My travels in China would begin with a week-long stay in the country’s largest city, Shanghai, and its surrounding regions.
I’d be travelling with my parents whom I haven’t seen in more than a year, and so I was in every mood to treat us to a few nice hotel stays across the city – beginning with one night at The Shanghai EDITION.
In This Post
- Location & Arrival
- Bund River View Suite
- Bars & Restaurants
- Other Facilities
The Shanghai EDITION – Booking
EDITION is the last luxury brand under the Marriott Bonvoy portfolio that I hadn’t stayed at before (excluding non-participating brands).
It’s a concept by Ian Schrager, one of the world’s leading hoteliers and a pioneer behind the “boutique hotel” concept, and I was naturally very eager to try out the EDITION experience when I realized that there was a property in Shanghai.
The Shanghai EDITION is a Category 6 property within Marriott Bonvoy, requiring 50,000 Bonvoy points for a free night at the off-peak, standard, or peak rates respectively. My chosen date happened to fall on a peak date, which meant I’d need to redeem 60,000 Bonvoy points if I wanted to book with points.
In comparison, the lowest cash rate was ¥1,387 (C$260) for the night. Since redeeming points would fall far short of our target valuation of 0.9 cents per Bonvoy point, I decided to save my points for future trips and pay cash for this stay.
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A week prior to the stay, I sent the hotel an email to let them know that I was “celebrating my birthday this week” while treating my parents to a stay at the hotel, and so I’d love it if we could get an upgrade to the Bund River View Suite as a Titanium Elite member.
(My birthday was actually a few days later, but hey, I’m celebrating all week – especially having just exited two weeks of hotel quarantine.)
The hotel replied that they’d do their best to honour the request, and indeed, I saw the room type updated to the Bund River View Suite a few days before my arrival.
The Shanghai EDITION – Location & Arrival
You can imagine my sheer relief upon checking out of the Blue Sky Hotel where I had spent two weeks in quarantine, and I wasted no time in calling a Didi taxi (China’s Uber) to the Shanghai EDITION.
It was only about 8am in the morning, well in advance of the regular check-in time of 3pm, but I was happy to hang around the hotel in case my suite wasn’t ready yet.
The EDITION is located right in the middle of the action in Shanghai. The hotel is perched on Nanjing Road East, a major pedestrian shopping street, only a few blocks away from the Bund, Shanghai’s picturesque promenade on the Huangpu River. It’s an excellent location if you’re visiting the city as a tourist.
The only caveat? The hotel’s entrance on a pedestrian street makes it slightly inconvenient when travelling to and from the hotel by car.
There’s a designated drop-off point around the corner from the main entrance, and I needed to wheel my bags a short distance along the pedestrian street before arriving at the entrance.
Through the revolving doors, the hotel’s lobby is divided into a brighter area and a dimmer area, with ample seating throughout.
At first, it’s an open-air space with a skylight and hanging gardens, as well as a pool table for a quick game when passing through.
Then, the rest of the lobby is illuminated by soft orange mood lighting, boasting a beautiful multi-storey bar as its centrepiece.
The Shanghai EDITION – Check-in
My check-in procedures were slightly complicated by the fact that I had only recently exited my 14-day quarantine.
Since I had submitted to the authorities that my final destination was my home in Beijing, and I was only travelling in Shanghai for a week before heading back, I wasn’t able to produce the “green health code” that’s required to access most indoor spaces in China during the pandemic period.
Instead, I presented the front desk staff with my 14-day quarantine certificate and the negative test results I had gotten from Day 13, and they were happy to accept this as proof that I was virus-free. I’d eventually submit the same documentation at all the hotels we visited later this week.
After this was clarified, everything went smoothly. To my delight, my Bund River View Suite was already available, and I also agreed to have my birthday welcome gift delivered to the room as soon as possible.
I was also informed that breakfast was not included in the stay – after all, EDITION hotels do not need to offer breakfast to Marriott Bonvoy elite members; even though some properties do still offer breakfast, the Shanghai EDITION isn’t quite as generous.
I asked for three sets of keys for myself and my parents who’d be arriving later, before heading into the even more dimly-lit elevator lobby and calling one up to the 19th floor.
The Shanghai EDITION – Bund River View Suite
This hotel certainly loves its mood lighting, playing with a creative combination of dimmer and brighter lighting in the guest room hallways. The subtle sophistication in these spaces left me with greater anticipation as I headed for Room 1905 at the end of the hallway.
The Bund River View Suite is the Shanghai EDITION’s standard suite for complimentary elite upgrades, and it’s a real beauty on the inside.
It’s a cold open as you step inside. Instead of a foyer, you find yourself immediately in the dining and living space, in the midst of a four-person desk set against a backlit bookshelf and a couch and coffee table on the far side.
Light wood is the dominant design element in here, as is the case at all of EDITION hotels; it’s probably not my most favourite style, but I could certainly appreciate the minimalist take on luxury that the brand is going for.
The Nespresso coffee maker is found one of the lower levels of the bookshelf. Meanwhile, a monochrome depiction of a 1920s Shanghai street scene is the room’s only local touch, contrasting sharply against the gold and brown palette all around it.
The couch, chair, and coffee table face against a wall-mounted widescreen television. I ended up taking the couch to sleep for the night, and it wasn’t ideal, but it was about as comfortable as a couch could be.
The views of the Bund from the living room windows were incredible, especially at nighttime, when the lights came on and the Oriental Pearl lit up in its signature purple. It’s a good thing we spent a long time gazing at the view during the first day, because heavy rain and fog would descend upon Shanghai the following day, obscuring the view.
The half-bath in the living room is simple and functional, as exemplified by the tiny rectangular sink along the side. The crisp marble finishes here offer a preview of what to expect in the master bathroom deeper in the suite.
Over to the bedroom – a long, large, and beautiful space that we were all very impressed with.
The near corners play host to a chair with an ottoman, as well as a spiffy wooden desk that offered commanding views of the Bund equal to those from the living room windows.
Then, we arrive at the king bed itself, adorned with the brand-standard faux fur throw that you’ll find at every EDITION hotel.
The fur throw adds a splash of texture and colour to the bedroom’s visual look, which might otherwise be a little bit plain, and it also provides another ultra-soft layer to snuggle up with in the comfort of the bed.
The master bathroom is accessed via two doors on either side of the king bed. There’s a full-sized leaning mirror (one of my favourite hotel features), a set of double sinks with panelled lighting within the mirror, and two separate chambers behind frosted glass doors – one for the toilet, and another for the shower and bathtub.
Housed within the long marble hallway is a set of sliding doors for the closet, which includes a set of plush EDITION bathrobes.
The shower and bathtub make up one giant “wet room”, allowing water to flow freely from one to the other. Between the light marble walls, the metal knobs and surfaces, and the wooden racks, the interior decor in here is perhaps the most impressive part of the entire suite…
…that is, until we talk about the views.
There’s nothing like a killer bathtub view to add yet another layer of indulgence to any hotel stay. Needless to say, I carved out some time to enjoy a bath even though I didn’t actually need one, simply to drink in the Bund views in the distance.
And to top it all off, EDITION uses the highly coveted toiletries by Le Labo Fragrances, and I of course brought several more of these little bottles with me upon checking out the next day.
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Shortly after I settled into the room, the hotel staff came by to deliver my birthday gifts: a bottle of Chandon sparkling wine, along with a small birthday cake. The celebrations were off to a (very) early start!
Overall, with ample living space, a bathroom to swoon over, and one of the best views in the city, the Bund River View Suite at the Shanghai EDITION had absolutely everything we could ask for, and I thought it made for the perfect antidote after 14 days of being stuck in a decidedly less glamorous hotel room.
The Shanghai EDITION – Breakfast
Even though EDITION hotels do not offer complimentary breakfast for elite members, I was still curious about the breakfast offering at this hotel, so I opted to pay for breakfast for myself and my mum on the morning of our stay (my dad had some business to attend to in town, and so headed out early).
Breakfast is hosted in Shanghai Tavern, the hotel’s main restaurant. The breakfast concept is mixed between a traditional buffet and an à la carte menu.
Guests could help themselves to cold items at the buffet, such as fruit, bread, cereal, and salad, as well as order directly off a menu of about two dozen Western and Chinese hot breakfast items.
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There were two breakfast options: buffet only, or buffet plus à la carte items; these were priced at ¥168 ($32) and ¥248 ($47), respectively.
My mum doesn’t eat much for breakfast, so she opted for the lighter option while I opted for the heavier one – even if she might’ve taken a few bites of my hot breakfast items too.
I ordered the Eggs Benedict with bacon from the Western menu and some shrimp dumplings and noodles with spring onion from the Asian specialties. I appreciated that the portion sizes were quite small, which allowed me to sample many items without getting too full.
Despite the small portions and the relatively limited buffet selection, the quality of the breakfast was spectacular, and I had no regrets splashing out on an EDITION breakfast when it wasn’t included in my elite benefits – especially since I had been eating the same fairly stale breakfast items for the past 14 days!
The Shanghai EDITION – Bars & Restaurants
One of the hotel’s best amenities is no doubt its rooftop bar, known simply as Roof. We had originally thought the views from the 19th floor were captivating, but the 27th floor rooftop took things to… well, a whole new level (or eight).
I met a friend up here for drinks on the evening of our stay, basking in the killer views of the Oriental Pearl and the skyscrapers of the Lujiazui district. (Note that the outermost tables do require a minimum spend if you want to sit there.)
I was surprised there weren’t more people up here at night, though I suppose that was because I was staying on a Monday. I imagine this place gets fairly busy on the weekends, and indeed, I’d recommend coming up to check out the views even if you aren’t staying at the hotel.
We even scored some free drinks at the bar up here. The staff member billed our first round of drinks to the room, and asked me if I wanted to earn points for the purchase. For some reason, he needed to see my Marriott Bonvoy membership app in order to credit me the points, and upon seeing my Titanium Elite status, he then came back with a round of drinks on the house.
I didn’t get a chance to eat or drink at the hotel’s other establishments, although I did pop by a few of them to take a look.
Shanghai Tavern is on the ground floor, where breakfast is served. In addition to all-day indoor dining, there’s also a cafe that’s open to the public on the outside of the building.
Punch Bar is located on the 26th floor, a more low-key speakeasy type compared to the rooftop bar immediately upstairs.
Roof, Punch Bar, and Hiya (the hotel’s Japanese restaurant) are all connected by a gorgeous spiral staircase that runs between the 25th and 27th floors.
Finally, there’s the equally beautiful bar in the lobby; however, I never saw anyone enjoying a drink down here, so I think it’s mostly just for show.
The Shanghai EDITION – Other Facilities
The hotel’s spa, gym, and pool facilities are found on the sixth floor. I briefly checked out the gym, which was a standard hotel fitness facility with plenty of modern equipment.
There’s plenty of room to move around, including an outdoor workout space overlooking Nanjing Road below.
The indoor swimming pool maintains the same decor as you’ll find in the rooms and suites, but with dull stone slabs replacing the light wood furnishings upstairs.
The pool itself is a thin strip of water by the windows, large enough to swim a few laps but not too exciting otherwise. That’s minimalism for you, I suppose.
I’m delighted to have finally tried out the EDITION brand for myself. While I was at first a little skeptical as to whether I’d enjoy the brand’s ultra-minimalist style, I ended up developing quite a taste for it, even though it’s not necessarily my favourite.
If you’re staying at the Shanghai location, do everything in your power to secure a room or suite that’s facing the Bund, as the views are incredible and can really justify the cost of staying here.
The 27th-floor rooftop bar is also a visual feast that’s not to be missed, and I’d recommend swinging by to visit the bar even if you aren’t staying here as a guest – you won’t have to travel far, either, given the hotel’s excellent location in the heart of the city.
However, for Marriott loyalists, the fact that EDITION hotels do not honour benefits like complimentary breakfast for higher-tier elite members is a major downside. For that reason, I can’t say I’ll be too eager to return to the Shanghai EDITION in the future, even though I do remain curious to try out more EDITION properties elsewhere around the world.