Hyatt On The Bund in Shanghai as a Last-Minute Hotel Option
D ue to my flight from Shanghai to Manila being cancelled for that evening and not being able to travel until 24 hours later — I received no notice about the cancellation and only found out when I arrived at the airport in Seoul earlier that morning — I booked a reservation at the last minute at Hyatt on the Bund, as it was the hotel with the lowest room rate of all of the major lodging brands in my limited time to search.
Location, Arrival and Checking In
Hyatt on the Bund is located at the northern end of the Bund near the bank of the Huang Pu River that divides Shanghai, which is the largest city in the world in terms of population, with almost 25 million people in its city proper.
The walk from the subway station was approximately 20 minutes from the East Nanjing Road station on the 2 Line, whose eastern terminus is at Shanghai Pudong International Airport. Due in part to streets crowded with people and in part to distance, this can be a problem if you are carrying a lot of luggage; but then, so would be traveling on the Shanghai Metro itself.
The hotel is located closer to the International Passenger Transport Station on the 12 Line; but then you would have to deal with a transfer if you were arriving from the airport — and the walk will still be approximately 15 minutes.
I explored the Bund both during the day and at night; as well as wandered a few blocks away from the Bund for some minimal shopping. The location of the hotel ensures that access to the Bund is easily within walking distance.
This is part of the glass ceiling which allows plenty of daylight into the lobby.
Checking in to the hotel in its expansive lobby was no problem; and I was happy to get to my room after the day I had.
You can get a nice clear view of the hotel from the Bund.
The king room was spacious, as it was larger than a typical hotel room; but overall it was nothing extraordinary. Although the bed was not the best one in which I have ever slept, it was comfortable.
When the sliding doors near the bed are opened…
…the bathroom is revealed and becomes somewhat integrated with the rest of the room, separated only by an island with a countertop. Two bottles of water awaited me on that countertop.
I slept well on the comfortable bed — especially when overlooking the view of the Bund. On the right is the bathtub and shower area. I thought that having the shower area separate from the bathtub without a divider was an interesting design, as they are in their own closed portion of the bathroom.
There was a desk near the flat screen television which was built into the wall.
I was able to work on that desk; and although the Internet connection was not the best or the fastest, it worked fine.
The closet had ample storage space as well; and was equipped with such items as an iron, an ironing board, and a robe.
At first glance, the room looks nice enough; but a closer look reveals shoddy workmanship — not enough to adversely affect the stay — throughout the room, as illustrated by this poor caulk work…
…this patch in the ceiling…
…and this wallpaper next to the paneling as only three of a number of examples.
The bathroom itself was adequate but not very spacious — even when the sliding doors were opened. The toilet and bathtub were in their own green frosted glass stalls within the bathroom. Bizarrely, you could use the toilet and have a distant view of the Bund when the sliding doors were opened — but if you are going to do this, I would advise doing so if you are the only person occupying the room.
There were also plenty of towels available in the bathroom, which was nice and clean overall — as was the rest of the room.
In addition to the amenities by June Jacobs — green tea and cucumber shampoo, conditioner, shower gel…
…and soap, an additional bottle of purifying shower gel, and what appears to be a loofah pad…
…there were also two washcloths, the aforementioned two bottles of water — which came in very handy — and a box…
…which revealed more amenities packed in boxes when its lid was opened and included such items as toothpaste, an emery board, a comb, a toothbrush, a razor, shaving cream, a sewing kit, a shower cap, a disposal bag, cotton buds, and shaving cream.
This is the same box of amenities when removed from their boxes, which is why I gave this hotel the Overpackaging of the Amenities award; and despite the comments posted in that article, I eventually did use all of the amenities.
Near the large set of windows are ottomans on which you can sit and watch the view for hours.
The view from the hotel room was the highlight of what was an otherwise ordinary stay.
Stretching from the tall buildings of Pudong on the left…
…across the Huang Pu River and the Bund straight ahead — including a clear view of the Shanghai People Yingxiong Memorial on the right.
I was able to watch the activity day and night from the comfort of my room after being outside and experiencing it for myself.
Witnessing the parade of assorted vessels navigating the river was potentially mesmerizing.
The nighttime views of the city of Shanghai were equally entrancing with all of the bright lights.
The nice part of the view is that I can see from the room where I would like to wander or visit whenever I decided to venture outside — during the day or night.
I did not see what time it happened; but most of the bright lights of the Bund which you see in the photograph above…
…dimmed after a certain hour.
At the time of the hotel stay, I was a Hyatt Gold Passport frequent guest loyalty program member with Platinum elite level status — which to me is not worth all that much with few amenities and no access to a lounge. As is the usual policy of Hyatt Gold Passport, only those members who have earned Diamond elite level status are given complimentary access to lounges.
I did not dine at the hotel or patronize any of the spa or fitness facilities — nor did I have access to the Bund club rooms and lounge I did — so I cannot comment on any of them.
When I checked out of the hotel property, I was asked to sign a receipt — along with a choice of whether I would prefer to pay in yuan renminbi or dollars. I chose yuan renminbi, as paying in dollars would activate dynamic currency conversion, meaning that I would have paid more than I should. If you are ever offered a price in your home currency for your “convenience”, don’t do it — stick with paying in the local currency. Checking out of the hotel was effortless; and the members of the staff were pleasant and somewhat helpful overall. For example, one employee — after attempting to convince me to exchange currency at the front desk, to which I politely declined — recommended a bank nearby where I can get some yuan renminbi. The currency exchange process at that bank took approximately one hour due to several people ahead of me as well as slow service; and I would not recommend it.
There were plenty of places to go shopping within walking distance of the hotel.
Considering that I paid a room rate of 1,320.00 yuan renminbi plus a service charge of 15 percent — or approximately $210.00 total — for the night reserved at the last minute for a spacious room on a high floor with a great view in a hotel within walking distance of the Bund, I suppose that room rate was a decent value.
The view is what kept this stay from being simply ordinary and unexceptional.
I do recommend staying at this hotel property; but if you can procure an even better value elsewhere — not necessarily less expensive — consider it.
Hyatt on the Bund
199 Huang Pu Road
Shanghai, China 200080
+ 86 21 6393 1234
+ 86 21 6393 1313 Fax
All photographs ©2014 by Brian Cohen.