After one night at the EDITION, my parents and I moved to the St. Regis Shanghai Jingan for our next two nights in Shanghai.
This stay would happen to encompass my 27th birthday, and I was more than happy to celebrate by staying with a brand that’s given me some incredible luxury experiences in the past.
In This Post
- Location & Arrival
- Caroline Astor Suite
- Club Lounge
- Bars & Restaurants
- Other Facilities
St. Regis Shanghai Jingan – Booking
The St. Regis Shanghai Jingan is a Category 5 property within Marriott Bonvoy, meaning that a free night redemption would cost me 35,000 Bonvoy points at the standard rate. In addition, I could also redeem a Free Night Award worth 35,000 points towards a free night without paying any points.
The cheapest cash rate that I found for our two nights was ¥1,397 ($265) after taxes, which would fall below my target valuation of 0.9 cents per point when redeeming points.
Therefore, I chose to pay cash and earn more Bonvoy points for a future stay instead – although if the cash rate were just a little bit higher, I probably would’ve been swayed into burning a Free Night Award instead.
Since I’d be staying with my parents and wanted to maximize our chances of receiving a spacious suite upgrade, I also decided to apply two Suite Night Awards to this stay.
The request cleared five days in advance into a Caroline Astor Suite, which was the highest-level suite that I could’ve requested with Suite Night Awards, and also the highest suite that the hotel generally makes available for complimentary elite upgrades.
St. Regis Shanghai Jingan – Location & Arrival
As its name implies, the St. Regis is located in Shanghai’s Jing’an District, inland from the Bund and the Huangpu River. The surrounding area is home to the Jing’an Temple, a tourist attraction, as well as a variety of popular bars, restaurants, and nightlife venues.
We caught a Didi taxi over to the St. Regis, arriving to check-in at around 4pm in the afternoon.
The hotel’s somewhat muted exterior gave way to a glitzy and glamorous two-story lobby, illuminated by a central chandelier and adorned with two equally towering three-door partitions in the front and back. There couldn’t have been more of a contrast from the minimalist style of luxury back at the EDITION.
St. Regis Shanghai Jingan – Check-in
Check-in is handled at a row of personalized desks along the right side of the lobby, which is something I’ve observed at a few other St. Regis locations around the world, like Astana or Istanbul. We sat down at the first check-in desk to complete our formalities.
The associate confirmed our Suite Night Award upgrade to a Caroline Astor Suite for two nights. I also inquired as to the cost of further upgrading to the Metropolitan Suite, which had two bedrooms and would allow me to avoid sleeping on the couch in the living room.
The associate let me know that the upgrade would be ¥1,900 ($360) per night, and offered us a tour of the suite later that evening if we wanted more time to decide.
My dad and I would later take him up on that offer, and even though the Metropolitan Suite was very impressive indeed (resembling a private two-bedroom residence with a living room, dining room, and kitchen), we opted to stick with the cozier Caroline Astor Suite in the end.
At check-in, I was also informed that I’d have access to the Elite Happy Hour at the St. Regis Bar from 6pm to 8pm, and that my Titanium Elite status would entitle me to complimentary breakfast in the restaurant for two guests as a welcome benefit.
I asked the staff member if it was possible to extend breakfast to three guests, and he said he’d check with his manager and get back to me, offering to connect with me on WeChat.
Indeed, after a few hours, I was delighted to learn that not only would we receive complimentary breakfast for all three of us, but the hotel had decided to extend us complimentary Club Lounge access as well!
St. Regis Shanghai Jingan – Caroline Astor Suite
The guest rooms at the St. Regis Shanghai Jingan occupy the 36th through 68th floors of the building, and we had been assigned a suite on the 47th floor.
I must say, from the elevator lobby to the guest room hallways to the gigantic open-air atrium between the 36th and 55th floors, the hotel simply kept stepping up the ostentatiousness further and further.
The Caroline Astor Suite consists of a separate living room and bedroom, along with a single master bathroom. Technically classified as a junior suite, the Caroline Astor isn’t the largest suite compared to other St. Regis suites I’ve occupied in the past, but it still made for a cozy home for the three of us on our two-night stay.
Given the smaller square footage for a high-level suite, I was pleased to see that there was at least a proper desk that I could work from.
However, I have to say that the desk chair was one of the most uncomfortable hotel desk chairs I can remember, and I felt like I was constantly slipping down from it. I kept my workload to a minimum as a result, which was probably a good thing since I’d be celebrating my birthday.
The living space offered ample seating with an extended couch and a chair to the side. I used the couch as my bed for two nights, and again, it wasn’t the most comfortable – but as a relatively flexible sleeper, I still rested just fine.
Opposite the sitting area is a widescreen television, as well as the room’s makeshift pantry, including a Nespresso machine. However, there’s little reason to use the Nespresso at St. Regis properties, as you can always order complimentary 24/7 coffee or tea from the hotel’s signature Butler Service.
(We ordered Butler Service to the room quite a few times, whether it was a pot of tea at night…
…or a trio of much-needed Americanos in the morning.)
Through a set of twin sliding doors, we arrive at the master bedroom. The king-sized bed was too soft for my dad’s liking, but I imagine it’d be very comfortable for Western guests who prefer softer sleeping surfaces.
The views from both the living room and the bedroom overlooked the skyscrapers of Jing’an District, along with some cushions for you to relax while taking in the view.
The bedroom then gave way to the master bathroom, which featured a standalone soaking tub, a set of double sinks, and a full-width vanity mirror.
There was a smart toilet that raised its cover automatically as you approached, and flushed on its own too. The rain shower was also excellent, regaling me with powerful blasts of water after a few long days out in the city.
The bathroom also connects back to the foyer, where there’s a separate walk-in closet adorned with gold furnishings and a few ceramic pieces, which really made the suite feel more like a luxury residence.
Indeed, despite the suite’s limited square footage, I thought it made excellent use of its space and everything was laid out in a way that made sense. The only letdown was the desk chair, which I found to be downright inconvenient for getting work done.
St. Regis Shanghai Jingan – Breakfast
Breakfast is served at the hotel’s Social restaurant on the ground floor, starting at 6:30am. We enjoyed breakfast here on both mornings.
As some of you may remember from the pre-pandemic days, breakfast buffets in Asia tend to take things to a whole new level in terms of the sheer variety of items available, and the flagship St. Regis property in China would be no exception.
The variety of breakfast foods was simply incredible, and even across two mornings, there was no way I could sample everything without letting stuff go to waste.
I concentrated my efforts on the Asian selection, and in particular the noodle bar, which offered several local specialities such as Shanghai-style wonton soup.
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The Western dishes did not disappoint, either, although I didn’t help myself to too many sausages or pastries since I could always get these back home. Either way, the overall quality of the breakfast items was excellent.
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Something that caught my eye at breakfast was the number of mistranslated breakfast signs in English: for example, calling a strawberry danish a “Strawberry Denmark”.
These are the kind of mistranslations that were much more commonplace when I was growing up in China a decade ago. You’d really think that, by 2021, a leading international hotel in China’s most globalized city should be able to correctly display the English names of their breakfast foods.
St. Regis Shanghai Jingan – Club Lounge
In addition to the Social restaurant, we also had the option of enjoying breakfast in the Club Lounge on the 55th floor.
Now, the front desk staff at check-in had explained to me that the St. Regis Shanghai Jingan’s Club Lounge wasn’t technically part of the hotel’s elite benefits for Marriott Bonvoy elite members, but the hotel had decided to extend me access as a one-time courtesy due to my birthday celebrations.
This aligns with my understanding that Bonvoy elite members only get Club Lounge access at brands like JW Marriott, Marriott, or Sheraton. Other brands, including St. Regis, don’t always operate lounges, and when they do, they have the option (but not the obligation) to offer complimentary access to elite members.
If I hadn’t been offered complimentary access, the cost of Club Lounge access would’ve been ¥466 ($89) per night for single occupancy, or ¥816 ($155) per night for double occupancy.
This can get fairly pricey if you were to pay for lounge access every night, but could also make sense if you wanted to stay in on one of your days at the hotel and indulge in the lounge’s all-day food presentations.
I only got around to visiting the Club Lounge on the final day of my stay. Its entrance is perched on the 55th floor, at the base of another multi-story atrium all the way up to the 68th.
The lounge itself is a long rectangular room with a variety of seating options, along with a smaller and more intimate food spread.
Breakfast was still being served while I visited, but since I had already eaten, I simply took a few pictures and sat down with a cappuccino instead.
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If it weren’t for a busy schedule, I’d love to have gotten to spend a little more time up here.
St. Regis Shanghai Jingan – Bars & Restaurants
The St. Regis Bar is situated on the ground floor, next to the hotel’s entrance.
This is where Elite Happy Hour is hosted in the evenings, allowing Bonvoy elite members to stop by for a drink and a snack either before or after dinner. My dad and I came down to relax and chat over a few glasses of red wine on the first evening of our stay.
Meanwhile, on the second evening, we headed to the hotel’s Seki-Tei Japanese restaurant for a birthday dinner.
I indulged in some of the fatty tuna sashimi and a few other favourites, all of which were delicious. I don’t eat at hotel restaurants all too often, but this one certainly hit the mark.
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In addition to Seki-Tei, the hotel’s other restaurants include Yan Ting for authentic Shanghainese cuisine, Bespoke for modern barbecue dishes, and the Social restaurant on the ground floor for all-day dining.
St. Regis Shanghai Jingan – Other Facilities
Besides the lobby, bar, and restaurant, the hotel’s ground floor facilities also include a luxury boutique, a patisserie for baked goods, and the Drawing Room lounge area, featuring glass artwork by renowned sculptor Dale Chihuly.
Meanwhile, the Iridium Spa, Athletic Club, and indoor pool are situated on the basement level.
I paid a brief visit to the facilities, though didn’t get a chance to make use of them.
The St. Regis Shanghai Jingan left me with good memories of a birthday celebration and an eagerness to return in the future.
The hotel can certainly be a great choice for your next trip to Shanghai, although it does depend on what you’re in town for.
If you’re after the sweeping views of the Bund and the Oriental Pearl, then the many other hotels in that area would be a better choice. But if you’d rather be closer to the action in the city centre, then the St. Regis in Jing’an District would be a prime address.
In terms of value, the Category 5 points pricing makes the St. Regis an attractive place to burn your Free Night Awards, while the cash rates are largely reasonable too.
The fact that elite upgrades are limited to a Caroline Astor junior suite might dampen your enthusiasm a little, but I’d say that the rest of the elite treatment – including breakfast, happy hour, and the possibility of receiving Club Lounge access if you ask nicely – make up for that.
Having hopped through most of Shanghai’s leading hotels after this trip, I’d be quite happy to return to the St. Regis in the future if I wanted a luxurious central base in the city.
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