After four or five stays, I continue to label this hotel as the world's best Holiday Inn, as I did almost three years ago.
Really, the Holiday Inn Pudong is better than some of the IHG's more upscale Intercontinental Hotels. Yes, it is that good. Definitely it is better than every Crowne Plaza hotel I have stayed in.
First comes employee training. Customer service can be spotty in western-chain hotels in Shanghai, but at the HIP the staff is readily conversant in English, or nearly so. The dining room suffers a bit, but more about that later. Personnel are simply well trained, no doubt about it. If you had stayed in the the dozens of China hotels as I have, you would understand why the HIP ranks near the top of all China hotels I have frequented. Customer service comes #1, not as an afterthought, or after a complaint.
Secondly, the facility itself is superior to any other HI I have seen on four continents. Remodeled three years ago, HIP is not showing wear and tear. Maintenance is superb. Carpets are spotless. (See my TA China Forum Top Question about "What should I expect at Chinese hotels" for comparison.) The rooms feature oversized bathtub/shower combinations. There is the clear glass-enclosed bathroom, with Venetian blinds provided between glass panes for privacy. This creates a much lighter, brighter and more open bathroom. Nice. The amenities are generous. Towels big and fluffy. I guess luxury hotel stayers could pay more than twice the HIP price for the additional heated towel amenity.
Third, the location is just great, with two Metro stops within one or two very short blocks, Pudian Road on Line 6 and Pudian Road on Line 4. Interchanging from these two stops will get you anywhere in Shanghai. Weather wet and/or cold? Avoid the downtown traffic gridlock and shortage of taxis and take the Shanghai Metro, the world's largest and newest major subway system.
Eat locally at one of the many middle-class Chinese restaurants, such as HeiJi on the same block, or others within a five minute taxi ride. This area of Pudong is close to many cuisines on Weifang and E Shan Lu. Don't get talked into tourist traps when you can eat with local families at nearby white-linen restaurants which have English menus.
Luxury and electronic shopping is a short walk away to Zhangyang Road. A couple of electronic malls let you comparison shop at reputable places. The fake markets have the "f" word for a reason, so avoid them for anything of much value. For those who cannot resist the opportunity, the Science & Technology Museum Metro Stop Market, the city's largest, is just two stops away, transferring at Century Blvd. Enough stores there to keep a bargain shopper busy for a half day or more.
Where is there room for improvement at HIP? First and foremost, the hotel needs WiFi in the hotel rooms, the international standard now for iPhone, iPad and eBook users. When a foreigner visits, the easy way to avoid excessive data charges on electronic devices is to find good and fast WiFi in the room. The hotel has so-so WiFi in the lobby, frankly a pain to use when necessary. I know the hotel wants its USD$10+ per day for in-room wired internet, but times and technology have changed.
Secondly, the first floor restaurant is not much more than a coffee shop with the same prices as the far better nearby restaurants. Definitely recommended is the breakfast-included rate option as it is a great spread, and big eaters can avoid anything more than a snack for lunch. While the breakfast cannot compete with the award-winning breakfast buffet at the nearby Intercontinental Pudong Hotel, the HIP's breakfast still is an excellent job overall.
A word of caution to first timers--there are several Holiday Inns in Pudong, and this review applies to the one on Dong Fang Road. The others have different official names, but still confusion is easy, such as the "XYZ Holiday Inn in Pudong."
Reviewer pictures are not really necessary as you cannot tell the difference from the hotel's own professional photos. It is that well maintained.
As a tourist, I have spent well over 12 months in China hotels over the past six years. Simply put, it continues to be an absolute pleasure to stay at the Holiday Inn Pudong, Shanghai.
- Also Known As:
- Holiday Inn Shanghai
- Shanghai Holiday Inn
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Located in the Lujiazui Finance and Development Zone in Pudong, the hotel offers easy access to both Pudong International Airport (45 Mins) and Hong Qiao International Airport (35 Mins), just 15 minutes by car to the famous Xintiandi recreation area in the Center of Puxi and only 10 minutes to the Shanghai New International Exhibition Center, 10 minutes to the Bund (Huangpu River), also offers very easy access to Jinqiao Export and Import Zone, Zhangjiang High-Tech Park & Waigaoqiao Free Bonded Area, next to Metro Line #4/6. The hotel suits for both business and leisure. Savor the experience of staying at one of the preferred hotels in Shanghai. Enjoy the genuine hospitality for which Holiday Inn hotels are world-renowned. Come to enjoy the diversity of Shanghai life by staying in our newly renovated rooms! ... more less
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