Best SPG Hotel in Shanghai?

Discussion in 'Starwood | Preferred Guest' started by garyst16, Sep 18, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. MSPeconomist
    • Original Member

    MSPeconomist Gold Member

    Do you mean as of about six months ago or spring 2010? And when you say the Shanghai modern art museum, do you mean the small one in the modern white building that's somewhat hard to find at the back of the park next to the Shanghai art museum, the one where you enter and they walk up a sloped ramp to get to the higher level exhibit rooms? (Both have some sort of restaurant and bar on top with views.)
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  2. MSPeconomist
    • Original Member

    MSPeconomist Gold Member

    Unfortunately, the area has few hotel choices, although the hotels are potentially interesting even if not top standard.
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  3. TRAVELSIG
    • Original Member

    TRAVELSIG Gold Member

    True. I stayed at the former government vip guesthouse next to Face (when Face was open) once- beautiful complex and views- the room nothing too special- and the service "ha ha ha". Anyway, the new options at Xiantindi are probably quite nice. I stick now to the Pudong side most of the time unfortunately and the Shangri-La: there are many many options around but that one has the overall package that just works for me.

    The OP wants to stick to SPG- Hyatt is becoming quite the player in Shanghai now as well.
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  4. MSPeconomist
    • Original Member

    MSPeconomist Gold Member

    For the OP, the clear choice is LRM, but I wish the thread title specified "best for tourism" or "best for first time visitor."
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  5. MSPeconomist
    • Original Member

    MSPeconomist Gold Member

    One day I walked into the former VIP guesthouse grounds since I had a guide book that made a fuss about the people who have stayed there. I made a mental note not to ever stay there. The service was obviously indifferent at best, if not downright rude and insulting. The rooms were very old fashioned with tiny bathrooms and no apparent updates since it was built. AC (if there was some) didn't seem to be functioning. It was sad and the prices my guidebook gave were outrageous for what it is now.

    A bit farther into the French Connection there's a similar but smaller hotel complex that looks more promising, a sort of fancy historic country inn in a park in the city. Not many updates, but more promising than the former government guesthouse place, and it didn't have the depressing "we don't care" atmosphere of the old VIP guesthouse. I suspect that their better rooms could be an interesting experience, but don't expect updated rooms and facilities. Several years ago, it didn't seem to be that expensive.
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  6. Canadi>n
    • Original Member

    Canadi>n Silver Member

    Sorry for the confusion, was in Beijing last fall when that art gallery went "free" and in Shanghai this spring when the Shanghai Art Gallery went "free". Sorry, not the modern AG, though the hard to find small one in the park near the SAG in Peoples' Park is free if you show your LRM key card, or at least it was last year.
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  7. TRAVELSIG
    • Original Member

    TRAVELSIG Gold Member

    Yes- this is a benefit of the LeMeridien hotels "unlock the city art key program" which is a wonderful benefit and not very well promoted- every LM hotel has an offer with a local musuem/art gallery/attraction of a cultural nature where you get free or reduced cost admissions. Vienna used to be the Belvedere which was a wonderful offer as the cost of entry was ~12 EUR pp.
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  8. MSPeconomist
    • Original Member

    MSPeconomist Gold Member

    Yes, indeed, I used my free entry when I last visited Shanghai and stayed in LRM, although I had previously been to this museum (and paid, as a St Regis guest). In fact, I might have gone twice, using my room card for entry which the museum staff readily recognized. It's a nice and somewhat unique LM program.
  9. Canadi>n
    • Original Member

    Canadi>n Silver Member

    Biggest challenge is finding the Shanghai modern art gallery in the park!. Wonder which gallery one gets at the DOM in Cologne?
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  10. MSPeconomist
    • Original Member

    MSPeconomist Gold Member

    Isn't it crazy that it's so hard to find and so few people know it?
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  11. Canadi>n
    • Original Member

    Canadi>n Silver Member

    Usual good stay at the Westin with upgrade to junior suite on high floor, but not much of a view. This property has one of the nicer food offerings in the club lounge but unless you sit in the glassed in back room from which you can watch the Pearl Tower do it's colour number in the evening, otherwise has no view, being on the 5th floor. Also tried out the new Sheraton in the nondescript Hongkou neighbourhood. Easy to get to from the Westin, just a short walk along Henan to the #10 metro (Yayuan Garden) and four stations north to Hailun Rd. Take exit 5 and you're across the street from the Sheraton. From Pudong, or the airport, transfer from line #2 to line #4. Very luxurious feel, lots of art throughout. Upgrade to a junior suite, corner room on an SPG floor (28th) but with lounge access. Great view of Pudong and the towers out the bedroom window, west side of the city from the living room windows. Views to the east and north from the 37th floor lounge but disappointing food spread in the evening, much better at breakfast. Unless you know Shanghai and the subway system this is not an appropriate property, and the rates are not the best in town for Starwood properties. However, you can get to most locations in the city on one or the other metro line in about 20-minutes for 3/4 RMB from this quiet neighbourhood.

    Just read in the NYT that there was a collision of subway trains yesterday at the Yayuan stop which I left from Monday morning and used several times over the weekend to get around the city.
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  12. Canadi>n
    • Original Member

    Canadi>n Silver Member

    Today I noticed a well-signed walkway to this gallery just past the Shanghai Art Museum on Nanjing Road. There's a big PIXAR show at the gallery, which I saw earlier this summer in Beijing, so didn't bother making my way to it. Also wasn't staying at the Meridien, so didn't have a key card for free admission. Will give it a try next trip, and when I am at LRM.
  13. garyst16
    • Original Member

    garyst16 Silver Member

    Finalizing my travel plans now...LAX-ORD-PVG-ORD-LAX 17,600 EQMs for $815 - 4.6 CPM is not great but I need the miles to make EXP...

    Will be staying at the LRM (thanks for all of the tips!). Does the hotel have car service or am I better off taking a taxi? Also, the current rate is $220/night or 10K points/night. If SPG points are worth 2.3 cents on the high end ($230) it is pretty much a wash. Any opinions on which way I should go?

    I sincerely appreciate all of the responses to my questions...
  14. RestlessLocationSyndrome
    • Original Member

    RestlessLocationSyndrome Silver Member

    If you can speak Mandarin or have the LRM hotel name and address written in Chinese to show the taxi driver, you should be fine and it's considerably cheaper.

    Cash and points is an option with LRM so that is definitely the best value.
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  15. garyst16
    • Original Member

    garyst16 Silver Member

    Definitely do not speak Mandarin, but the hotel address information is listed on their website in Chinese.

    Cash and points is not an option at this LRM
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  16. theskyflyer
    • Original Member

    theskyflyer Silver Member

    You mean for the dates you're searching for, right? Because I have done C+P at this property a couple of times in the past year.
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  17. garyst16
    • Original Member

    garyst16 Silver Member

    Yes, for the dates I am searching...Nov 21-23, 2011
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  18. RestlessLocationSyndrome
    • Original Member

    RestlessLocationSyndrome Silver Member

    I think I'd pay for the nights because 20k pts + $300 is worth 5 nts at this prop on cash & pts some other time... a much better value. If you can't or don't want to part with $460 on this trip... maybe 1 nt on pts, 1 nt in cash would help conserve some pts.
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  19. garyst16
    • Original Member

    garyst16 Silver Member

    Thanks for the insight, Restless!
  20. garyst16
    • Original Member

    garyst16 Silver Member

    One more question for the Shanghai knowledge base...Which is the closest Marriott property to the LRM Shanghai? My co-worker has decided to do the MR with me but he is a Marriott loyalist. I think it is the Shanghai Marriott City Center but Google Maps is failing me on the address search.
  21. From NYC
    • Original Member

    From NYC Gold Member

    The JW Marriott is just across People’s Park from the hotel; 5 minute walk. Not sure where the City Center is. Nice, but a bit stuffy for my taste when I was giving Marriotts a try.
  22. From NYC
    • Original Member

    From NYC Gold Member

    One thing you should seriously consider if you have an iPhone; not sure if it’s available for other phone OS’s: Shanghai Taxi Guide. I have no connection to it other than using it as a lifesaver. Has an exemplary list of places in Shanghai broken down by type: restaurant, shopping, bars, clubs, services. When you find the place you want, click on it and up comes a contact card with address, phone, etc. There’ll also be a button you press to get a taxi guide version that you can show the driver directly. If he still doesn’t know what to do, you go back and press the phone number and then you can just give him the phone to talk to the place directly. Saved me carrying lots of paper with taxi guide writing, and my friends there were amazed at the places listed, some of which were pretty obscure.
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  23. From NYC
    • Original Member

    From NYC Gold Member

    Have stayed at Westin Bund and LRM, and prefer LRM because of ease of transport with subway right there. However, and even though I could use the lounge at the Westin, there’s a great street food breakfast street just a couple of blocks from Westin towards the Bund that I love going to with terrific eats for almost no money at all. Bit too much of a hike from the LRM to get to.
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  24. Jslo
    • Original Member

    Jslo Gold Member

    Definitely I'd take a taxi to LRM. If you have it clearly written in Mandarin and English, the taxi driver will know where the LRM is based on my experience. I find the taxi drivers in Shanghai really good, more like HKG than PEK. As said up thread, JW Marriott just across the park from LRM. Easy walk. Nice street/park area to walk. Hope the trip goes well, have fun.

    As a funny aside when I was there last week, I saw Yao Ming near Huangpi Road restaurant area/mall on Sunday night. Then the next morning checking out of the Westin I saw PGA golfer Jim Furyk and his caddy Mike "Fluff" Cowan. Furyk was really cool, nice guy. He was rocking NFL scores on his iPad and was chatting up NFL with us after letting us snap a couple pics with him. Really nice guy. He was in Shanghai for the HSBC World Golf Championship.
    [​IMG]
    Furyk and Fluff leaving for the course above, and Yao Ming walking through a mall below...
    [​IMG]
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