The great joy of Shanghai is that it has not only the world’s biggest metro network but also one of the best. Normally I would always recommend staying in the city centre but the Radisson Blu, around half an hour from downtown by metro, is a welcome relief after a hard day’s sight-seeing. It’s also brand new and only opened in May 2019 so everything is state-of-the-art and the staff have been immaculately trained.
In fact, it’s also situated in a brand new part of town, close to the National Exhibition Centre, Hongqiao International Airport and the Bullet Train Terminal. They were pouring the tar on the road outside when I visited and the metro station, 15 minutes away had just opened. Apparently modelled on Spanish Architecture, everything is immense, from the huge landscaped gardens to the large red-carpeted staircase taking centre stage in the cavernous marble lobby, complete with large glass chandeliers.
There are 439 guest rooms and suites with state of the art facilities, some with balconies overlooking the lake. All have air-con, large screen LED TV’s, tea and coffee making facilities and a pillow menu. The marble bathrooms come with a bathtub, separate rain shower and premium bath products. The nightly turn-down service not only closes your curtains but also brings you a fresh tub of ice. Bottle water is provided as standard and there’s 24-hour room service.
Careful thought has gone into the design of the rooms which have large desks with USB charging ports. The bathrooms are spacious and, best of all, there’s a switch by the bed to turn off all the lights. It’s remarkable how even modern hotels require a degree in astrophysics to get complete darkness when you’re trying to sleep
The place styles itself as an upscale business hotel and, of course, there’s a large business centre and extensive conference and banqueting facilities, including a 1000 square-meter Grand Ballroom and seven separate function spaces. Alfresco functions can also be arranged at the pool terrace or palm garden.
Recreational amenities include a heated outdoor pool and a 25-metre indoor pool, 24-hour fitness centre and a spa. A kid’s club and children’s pool are available for younger guests. The pool terrace in the spacious gardens is perfect taking that well-earned sundowner after a hard day’s sightseeing.
The hotel has two main restaurants. The Open Kitchen serves a Chinese and International breakfast buffet and is open for all-day dining with interactive cooking stations serving Western, Thai, Japanese, Chinese, Vietnamese, and Indian cuisine. There’s also a raw seafood bar and Western-style carvery. Weekend brunches, featuring elegant local dishes and global cuisine, as well as a dedicated kid’s corner and entertainment, make it ideal for families
The Liqing Chinese Restaurant is a stylish Cantonese eatery, serving classic dishes and contemporary fusion. Specialities include steamed crystal shrimp dumplings and spring onion pancakes. The restaurant also offers nine private dining rooms for important business dinners or special occasions.
In the lobby, there’s a lounge serving cocktails, tea and coffee and snacks throughout the day and something called the Fashion Handbag Afternoon Tea. Since I don’t have a handbag, let alone a fashionable one, I didn’t get to try it. You can also get drinks and snacks by the pool. A few minutes’ walk from the hotel is a small shopping mall with a variety of restaurants including cheap noodle bars.
I stayed here for three days and travelled all over the city using my Metro Pass. I enjoyed coming back for a swim and a spot of sunbathing. Even better, I arrived by Bullet Train and flew out of Hongqiao International Airport so I avoided dragging my suitcase through the centre of town. It’s also much better value than staying in the centre.
TELL ME MORE ABOUT RADISSON BLU FOREST MANOR SHANGHAI HONGQIAO
Rooms at Radisson Blu Forest Manor Shanghai Hongqiao start from around £133 per night including buffet breakfast.
Radisson Blu Forest Manor, 839 Jin Feng Road Shanghai 201100 China
T:+86 021 5329 8888