As a newly-minted Hyatt Globalist member this year, I couldn’t leave Shanghai without trying out the Park Hyatt, which I’ve always heard Hyatt enthusiasts around me lauding as one of the brand’s leading locations.
In This Post
- Location & Arrival
- One King Bed Room with Bund View
- Other Facilities
Park Hyatt Shanghai – Booking
To find out what the excitement was all about, I arranged for a one-night stay at the Park Hyatt Shanghai, just before we’d embark on a road-trip out Shanghai towards the surrounding Zhejiang Province.
The Park Hyatt Shanghai is a Category 5 World of Hyatt property, and a free night award can be booked for 20,000 Hyatt points. I thought that the Category 5 pricing was favourable enough in the grand scheme of things, considering that cheapest cash rates here were in the region of ¥2,100 ($408) after taxes.
Indeed, compared to our rough valuation of Hyatt points of 1.5 cents per point (USD) / 1.9 cents per point (CAD), redeeming points made more sense than paying cash, so I went ahead and transferred some of my Chase Ultimate Rewards points to my World of Hyatt account and made the free night redemption.
I must say, after many years of hoarding Ultimate Rewards points for some unspecified purpose in the future, it felt great to finally redeem a meaningful amount on this stay and on other Hyatt hotels along this trip.
Since all of the Park Hyatt’s base rooms had a maximum occupancy of only two guests, I decided to split up with my parents on this stay even though we were travelling together.
I treated them to a stay at the W Shanghai The Bund, where I’ve stayed previously and my mum had really liked the look of the Fantastic Suite, and thereby getting the room at the Park Hyatt all to myself.
(In theory, I could’ve also banked on a Globalist upgrade to get a more spacious suite for the night. However, as I’ll discuss below, I wasn’t feeling too confident about our chances of receiving an upgrade, which is why I decided to split the party in the end.)
Park Hyatt Shanghai – Location & Arrival
In particular, the Park Hyatt is located smack dab in Lujiazui, Shanghai’s new financial centre on the opposite riverbank to the Bund, occupying the 79th to 93rd floors of the city’s second-tallest Shanghai World Financial Center (SWFC). Indeed, the Park Hyatt Shanghai ranks as the world’s third-tallest hotel after the Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong and the Rosewood Guangzhou.
The location is obviously superior if you’re in town for business and need to be around the financial district. But if you’re visiting as a tourist, I imagine you’d still prefer the Bund views at a hotel on the western riverbank such as the EDITION or the W, or perhaps somewhere closer to the local hotspots like the St. Regis in Jing’an District.
Lujiazui doesn’t have too many interesting things for visitors to do, unless you’re simply looking to wine and dine or go shopping – or if you’re specifically seeking out the much-lauded Park Hyatt.
The hotel entrance is tucked away in a quiet corner of Shanghai’s distinctive “bottle opener” skyscraper.
There’s a series of sliding glass doors, which brings you to the first set of elevators, whisking you up to the 87th-floor lobby for check-in.
Park Hyatt Shanghai – Check-in
The front desk staff greeted my arrival as soon as I stepped off the elevator, ready to help with the check-in procedures.
Upon checking in, I was disappointed to learn that I wouldn’t be offered a suite upgrade even as a Hyatt Globalist member. Even though I had reached out to the hotel in advance to make the request, the hotel simply didn’t have any available Park King Suites or Bund View Suites that it could upgrade me to.
I’d later learn that the hotel only has six such “standard suites”, and they’re often booked out many months in advance – either on a direct booking, or by Globalist members applying their Suite Upgrade Awards to confirm their upgrade in advance.
Indeed, this appeared to be one of the toughest Park Hyatt hotels in the world for securing a suite upgrade, and the front desk would later advise me to book several months ahead of time if I wanted to experience their suites next time.
(There are also a couple of higher-tier Diplomatic Suites and a presidential-level Chairman Suite, but the hotel could only offer a discounted paid upgrade of ¥10,000 ($2,000). Let’s just say it was an offer that didn’t quite pique my interest.)
This time around, I’d have to make do with the One King Bed Room with Bund Views, facing the direction of the Oriental Pearl and Jinmao Tower and supposedly offering some killer night views. I was disappointed not to get a suite on my maiden Park Hyatt stay as a Globalist member, but of course, it’s always a game to be played, and never a guarantee.
The hotel confirmed my breakfast privileges and mentioned that they’d be sending a small amenity to the room as I was celebrating my birthday this week. And with that, I took my room keys and took the hotel’s in-house elevators down to the 81st floor.
Park Hyatt Shanghai – One King Bed Room with Bund View
I found the guest room hallways to be an oasis of peace and quiet, perhaps one of the most peaceful hotel hallways I could ever recall stepping through, accentuated by subtle elements like the “West” and “East” markers on opposite sides of the elevator lobby.
Room 8102 was my residence for the night, and I swung open the stocky wooden door to reveal a rather unorthodox hotel room layout.
Rooms at the Park Hyatt Shanghai are styled in a modern Chinese theme, and mine consisted of a king-sized bed, an architect table, a desk, a television, and a chaise longue at the far end.
The architect table is paired with two mismatched antique wooden chairs. Meanwhile, the desk added a touch of modern design to the bleached-white and dark wood backdrop, its slender arc shape also offering an element of contrast against the straight edges of the rest of the room.
On a clear day, the window-facing king-sized bed would afford some incredible city views, while the chaise longue would allow you to sip coffee while indulging in the views up close.
But much to my disappointment, the hotel was enshrouded in a layer of heavy fog on the night of my stay, which wouldn’t lift until the following day.
By night, even though the neon lights of the Oriental Pearl and the Jinmao Tower would’ve made for a dizzying sight under better weather, my nighttime views consisted of nothing more than a layer of dense fog, giving my room a bizarre spaceship-like vibe.
Indeed, this was the situation at 9pm at night. If I’m being honest, it was a bit eerie, and I didn’t like it very much.
If you’re staying at the Park Hyatt Shanghai, I’d strongly recommend checking the weather beforehand and avoid staying on a night with heavy rain or fog. The views from Shanghai’s second-tallest building are a huge part of the appeal of staying here, and I was sad to have largely missed out on that experience during this stay.
Anyway, taking a look through the rest of the room, another unconventional element to the layout was the fact that the bathroom was split into two parts: a half-bath at the far end with a sink and smart toilet…
…and a separate space that consisted of the double sinks (a somewhat rare feature for a non-suite room), shower, and bathtub – but with no toilet.
The shower and bathtub were housed in a single gigantic “wet room”. Despite its rather drab appearance, the shower was excellent, mainly due to the insanely powerful water pressure.
Alas, I’m sure the hotel’s suites would offer even more impressive bathrooms, perhaps with the bathtub by the window for killers views of its own – and that’s all the more reason for me to give the Park Hyatt Shanghai another try in the future.
The pantry and minibar are found in the cabinets along the foyer, featuring a Nespresso Gemini coffee machine.
I was also impressed by the comprehensive electronic room controls, which powered everything from the lights to the window blinds from a single bedside control panel.
Overall, despite the lack of a suite upgrade, I was happy that the hotel’s simple guest rooms still offered plenty of space and was more than comfortable enough for my one-night stay.
I appreciated the room’s unique contemporary Chinese design, and I thought the room very much exemplified the Park Hyatt Shanghai’s self-styled identity as a “sanctuary in the sky” – I just wish the views from my sanctuary could’ve been clearer!
Park Hyatt Shanghai – Breakfast
Each hotel brand has its own signature word or phrase that immediately sets itself apart in your mind – “Whatever/Whenever” for W Hotels, “Butler Service” for St. Regis, etc.
For me, “Breakfast at the Park” is the phrase that has come to evoke good memories of the Park Hyatt brand, and so I’m naturally a bit more excited for breakfast in the morning at Park Hyatt hotels compared to other high-end brands.
(Gosh, I’m going to have to renew Globalist status beyond 2023, aren’t I?)
Here at the Park Hyatt Shanghai, breakfast is served on the 91st-floor restaurant known as 100 Century Avenue. As a solo guest, I was given a table in a quiet corner of the restaurant, and I spent much of the breakfast session waiting for the fog to clear up so that I could enjoy in the faintest breakfast views.
There’s both an à la carte menu for custom-made egg dishes, as well as an extensive buffet spread. Of course, the breakfast staff are also happy to fetch any single items from the noodle bar or waffle station for you.
I helped myself to a mix of Asian and Western morsels from the buffet, paired with a bowl of the pork and salted vegetable noodles from the noodle bar.
From the locally-inspired xiaolongbao to the perfectly shaped omelette, the overall quality and taste was superb – on par with the EDITION and better than the St. Regis, in my view.
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Combining eastern and western post-breakfast rituals, I concluded the meal with a bowl of the Shanghai-style mini-wontons and a cappuccino.
Park Hyatt Shanghai – Other Facilities
The Park Hyatt Shanghai’s spa, fitness, and pool facilities are located on the 85th floor. As with the rest of the hotel, there are some awe-inspiring views to be had from the indoor pool – and it’s not a bad place for swimming a few laps either.
While not the largest in terms of square footage, the fitness centre is well-appointed and kept in a great condition, housed in two sets of glass enclosures in the same space as the swimming pool.
There was quite a range of fitness equipment, even if it was somewhat crammed into a limited space.
Back on the 87th-floor lobby, the Living Room is the shared public space behind the check-in counters, where guests and visitors can sit down for a coffee or a midday snack – again, all while taking in the views if the weather allows.
This floor also plays host to the business centre, a few dining establishments, as the hotel’s bar.
With its refined minimalist approach to luxury, beautifully appointed rooms, and top-notch service, the Park Hyatt Shanghai certainly treated me to a memorable maiden stay, amplifying my appreciation for the Park Hyatt brand as I begin to explore more of its properties as a Globalist member.
Still, I couldn’t help but feel a lingering sense of unfinished business as I left the hotel. I’m sad I missed out on the neon night views from my Bund View room, and I wish I had been better prepared for how hotly-contested the suites were here at this hotel.
Shanghai is a place I’ll be passing through quite frequently in the future, and having already toured across most of its luxury hotels on this trip, I’ll definitely be planning a return to the Park Hyatt to take care of unfinished business – ideally coinciding with clear weather, and who knows, perhaps with some Suite Upgrade Awards in hand to confirm a suite upgrade in advance (although I’d need to ramp up my loyalty to Hyatt in order to earn those).