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“Good green concept, but compromised on comfort and convenience”

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URBN Boutique Shanghai
Ranked #42 of 5,059 Hotels in Shanghai
Certificate of Excellence
New York
Level Contributor
72 reviews
59 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 124 helpful votes
“Good green concept, but compromised on comfort and convenience”
Reviewed 22 April 2013

My husband and I stayed at this hotel for six days last week. We have mostly stayed at PuliHotel three blocks away during past trips, so I somehow expected similar experience for this boutique hotel as well.
What I like about the hotel are the following: front desk staff are efficient, Jason and Clark and another young lady were professional and get things done. We like the dinner service staff. The manager at the restaurant was swift and attentive and absolutely having his eyes on the venue. Our waiter for the two nights when we had dinner there was very friendly and funny and really attentive. The 5-7pm cocktail hour was a nice touch though with limited menu, and after a few days, it was tough to get a variety going.
We also like the design of the restaurant and the small lobby area, evoking colonial style of an older Shanghai of a bygone era.
The hotel is on a great block of Jiaozhou road, with a few western style casual eateries, a wonderful Dragonfly spa and fruit shops and convenient stores. It is not far from the Wagas coffee shop.
This pretty much concludes what we felt positive about the establishment.
What has been a consistent problem was the sporadic wifi signals. Before we arrived, i wrote to the hotel expressing the need to have a room with strong wifi (after reading about wifi signals vary from room to room). We were given an upgrade but the wifi problem persisted for an entire week for us, and moving to the lobby area doesn't entirely resolve the issue. It was very frustrating an experience as both my husband and I had work related needs to communicate with the US via emails or Skype calls.
The other point of contention, which is a daily fare for us, is the breakfast. Due to jet lag, we were often the first guests at the restaurant at 7am. The staff, different from dinner staff, was not professional, nor swift, in taking our orders (breakfast is a la carte menu only). For the most part, we wouldn't get our breakfast served till 8am. There were often only three tables of guests. I cannot imagine the service pressure if there were more diners. The food quality varies by the day or order, my omelette had been great one morning, and extremely salty on another day. French toast or brioche are quite different from what we are accustomed to. My suggestion to the management is to either modifying the venue to provide a simple buffet or to beef up the kitchen staff. I would add that coffee has been consistently good.
The room has a number of different levels/steps, and we got used to the layout after one day. The bed is comfortable and the sitting/lounging area is the most creative and lovely. However the housekeeping quality needs some attention. For a few days, we smell odors from sink drain and shower drain, and shampoo and conditioners were not replenished. We had to make successive requests to the front desk. It got to a point of nuisance as we felt the hotel, striving for "green" are compromising the basic comfort for its guests. additionally , It would have been a nice touch if there is a nespresso machine in the room, like in Puli hotel.
Overall, not too negative an experience, however for $50 more a day, Puli has proven to hold the golden standard of a boutique near JinAn temple area.

  • Stayed April 2013, travelled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank jmw245
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Hong Kong, China
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 April 2013

The last time I've been to shanghai was 12 years ago and this time I came with my fiancé. I really wanted to show her a good time so I found this hip hotel, URBN. The concept is really cool but it's very unfortunate that the "substance" of this hotel doesn't live up to its concept. It's my 3rd night here right now and it's just been a complete disaster. I was awoken up by renovation on the exterior wall of my room - literally the wall behind the wall where the bed is. And this was 8:30am on a Sunday. First of all, a hotel of this standard shouldn't allow renovation work to happen at this time of the day. Second of all, if u know you would have renovation work done, why would u rent this room out in the first place? It's so disrespectful. It's almost as it they just want to make a quick buck without considering the customer at all. Such business practice is absolutely appalling and unexpected from a hotel of this standard. So we asked the next day if they halt the renovation work in the morning and shockingly, they kept trying to justify whhy they can't . So we requested a room change and the reception staff reluctantly agreed after trying to convince us that the current room is fine. So we were thinking, great at least we can change to another room. 15 min later, they called to tell us the new room is ready. So we're happy that we can change rooms. But it turns out, the new room is just the one beneath our old room - which means the renovation work is still outside the same wall. OMG I just wanted to flip! Who does that?!?!

And just to add insult to injury, the satellite TV is being "upgraded" so there's only 3 channels.

All in all, I'm still staying here at the moment and I'm having the worst experience ever. They've done nothing to apologize or compensate for this. So my advice to you is -- dont stay here. Choose some place else.

  • Stayed April 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank Derrick C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GSM U, Front Office Manager at URBN Boutique Shanghai, responded to this review, 24 April 2013
Dear Mr. Derrick,

Greetings from URBN Hotels Shanghai. We truly appreciate the time you took to for writing the review and we sincerely apologize for the inconvenience you experienced during your stay at our hotel.

We always ensure that our guests are happy and satisfied, but due to the government general construction that is happening in our blocks, we are sorry for the failure in keeping your convenient stay in our hotel.

We truly hope for another chance to see you and your fiancé again at our hotel, where there will be lots of benefits we would like to offer you.

Sincerely,

Selina Wang
Front Office Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Monza, Italy
Level Contributor
74 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 April 2013

it is a boutique hotel, small with a hidden entrance. the location is perfect for having a nice walk day and night.
room are all new furbished, big and minimal chic. the wifi is not perfect working in all rooms, but they will found a proper solution to support you during the stay.
breakfast is à la carte, so it takes a little too long to get even toasted bread, so take your time.
the restaurant is Western style with a small selection but good quality.
the fitness centre is not in the hotel but 6-10 minutes walk

Room Tip: ask where the wifi is better working, since some rooms have weak signal
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  • Stayed March 2013, travelled on business
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Helpful?
Thank ilaria f
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Oakland, California
Level Contributor
24 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 April 2013

My wife and I just stayed at the URBN for two nights in a spacious, very well appointed room overlooking the central garden. Gracious service from “Seven,” the front desk reception person, a varied and excellent breakfast menu, and a wonderful ambience throughout. Our room had a king size platform bed with a very comfortable mattress, a large walk-in rain shower, and a roomy sitting area.

We commented more than once on how quiet the hotel was, despite being centrally located in the midst of the hustle and bustle of Shanghai. The URBN is truly a distinctive property, and it’s green, too!!

  • Stayed April 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank TomasDeCali
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Diego, California
Level Contributor
17 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 April 2013

Great room. Great service. Great food. Great location. Did I mention great?

Seriously, as cool and modern as it looks in the pictures. From the moment we arrived we were extremely happy with our choice of hotels for Shanghai. Check-in was a breeze (took a total of about 3 minutes) even though we arrived an hour early at 1pm. The bellman assisted us to our room...even the corridor to the rooms was impressive. When we got into our room, we were stoked! You have seen the pictures...the sleek design of the entire hotel is one of a kind. They have used a lot of recycled, reclaimed, and re-purposed wood and stone from old historical buildings around Shanghai. A very green project...and an amazing success!

Our room included a FREE HAPPY HOUR from 5:30-7:30pm where we could order free house-pour drinks, and free appetizers. I had 3 vodka/sodas and my girl had 3 gin/tonics. The food from Downstairs w/ David Laris is incredible. Goat cheese and caramelized onion tarts? Yes, please. The bar staff was great and attentive (quite rare in this part of the world if you have any experience around here).

We then stopped at reception for a dinner recommendation. We told him we wanted a typical Shanghai dinner, nothing fancy. He directed us to a restaurant about 1.5 blocks away and it was exactly what we had in mind. We drank beer, and ate until we are we were uncomfortably full...unfortunately, leaving some food on the table. Get this...TOTAL BILL...only 51 CNY ($8.22 USD)!!! Ridiculous.

The next morning breakfast was included with our room as well. For some reason they had a problem, and could not open their kitchen. You would think this would be a disaster, but they went above and beyond to take care of all the hotel guests by offering fresh squeezed OJ, fresh fruit, greek yogurt, muesli, and fresh coffee. Then they allowed everyone to order whatever they liked from another restaurant's menu, which was delivered within about 25 minutes. The food was great :) They really could have messed up here, but they handled it with grace and the service was perfect again. Later, when we checked out the manager apologized up and down for the inconvenience of breakfast that morning, but we were quite satisfied.

Seriously, book this hotel now. Thank me later.

Room Tip: We took a taxi to the Bund at night and it cost about 24 CNY ($3.87 USD). Taxi drivers are frighteni...
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  • Stayed March 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank jamieorehek
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Almaty, Kazakhstan
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviewed 1 April 2013

My son and I recently stayed at this hotel and loved it! The room was fantastic, and the hotel was beautiful as other comments advise, but it is the staff that I must pay tribute to. The stay started with the reception man "Clark", going out of his way to book us a tour, with arrangements continuing on his day off, via email! Incredible! The restaurant had fantastic service and was also the best food I had while in Shanghai. We would like to pass on special thanks to Tabitha who not only provided the best brownies and meatloaf I've ever tasted, but gave us great tips on Shanghai and our next destination. She was unbelievably helpful, and probably one of the main reasons why we enjoyed Shanghai so much! Thank you to all the staff at URBN!

  • Stayed March 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
Thank NKettle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Scotland
Level Contributor
87 reviews
37 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 65 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 March 2013

A really great individually styled hotel. Love the whole concept and the stylish touches. Friendly and helpful reception staff and a fabulous spacious room with garden view. Very stylish, but it also worked as a room, so considered. Sadly this great hotel is let down by its Restaurant. First meal I was initially refused a table before service closed though then food then provided was good. On the back of that went back the day after for dinner, many items missing off short menu including Shanghai Mud crabs, (I thought we were in a city ) hard rolls, starter overpowering sauce, pork belly meat was thinner than a fine rasher of bacon, and most of the red wine by the glass were out of stock. I know that there is exceptional food in Shanghai, so it is disappointing that Urbn don’t make more effort.

Room Tip: Go for a more spacious Garden View
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  • Stayed March 2013, travelled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank AnothernameScotland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about URBN Boutique Shanghai

Property: URBN Boutique Shanghai
Address: No.183 Jiaozhou Road, Jing'an District, Shanghai 200040, China
Phone Number:
Region: China > Shanghai Region > Shanghai > Jing'an
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#28 Business Hotel in Shanghai
#42 Luxury Hotel in Shanghai
#42 Romantic Hotel in Shanghai
#142 Best Value Hotel in Shanghai
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:4 star — URBN Boutique Shanghai 4*
Number of rooms: 26
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
URBN Boutique Shanghai, the award-winning design-meets-sustainable boutique hotel, is ideally located in Shanghai's bustling downtown.  A former warehouse, the redesigned hotel is located on a quiet tree-lined street in Jing'an District with an abundance of independent bars and cafes in the surrounding streets and is only minutes away from the commercial shopping district and subway lines 2 and 7. URBN Boutique Shanghai offers sleek rooms and suites over 4 floors with a blend of contemporary, minimalist aesthetics and modern day comforts such as the COCO-MAT Renewal Bed, free wifi, a DVD home theater unit, high-definition television, an in-room safe, a selection of New York fashion designer Jay Godfrey's paraben-free bathroom amenities, a well-stocked mini bar and one-of-a-kind artwork. The hotel also features a 24-hour gym and an on-property restaurant which serves a selection of cuisine with a wide selection of craft beers, artisanal cocktails, and wine in a casual atmosphere both inside and under the tented courtyard. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Urbn Hotel Shanghai

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