We stayed in this hotel 2 nights after our stay in Hangzhou. Although the hotel itself was certainly steeped in history I could not escape the feeling that it's coasting on the history. We encountered several situations that were very awkward. On arrival for instance, for the absolute very first time during our entire stay in China, the front door man just looked at us and our luggage as it was hauled out of the taxi and did not even blink. We were left carrying it into the hotel by ourselves. We remarked on this to the reception who in the end didn't respond to that remark at all but this could be because the entire front office were trainees (whenever we had to ask advice about something local they had to drag in the one local guy to give comments because none of the trainees actually lived in Shanghai).
Later on, when we needed to print boarding passes for our flight we went to the business center. Although there were signs there indicating that a print would be 1RMB per page the duty officer there charged us 4RMB per page, saying the 1RMB should be 2 and was for copying, not printing. We should've insisted to go to the sign again and point out the details (as it was a difference of 20 vs 4 or 8 RMB) but needed to go on to an appointment so just left it.
The complimentary bottles in the room are smaller than normal and also listed as table water instead of mineral water. Be aware of this when you plan your day as the usual half liter mineral water bottles that are normally provided by hotels aren't provided here. Close the bathroom door before going to sleep as the window in the bathroom doesn't have curtains; leave them open and you'll end up waking up early due to sunlight coming in from the bathroom.
Do not go for the breakfast option. We chose the breakfast option one morning because we wanted to experience the "Peacock room" which is supposed to be grand. Unfortunately the room wasn't grand and neither was the breakfast. We have had breakfasts in many hotels over the years, big chains as well as hostels (during our China trip the Wuzhen guest house breakfast really stood out and Liuhe Courtyard hotel also had a great breakfast) and none of them were as uninspiring as the one served at Astor House Hotel. Whether this is down to trainee staff being present or bad management or simply bad cooking I don't know but none of the choices we made were satisfactory. I sampled both western and eastern breakfast options and had to say the eastern breakfast options were the lesser of two evils, and that's saying something! This is also the first hotel where we explicitly had to put down money in order to provide a security for the umbrella we borrowed; other hotels would just book it against the room provisionally but the Astor House Hotel required hard cash.
As to the good, we did have a quiet two nights, got good sleep and had a comfortable bed. The room is lovely, with high ceilings and a chandelier and has got great wooden floors. It's situated a stone's throw away from the Bund and a reasonable walk away from Nanjing road. If you are fine with talking a bit of a walk every day you can easily walk over to Nanjing road, avoid all the touts and get into the metro there or grab something to eat in the numerous malls. Use a taxi to go to the hotel instead of trying to walk from the metro.
All in all, we've rated the experience average; the room itself was great, shower was acceptable and bathroom in general fine but too many odd things happened during our stay and the breakfast is definitely one to avoid. If you're fine with overcoming these and would like to have a cost effective stay close to the bund go for it, otherwise do some more research.
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Agoda, Ctrip TA, getaroom.com, TripOnline SA, Ebookers, HotelQuickly, Evoline ltd, 5viajes2012 S.L. and Cancelon so you can book your Astor House Hotel reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- Astor House Hotel Shanghai
- Astor Hotel Shanghai