My 9 year old daughter and I stayed at the new Peninsula for 3 nights during the second week of the soft opening. First the positives: rooms are beautiful and spacious; the closet/dressing room is huge, the bathroom is large and luxurious with separate bath and shower; the lobby is attractive (although the Lobby restaurant is too close to the hotel entrance); security is excellent, with security staff on the street and elevator access limited to guests with keys; there is a very large and welcoming staff, and every time we entered the hotel, we were greeted by more than 10 people; free international calls (and yes, this really works); they have a full time staff member at the airport to meet flights and send guests off, and he was able to help us check in for our Chicago flight in the business class line, even though we had coach tickets); good location just off the Bund (although Beijing road, just past the entrance, is crowded with tour busses and the sidewalks are jammed with tour groups); if you go in 2009 be aware that the river walk is completely closed as it is under construction for Expo 2010.
Now the negatives:
(I won't complain that the pool wasn't open as we had been told this in advance)
check in: it took 3 tries for our room key to work when we checked in
gym: good equipment but no headphones provided, no fruit (you get a towel and bottle of water when you walk in)
water: you can't drink the water in China, and they supply water bottles with turn down service, but that is not enough water for tooth brushing and drinking during the day-they should supply more free water in the room (maybe stock a cabinet?)
restaurants: we ate at the Lobby for breakfast daily (included in our room rate) and once for dinner, had room service dinner once, and had one dinner in the Cantonese restaurant. Each meal included between 1 and 5 errors: 2 billing errors (price on the bill was higher than the price on the menu-once in the Lobby, once in the Cantonese restaurant) and many errors about what we ordered (too numerous to list here). After the billing errors, they corrected the bills and apologized but did not offer to remove those items (as most luxury hotels in the US would have done). After the breakfast with at least 5 errors, I spoke to a manager to let him know that the wait staff was not able to understand all of our requests.
concierge: although very friendly, they seem poorly trained. i asked one of them how long it would take to walk from the Pearl tv tower to the hotel, and he didn't know; then i asked if the tourist tunnel under the river was worth seeing, and he said he had never been there; these attractions are within easy walking distance of the hotel, and it seems odd that the concierge had never been there. We wanted to see an acrobat show and were not able to get tickets for the night we wanted-I don't think this makes sense at the Peninsula-they should have access to these tickets; when we got tickets for a different show, they said they would deliver the taxi directions to our room, but they never did.
All of the above, I can attribute to the soft opening-everyone is still in training, and we knew we were coming during a "soft opening" so our expectations were not too high. But we did have one inexcusable negative experience. Our last night, the master light switch stopped working, and we were left with no ability to control the lights, in a pitch black room, with only the mood light on in the bathroom. I had to feel my way to the desk and use my computer screen as a light so that I could call the front desk. They sent a maintenance person up quickly, but it took him more than 15 minutes to figure out how to fix the lights. Being stuck in a dark room for so long was very disturbing, especially to my daughter. I called a manager and after about 20 minutes, she came to my room. I let her know how upset we were (what is the point of all those fancy controls if they don't work!) and asked her to consider adjusting our bill to reflect the light fiasco and some of the other poor service issues we had experienced.
When we checked out, I was surprised to see that the bill had not been adjusted. (there was also a breakfast charge, which they promptly removed as our breakfast had been included in our rate); when i asked, the manager gave my 9 year old a teddy bear and told me she'd booked the Rolls Royce to take us to the airport. (our rate included ariport transfers). While we enjoyed the Rolls Royce, I still think they should have adjusted our bill and am certain that the Peninsula in Chicago (where we stay several times a year) would have adjusted the bill under similar circumstances. I will be traveling to China regularly on business and will think twice before returning to this hotel, unless I hear that they have sorted out their service issues. But it is beautiful, so I hope they can train their staff better to fit in with the luxurious surroundings. And I hope they are reading these reviews and taking steps to resolve the remaining issues.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Located along the historic Bund with spectacular views of the Bund, Huangpu River, Pudong and former British Consulate gardens, The Peninsula Shanghai perfectly blends with the historic architecture of its landmark neighbours. The Peninsula Shanghai, which opened in October 2009, is the first new building to be constructed on the historic Bund in over 60 years. Offering the best of Peninsula traditions and a range of signature services and facilities, including Shanghai's largest guestrooms and the city's highest staff-to-guest ratio, The Peninsula also heralds the return of parent company, The Hongkong and Shanghai Hotels, Limited, to Shanghai where it owned and operated four of the city's premier hotels in the 1920s to 1940s - The Kalee, The Astor House, The Palace and The Majestic. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- The Peninsula Shanghai Hotel Shanghai