touchscreen remote control that can control all the features of the room. The walk-in closet have a sensor that switch on the lights whenever I walked in which is quite cool. The work desk have all sorts of connections for video and audio including of course, iPod connectivity. Strangely, there is only one power plug provided on the workdesk.


The bathroom is decked out in marble, with a deep soaking tub and rainforest shower, plus a first for Shanghai probably, a high-tech toilet. Bathroom amenities galore include exclusive Ferragamo toiletries and personal care products as well as huge selection of towels of various sizes. The in-mirror bathroom TV is a cool feature but is not practical as the image quality is so blurry, it’s not watchable.


Common Areas and Location

The hotel has two wings. The so called Heritage Wing houses the old building, which was a converted historic old building. There are some limited number of rooms in that building, for those who prefer more traditional décor and design. Then there is the new tower which is newly constructed adjacent to the old building. Both buildings are connected by a pathway.

The common areas, like the rooms are just as gorgeous. At the center of the hotel is the impressive crystal chandelier that hangs down from the lobby to the lower ground. Equally impressive is the Grand Brasserie restaurant, the hotel’s lobby restaurant for all day dinning. The Grand Brasserie also look out into a small courtyard with a nice waterfall. The lobby is vast and at the same time also feels kind of empty.

There’s also a nice library that serves coffee and soft drinks as well as a well equipped gym. The pool is on the small side. I didn’t visit the Spa though there is one for those that are so inclined. For further F&B options, there’s also a French fine dining restaurant and a Chinese restaurant, along with two lounge/bars.

The hotel is located along the famous Bund area, overlooking the Pudong skyline. The bund has been completed rebuilt and is a pleasant place to have an evening walk. Nearby are lots of restaurants ( mostly high end and expensive ) and some luxury boutique shops. It’s a very “high-class” area mean for well-to-do tourist and the new money super-rich.

I had several meals at this restaurant during my short stay, including morning breakfast, an ala carte lunch and a dinner for my business guests at the Chinese restaurant. The food quality range from good to mediocre, mostly very bland. The salmon steak served for my lunch is quite good but that’s about it. The food at the Chinese restaurant where we had dinner were overpriced and not memorable, chosen mainly for convenience and not for value.

The buffet breakfast was served at the Grand Brasserie in the morning. The concept is quite good. There’s a large assortment of pastries, breads and breakfast items served buffet style and a separate menu for hot items, like cooked-to-order eggs, waffles, noodles etc. The presentation was very nice, but unfortunately the food quality was a let-down. The pastries taste bland, perhaps because they have been left to chill for a long while. It’s surprising really, but the buffet breakfast at the much lower-end Renaissance which I stayed just the day previously have much better breakfast food quality.


The Service

I had issues with the service standards of the hotel. Other than the initial check-in experience, most of the time, service can be described at best to be business-like and lukewarm. Staff hardly ever smiled and they seem so nervous when you approach them with requests. When I walked pass them, they never greet me unlike other 5-star luxury hotels. Some have a “can’t be bothered” attitude.

For example, during the morning breakfast, while the Grand Brasserie is a large restaurant with lots of seating, the waiters insist to shepherd / guide all the guests to sit in one area of the restaurant only. Is that for the purpose of having to walk less while they serve? After a while, I asked to be seated away from the crowd to a nearby window table and I can tell the Manager was not pleased with my request but nevertheless accommodate it. When I questioned why his staff insist to sit all the guests close to each other when there are so much space around, he just shrug off and say “sorry” and walked away.

Then another issue happened when I called the service hotline to request one of my shirt to be ironed, only to be told that it can only be returned the next day after noon. As I was staying only one night and plan to check out the next day morning, I asked for the shirt to be returned the same day evening and then was told I have to pay a surcharge of 100% for “express service”! Certainly it should not take them no later than 6 hrs to iron a shirt!

Irritated, I dropped a quick email to complain to the Front desk Manager. As I already have left for my business meetings after I sent the email, she promptly took action to take my shirts from the closet and got them ironed immediately follow by an apology note. That’s admirable effort at service recovery. Just wish the rest of the hotel staff were like that.

To round up the list of problems, the limousine that I booked from the hotel to send me to airport turned out to be an old Mercedes. Worse, it was dirty with stains everywhere. Clearly it was just used for fetching another guest and has not been properly cleaned for a long time. When I have paid a RMB1000 rate for a limo, I expected a sparkling new car or at least a clean one at the bare minimum.


Conclusion

The Waldorf Astoria Shanghai is beautiful, no doubt about it. The rooms are plush, the hardware is the latest and up to date. It’s the software that is the problem.

Service standard in this hotel lags far behind my top choice hotel for Shanghai, ie the Peninsula. Even when compared to the other more “budget-value” hotels like Renaissance, it also fall behind as staff are not warm and friendly. So unless they improve, I think the Peninsula is a far better choice, with better F&B, a better ambience, equally nice rooms and far superior service.

  • Stayed: May 2012, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank BENLEE123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
WaldorfAstoria2011, Marketing and Communication at Waldorf Astoria Shanghai on the Bund, responded to this reviewResponded 24 May 2012

Dear Mr BENLEE,

Firstly, thank you for staying with us and for the feedback on your overall experience. We have taken note of the areas which did not meet your expectations and will continue to make improvements. Your compliments where we made positive impressions were also noted with appreciation, it certainly encourages the team members concerned to do even better in customer engagement as well as quality of service. We hope there will be another opportunity of serving you again.

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Reviewed 20 May 2012

The hotel has 2 entrances & most taxi drivers are not aware of it. More often than not, you will be dropped at the old entrance which is facing the Bund. If you have paid the taxi and enter the hotel through this gate, you will have a roller coaster ride negotiating stair cases to reach the reception Take the next small road on the west - this will take you to the main new entrance, directly to reception. This means the hotel has two wings - old & new. You would be lodged in the new wing. Use the old gate to get onto Bund.
Inside, it is a luxury par excellence. Large room, very comfy bed and pillows. Internet is complimentary but no access to google (gmail,yes) at this point. Staff is very polite and helpful. The toilet, you will experience the ultimate hospitality of the East - "hands free" commode. Just sit, press buttons and enjoy!
Food is great & they will treat you royally during the breakfast. Your main dish is delivered on table - rest is buffet. For outdoor enthusiasts, the Bund just around the corner - go for evening/morning strolls or even a run. Evenings are great fun at the Bund/Huangpu riverside. The new Shanghai is on your face. The opulence of money is to be seen to believed!

Room Tip: no great view up to 12th floor. West view rooms may have slightly better view
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  • Stayed: May 2012, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank basaa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Waldorf Astoria Shanghai on the Bund

Address: No.2 Zhongshan Dong Yi Road, Huangpu District, Shanghai 200002, China
Phone Number:
Region: China > Shanghai Region > Shanghai > The Bund
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#2 Romantic Hotel in Shanghai
#3 Business Hotel in Shanghai
#3 Family Hotel in Shanghai
#5 Spa Hotel in Shanghai
#6 Luxury Hotel in Shanghai
#186 Best Value Hotel in Shanghai
Price Range: $360 - $587 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Waldorf Astoria Shanghai on the Bund 5*
Number of rooms: 260
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Combining the history and culture of the celebrated Shanghai Bund with a taste for 21st century sophistication, Waldorf Astoria Shanghai on the Bund offers a heritage ambiance, legendary service and timeless amenities to make your stay truly memorable and distinct. Housed within the two-building complex in phases are 260 well-appointed rooms and suites, stylish environments for dining and lounging, extensive banquet facilities with stunning views, luxury spa, fully-fitted gym ,free WiFi and more, all crafted onto a picture perfect setting that speaks volume of the grandeur and finesse that is uniquely ours. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Waldorf Astoria Shanghai On The Bund Hotel Shanghai

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