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“Would give it 6 stars if I could”

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Fairmont Peace Hotel
Ranked #7 of 4,998 Hotels in Shanghai
Certificate of Excellence
Seattle, WA
Level Contributor
214 reviews
51 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 68 helpful votes
“Would give it 6 stars if I could”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 July 2011

Where to even begin about this utterly fantastic hotel?

I guess it largely starts and ends with the physical condition of the place. Simply put, it's a masterpiece, and history and beauty drips from the walls.

I booked with the hotel without really knowing what to expect but once we got there and saw the actual proximity to the Bund (right on it) and the building itself, I was inspired to upgrade to a suite. They offered me a "River View Suite" and a regular suite; I opted for the latter (didn't need the dining room or butler service of the River View Suite) and *still* had a view across the water to Pudong.

Besides the breathtaking room itself, the location is amazing, and the service was fantastic. The staff level of English was quite acceptable and they were really eager to please. They quietly signed me up for Fairmont President's Club so I could get complementary internet (which I used and which worked nicely).

Our room didn't include breakfast but Victor's cafe does nice pastries and such for a reasonable price. I appreciated not being gouged for the privilege of eating conveniently in the hotel's building.

We also used the spa facilities. The pool is lovely and has a nice cozy feeling. We swam in water heated to a perfect temperature while watching rain from an afternoon thundershower hit the glass room above.

One thing to be aware of: the surrounding area is bustling and we noticed that there's a nightclub or roof-top garden bar or something (at the Swatch Art Peace Hotel across Nanjing Road, perhaps?) which can be a little noisy. In general noise detracts from my satisfaction with a hotel but in this case it was all just part of the Shanghai experience and the noise did not interfere with my sleep.

Stayed July 2011, travelled with family
Helpful?
Thank tai4de2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
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Shanghai, China
Level Contributor
85 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 73 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 July 2011

I have taken my time to write this review, as I am currently on my third visit to Shanghai's iconic Fairmont Peace Hotel. I have held back my comments during previous visits to fully allow my understanding of this property before passing judgement.

Overview:

The Fairmont Peace Hotel is probably the best know hotel in all of mainland China. With it's majestic location on the Bund overlooking the Huangpu river and along Nanjing East Road, Shanghai's main drag, from the moment you walk in you are taken back to the roaring 20's in the heyday of old Shanghai's opulence and grandeur. The cool, quiet lobby is a cavernous oasis of rest contrasted with the thousands of people milling about on the streets you have just stepped in from. The well selected premium shops that flank the entrance area and the omnipresent 3 piece classical group sitting in the main hall do a wonder to immediately take your mind off of a difficult taxi ride, the manditory pushing and shoving of Shanghai, the foul odors intrduced to you on a Puxi stroll, or anything else that you may be experiencing your first or thirty-first time in China.

Needless to say, in true Fairmont style, when you arrive at the Peace hotel, you feel as if you have really "arrived". As mentioned to me by a veteran traveller to Shanghai (since 82!) staying here as a guest for the first time and sitting next to me at breakfast in the Gold Floor Lounge, ..."it makes me feel like Eloise at the Plaza" (a story of the adventures of a six year old girl living in the penthouse of the Plaza hotel in New York, coincidentally, also a Fairmont hotel).

The Check-in:

If you have the chance, I highly reccommend you pay the extra 200 RMB that the hotel is currently offering for guests to upgrade to their Fairmont Gold Level Experience. With the type of service familiar to oil sheiks and dot com executives, you ushered away from the front counter and taken to the 9th floor where you are met at the opening door of the elevator by professionals who will greet you by name and gently glide you throught the process of checking into a Chinese hotel.

Since I have been travelling to China for almost ten years, and have been living here in Shangahi for the last 15 months, I can tell you from experience that check-in or check-out at a Chinese hotel is never a good experience. The protocol is to basically make you feel as uncomfortable as possible, and then ask for money for the pleasure. I have yet to check in on the main level, so I cannot vouch for that experience, but if you take the upgrade to Gold, please understand that Fairmont provides simply the best check-in available in China. Instead of standing at a counter for half and hour answering useless, redundant questions about who you are and what your intentions are with the hotel, a butler will come forth to directly seat you in a burlwood and leather lounge directy out of a Hemmingway book, offer you a cold beer, a stiff drink, or if you like, a cappucino or green tea. The half hour check may still be taking place, but at this point you no longer remember, nor do you care, as a long-tailed butler glides about the room as if on skates to cater to the needs of each guest as if he knew you since you were a child... and you grew up to be the President.

The Rooms:

I have now stayed in a number of rooms, both on the street side, and the alley side. I must admit that as I write this review from the desk of my suite on the fifth floor (which is larger than some of my local friends apartments and has 100 percent more toilets) I can hear a techno version of "Wonderwall" by Oasis wafting across the road from down the block, and I am left wondering if it was what woke me at 3am, or if it is simply what has kept me from going back to sleep. This noise assualt is not evident from the other side of the hotel, but this is the price one pays to have a view of the Bund from your bedroom and living room windows. I can tell that the hotel has invested in high quality sound damping, but the DJ down the block is doing his damndest to remind me that I am in the heart of downtown Shanghai on a hot summer Friday night. On my next stay, I would prefer a room on the backside of the building, and give up the view for the quiet that I find synonomous with this property.

My suite (to which I was graciously upgraded by the Hotel manager, Tracy) sports a 10x14 foot parlour that is outfitted with comfortable period-correct furniture, a 42" flat screen, and a massive writing desk, topped with hotel stationery that has been personalized with "from the desk of Mr. Chad Peterson, in residence". Nice touch, Fairmont. During my week long stay, my wife and I have hosted both personal and business guests in our suite every night. With impressive digs like this, why wouldn't we?

As you enter the suite, you are presented with a full bar including a powerful Italian espresso maker, and a compliment of martini glasses, tumblers, demi-tasse mugs, and for China, an extremely uncommon bucket of ice. To the right is a guest powder room, and to the left is the walk in closet. Looking through the closet usually draws a gasp from the ladies as the catch a glimpse of the 6 foot, claw-foot soaker tub (with in-wall TV) in the 18 foot long master bathroom. They always want to go take a look in there first. Outfitted with great smelling, designer milled soaps and ecoutrements, one might never get past the bathroom if they didn't have second door on it to let you pass through to the bedroom.

Sporting another huge flatscreen TV (which are seemingly always placed at an odd angle due to the rooms being built long before TV's were available), a king bed that feels like it is made from the clouds that cheribum float upon, and a bose sound system pre-loaded with a cool jazz CD, I can't help but pour a glass of water into the bedside cup, turn on the music, and sink into the pillow for a moment, no matter what time of day.

The Amenities:

Keeping in mind that this a nearly century-old hotel in the center of downtown, you must compare it with likewise properites (which in most cities are probably another Fairmont hotel). Everything has been modernized as much as possible, but you can't change the size of the elevator shaft, or the hallways, or many other things for that matter. But that is why you stay in a Fairmont like this, it's a heritage building that takes you to another time, like standing at the bottom of the grand staircase in the original Queen Mary and thinking that you are the "king of the world". Even as you unpack your high-tech, indestructable roller bag, you can't help but think of Louis Vuitton steamer trunks being set up in the closet; fashioning a portable boudoir for a Hepburn-esque heiress travelling abroad.

The indoor pool is fine, but perhaps a little creepy if you are there alone, as it does not have as much direct sunlight as one would hope, Or perhaps you will find the silence peaceful. I would prefer a hottub, as my back has been killing me, and I find that the tub jets are more relaxing than a Chinese massuese, others may disagree with me, but hey, I am the one writing this review! You will find the swimming pool hidden away on what the call the 1st floor (which I think is actually the 3rd floor) at the end of the Willowstream Spa section of the hotel, where you can indulge in all sorts of spa-ish type things... again, the ladies love it, so gents, either hide your wallets or grin and bear it.

I took a walk last night through the fabled jazz bar at the back of the hotel lobby, aptly named, "The Jazz Bar" and noted that I was the only non-chinese person inside, and also the only person under 40. Another point of interest is that this band may well have been the orginal house band from this venue, as the yougest of the six-piece looked just shy of eighty. I had heard many good things about this Jazz Bar, but quickly got to moving on from the Lawerence Welk hour as I could feel it stealing my youth like the Pied Piper... so back to the Gold lounge for happy hour snacks and cocktails for me, before heading out to M1NT, Bar Rouge, or one perhaps dinner in Tianzifang or Xintiandi.

Well it's 4:30 am, and horns are still honking on the streets below, but the music from down the block has faded... So perhaps my story can come to an end. I hope that you can come to this hotel and understand it for youself, walk it's halls and take it the history displayed through the artwork throughout. Don't lose your youth in the jazz bar, your wallet in the spa, your mind out on the street, your pant size one of their many dining rooms, or your patience with the way things are done in China.

Just take it all in and live the dream, then go home and make your friends jealous with the type of stories that make little boys play lion-hunter, and little girls wear crystal tiaras in front of a vanity mirror while twirling their hair in their finger and dreaming about the day that one of those lion-hunters will bring her to a place like this.

Thanks Tracy (manager), Rose (contract sales), and Terry (evening butler) for a fantastic stay, I hope to set up a contract rate with you in the future so i can impress all of my clients with your irreplaceable charm and world-class hospitality. But it's almost 5:00 am, and the sun is starting to rise behind Pudong. I should go back to bed before my princess knows that this lion-hunter has been waxing poetic about your hotel instead of sleeping like a good boy.

Room Tip: Ask if there is any promotion to the Fairmont Gold floor, and join the President's Club for free...
See more room tips
  • Stayed July 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank chadontheroad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto
Level Contributor
48 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 July 2011

After escaping from the Hotel Pravo, stayed here for two nights. The rooms (just remodelled) are very, very beautiful, quiet and comfortable. Service is mostly good, but patchy at times. Room service food was a bit disappointing. Beware of construction currently going on. It is supposed to stop at 5:00 each day, but sometimes goes longer, and the noise of jack hammers isn't very soothing.

Stayed July 2011, travelled on business
Helpful?
Thank torontoon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kamal_Nammani, General Manager at Fairmont Peace Hotel, responded to this review, 25 July 2011
Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback with us, as it helps us continue to improve our products and services.

I was pleased to hear that you enjoyed our rooms but was sorry to hear that you found the service and food inconsistent and I do apologize for this. In regards to the construction, there is some work being done next to the hotel which does end at 5pm each day, but thankfully the demolition works that caused the greatest noise has been finished. I am confident on your next visit that you will not experience this inconvenience.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Napier, New Zealand
Level Contributor
216 reviews
55 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 88 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 July 2011

We loved the place while we were there. It was luxurious and delightful. We felt pampered and loved the location right on the Bund. Since we got home, we realized we had left something valuable in the room. However, when I emailed the hotel, they said they weren't able to find it. It has left a sour note to what was otherwise a wonderful stay.

  • Stayed July 2011
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank bluekakariki
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kamal_Nammani, General Manager at Fairmont Peace Hotel, responded to this review, 25 July 2011
Thank you for sharing your feedback with us. I am truly sorry that you found something missing. We are confident our team would have turned in any items found; regardless we did conduct a full investigation. Unfortunately our investigation did not find anything, but our efforts were dampened by the fact that the item was reported missing a few days later and in that time the guest room had been occupied by two different people.

I would be happy to review this further in person with you to ensure we have not missed any details that could help us answer your concern in this matter.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Los Angeles
Level Contributor
8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 July 2011

OK, "Fantastic" is high praise, but for the three days we were there, this place deserves it. Take a classic art deco hotel, and then restore it to the nines, and you have the Peace Hotel. From the amazing lobby, to the unbelievable rooms, this place delivers. Our room, a double queen, had an entry way with Jura Capaccino maker, The room had two beds, a giant desk and a couch. On the way to the bathroom is a dressing area and closet, and in the huge bathroom, a claw soaking tub, separate shower, double sink, etc. Service was amazing too. Also, on the first night they put us in a room on a lower floor where we heard some construction, so they immediately moved us to an identical but higher floor room. Finally, the pool and spa was to die for. And I can't forget the service, which was also over the top. We usually stay at four seasons hotels, so our I know quality when I see it and this is it. Also, the area is the best in Shanghai, right on the Bund. I would not say anywhere else.

Room Tip: Sign up for the Fairmont Club before you go
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  • Stayed July 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank David_Blosangeles
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kamal_Nammani, General Manager at Fairmont Peace Hotel, responded to this review, 25 July 2011
Thank you for sharing your comments regarding your recent stay with us. I was delighted to see that you enjoyed the service, amenities, location and architecture of the hotel! I hope we get the chance to welcome you back to the hotel in the near future.
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Level Contributor
11 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 July 2011

This is a wonderful, almost colonial style hotel that has impeccable service. The hotel personnel make it an effort to It is located right on the bund in one of the most prime locations in Shanghai. It's newly renovated with tastefully decor and finishings. It is a great property, with a very consistent and cohesive strategy that puts guests at ease. The restaurants are so good, that there is almost no reason to leave this hotel during your trip to Shanghai.

  • Stayed June 2011, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank RR996
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kamal_Nammani, General Manager at Fairmont Peace Hotel, responded to this review, 11 July 2011
I am glad to see that you enjoyed the service and décor of the hotel as well as the restaurant offerings. Thank you for sharing your feedback and I hope you will get the chance to visit us again soon.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hong Kong
Level Contributor
14 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 June 2011

I stayed a total of 4 nights at the Peace Hotel in June 2011 spread across two stays. Both times I stayed in a Deluxe Room on the first floor.

The Best:
Senior staff members at reception, concierge and in the bars know how to treat customers. They do give you a sense of being extremely well looked after.
The hotel renovation was so well done that the building itself is worth a stay. Every little detail of the original building has been beautifully restored. No compromises were made. You are living in 1920s luxury the way it was meant to be.

The good:
The swimming pool and fitness center are very well equipped and very comfortable.
The Cathay Room overlooking the river offers great views and a nice environment. The Jazz Bar offers very good cocktails and a nice atmosphere. The High Tea at the Jasmin Room is also a great eating experience.

The average:
For that price you would expect everything to be at least good if not excellent. The breakfast buffet at the Cathay Room is not worth RMB250. And the price of the rooms would be justified but for the next section below.

The "oh-oh we are still in China" moments:
Our in-room coffee cups were "washed" in the sink and put back in place half dirty. We not only noticed because they were still dirty, but the sink was full of coffee! (2 days in a row).
The fruits in the room were either rotten or not ripe.
The flowers were left to die in their vase.
There were stains in the bathroom and the closet floor.
The boys at the entrance did not take care of our taxi needs.
Renovation works continued atop our room during the day.
All of these little things would be perfect at a place like The Peninsula or the Mandarin Oriental. They are not a major issue, but they do affect the value-for-money equation.

  • Stayed June 2011
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank mgoi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kamal_Nammani, General Manager at Fairmont Peace Hotel, responded to this review, 11 July 2011
Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback with us. While I was delighted to see that overall you enjoyed the product and service at the hotel, I was disappointed to see that in a couple of areas we did not meet your expectations. I sincerely apologize for this at it seems we did not maintain our usual standards. Please know that we will follow up on these items in order to continue to perfect our offering.

I do hope the next time you visit Shanghai you will notice the difference!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Fairmont Peace Hotel

Property: Fairmont Peace Hotel
Address: 20 Nanjing Road East, Shanghai 200002, China
Phone Number:
Region: China > Shanghai Region > Shanghai > The Bund
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#4 Business Hotel in Shanghai
#5 Romantic Hotel in Shanghai
#6 Family Hotel in Shanghai
#7 Luxury Hotel in Shanghai
#7 Spa Hotel in Shanghai
#184 Best Value Hotel in Shanghai
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
Hotel Class:5 star — Fairmont Peace Hotel 5*
Number of rooms: 270
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Shanghai's legendary landmark since 1929, the Fairmont Peace Hotel, overlooking Shanghai's Huangpu River and the world famous Bund, boasts a history that overshadows that of any other hotel in the Far East. With its origins dating back more than a century, this beloved landmark served as a glamorous playground for the elite of Shanghai, where every night was an extravagant gala event and veritable Parisian fashion show. After our three year meticulous restoration, the romantic history and social significance which made the Fairmont Peace Hotel a Shanghai legend has returned with its timeless grandeur - and a new and contemporary spirit. Each guestroom and suite has been luxuriously decorated with opulent furnishings and modern amenities - providing the guest with an experience that is both indulgent and exquisite. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Peace Hotel Shanghai

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