I have been to Shanghai numerous times and have experienced the gamut of Chinese hotels from the splendorous to the shudder inducing. I quite like the Belgravia for reasons of location, value and the availability of large apartments.
Individual experiences will vary of course, but we have not experienced any of the negative attitudes reported here. Everyone at the Belgravia was nice and helpful to us and the girl at the desk spoke excellent English.
As reported, the place is hard to find the first time. The reason is that the provided address is actually on a little street that runs off of Dongfang Road and ends up behind the Belgravia complex, which by the way is enormous. There are three 40 story buildings there.
The actual little street that you want to turn onto from Dongfang Lu is not marked. Fun! Once you get your bearings, you'll be able to direct your taxi driver by the sign at the street's entrance that says GaGa Dance. No idea what that means but it's easy to spot.
After your first adventure in finding the Belgravia, it will all make more sense and for your next outings you can get a taxi card from the front desk. I also highly recommend going across the street and getting some taxi cards from the Holiday Inn.
You will always need your destination written down for you or on a map in Chinese characters since your taxi drivers in China will not speak a word of English. Well maybe a few words, but Belgravia Serviced Apartments will not be among those words. Holiday Inn Pudong very well might be among those words.
You are just two blocks from the Pudian Road Metro station and you may find it handy. The Shanghai Metro is not difficult to navigate, just don't make your first trip at rush hour and always figure out where you're going and by what route before you get to the station.
As a side note, there are two Pudian Road Metro stations. More fun! The one you want is on the number 2 line. It is kind of magenta colored on the maps and in the stations.
You will see several reviews here that say the Belgravia is beat up and outdated, etc. There are some oddities about the place to be sure. Hmmm, no hangers in the closets? I don't get that one.
It is an elegant place that is somewhat battered by use-a loose faucet in the kitchen, a drawer pull coming off, that sort of thing. All in all, I would be very pleased if I ever managed to get my own house into this condition. And it's a whole lot of room at a very reasonable price.
To be clear, this is not some beat up flop house. It's really quite nice. If what you really need is a perfect Western-type hotel experience, try the Holiday Inn or the Intercontinental, but don't expect to get a three bedroom apartment for $150.
The beds are an issue. They are indeed pretty much exactly like sleeping on a box spring. This is not uncommon in China and the Chinese guests will not think anything of it. We Westerners won't care for it, but you only have to ask and they will bring you an additional couple of inches of mattress pad that will cushion the blow. Actually, in our group of 3, 2 of us opted not to use the extra pad.
I don't know what to think about the guests who complained about only having cold showers. That was not our experience, but who knows what other guests may have run into. I will just mention that I have found that single lever shower valves in China are often plumbed backwards from what we expect. That is to say that pushing the faucet handle towards the red side makes for cold water and vice versa. I don't know, but it's possible that the cold shower people were just turning the handle in the wrong direction.
Now let me say a thing or two about the many reviewers who object to the food situation. Well for one thing, there really are very few Westerners in China, even in an international city like Shanghai. So it's a significant concession for a modest hotel like this, that serves a primarily Chinese population, to provide Western breakfast food at all.
I have stayed in 5 star hotels in China that have fewer Western breakfast foods that the Belgravia. In fact I was at a 5 star hotel in Ningbo just this morning whose only concession to Western breakfast tastes was a small selection of sweet rolls and the availability of pre-fried eggs.
On a typical day in Belgravia's little cafe, you will find normal Chinese breakfast foods such as fried noodles, vegetables, congee porridge, dim sum buns, hard boiled eggs, bacon, egg tarts, spring rolls, melon slices and a few other things that don't come to mind.
In addition, there is a selection of European style breads, some sausage, yogurt and a few other things. If you just can't get through your morning without a fried egg, you only have to ask and they'll go do it for you.
Sorry, but if you can't make an acceptable breakfast out of all that, you're just really not much of a traveler. In any case, if you have, say, fussy children who will have a tantrum unless they get their Cocoa Puffs, there is a slice of Iowa in the form of a Holiday Inn just a block away. By the way, there is another dining area on the other side of the lobby. If the little cafe area is full, just take a table over there.
Now about that coffee that some of you have been whining about: People, that is a high end Italian automatic espresso machine that burr grinds the beans a nanosecond before brewing your coffee. It is excellent coffee, though admittedly weakish. So have two. There are also 3 or 4 actual coffee shops on Dongfang Road within 100 feet of the hotel. I can recommend The Bistro, around the corner to your left. Really good coffee and excellent sandwiches.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Belgravia Serviced Residence offers 126 stylish rooms filled with modern comforts in Shanghai’s Pudong New Area. Recreational facilities include a swimming pool, massage services, and free shuttle services to certain points of interest. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Belgravia Serviced Residence Hotel Shanghai