Review: To Shanghai for Books, Parks and the New Economy – Hyatt on the Bund Shanghai

Introduction
Dragonair 804 A330-300 Hong Kong to Shanghai Pudong Economy Class
Hyatt on the Bund Shanghai
Exploring Shanghai
Dragonair 891 A330-300 Shanghai Pudong to Hong Kong Economy Class

Ranking: Location 5/5 Service 3/5 Modernity 4/5 Little things 3/5 Meals 4/5 Overall 5/5


 

Out of our package list, I decided to choose the Hyatt on the Bund. I felt the need to acquaint with the Hyatt brand, both the Grand and the Park Hyatt prices were ridiculous, and the Andaz was sold out.

The Hyatt on the Bund is  a Category 4 property, which means that a standard twin room costs 15,000 Gold Passport points.

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Hyatt on the Bund Twin Room Details

With a daily rate of ~HK$1560, obviously cash is the better option, but we were on a package rate anyway, which made the value exceptional.

My stay at the Hyatt on the Bund

While the exterior of most hotels out on the Bund (including the Fairmont and the Waldorf Astoria) are old and classic, the Hyatt on the Bund building is slightly out of the action, and the hotel is housed into two tall, ellipsical, modern buildings, which I was fine with. It’s less than a three minute walk from the hotel to the Bund, so in terms of location I was a happy camper. 🙂

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Hyatt on the Bund Shanghai exterior

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Hyatt on the Bund Shanghai exterior

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Hyatt on the Bund Shanghai exterior by night (orange lighted building)

While the West wing has the hotel’s Chinese name stamped on it, the East wing (the one we were not in) has the Hyatt logo on the top of the building.

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Hyatt on the Bund Shanghai exterior by night

The hotel has a grand driveway, though it doesn’t seem to be sufficiently manned, as sometimes there weren’t any bellmen at the door (not that I had a big problem with it, it’s just worth pointing out).

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Hyatt on the Bund Shanghai driveway

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Hyatt on the Bund Shanghai driveway

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Hyatt on the Bund Shanghai signage on driveway

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Hyatt on the Bund Shanghai signage on driveway

The lobby is bright, airy, slightly minimalist (it has a hint of it, but not much) and warm without being dated, and I’m a big fan.

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Hyatt on the Bund Shanghai lobby

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Hyatt on the Bund Shanghai Lobby

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Hyatt on the Bund Shanghai lobby

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Hyatt on the Bund Shanghai lobby

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Hyatt on the Bund lobby

We were greeted and checked in by a lady, who said that our guestroom wasn’t ready, and said that we had to wait half an hour, which I was fine with.

While waiting, I asked another associate if we had free WiFi in our room, and first telling us that each room had different prices for WiFi, she took a bit of time to track down our reservation and told us that our WiFi would cost CNY60.00 every 24 hours. Crap, that was a lot…but fine, I’ll take that. What I could not forgive, though, was the second associate, who took a long time without showing any emotion.

For our last night WiFi was free since they had a convention going on in the hotel (lucky streak), but otherwise I managed to pull off CNY120.00 for two nights and only ending up oweing my aunt CNY883.00. 😆

While I was glad that Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (particularly the latter) were available at the hotel, the WiFi just wasn’t consistent enough to be worth the amount of money I paid.

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Hyatt on the Bund Shanghai WiFi situation

We hung out in the lobby from 4:30pm to 5:10pm, when our room still wasn’t ready. I asked the friendly associate (who checked us in) if our room was ready yet, and after calling the hotel management, she managed to get us a twin room, which I was fine with, even though she warned us that the room was smaller. Actually, I was happier with the room, since you can’t book a Guestroom without booking a package or through a tour company (which I found weird).

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Hyatt on the Bund Shanghai lobby

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Hyatt on the Bund Shanghai lift lobby

We were assigned room 1305, on the 13th floor of the West Wing of the hotel. We were escorted up to our room. Even though the escort was pretty cold and didn’t say anything, he did the job, and we didn’t get lost along the way. 😉

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Hyatt on the Bund Shanghai 13th floor lift lobby

While the lobby is airy and modern, the hallways I find to be borderline shabby. The hallway “loops” to the other side, and our room was at the end of both hallways – one hallway is slightly curved, and the other is completely straight.

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Hyatt on the Bund Shanghai hallway

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Hyatt on the Bund Shanghai hallway

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Hyatt on the Bund Shanghai floorplan

Our room was located inside another doorway for rooms 1305 and 1306. Presumably the door could be closed for the one bedroom suite in room 1306 to be converted into a two bedroom suite.

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Hyatt on the Bund Shanghai Twin Room entrance

Hyatt on the Bund Shanghai
Check-in: Monday, October 20, 2014
Room Type: Twin Room
Room Number: 1305
Stay duration: 3 nights
Check-out: Thursday, October 23, 2014

The room was on the small side, but acceptable for Shanghai. There was an entryway with a closet on the right, which led into the room (with the bathroom on the right).

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Hyatt on the Bund Shanghai entryway

Despite being small, the room was aesthetically gorgeous.

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Hyatt on the Bund Shanghai Twin Room

The room itself featured two comfortable signature Hyatt beds, a flatscreen TV with an iPod dock (which didn’t charge phones), a paying minibar and a desk with an uncomfortable chair (given that the chair is wooden, I guess it figures).

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Hyatt on the Bund Shanghai Twin Room beds

The beds were comfortable, and while the signature Hyatt beds aren’t as comfortable as, say, Westin Heavenly Beds or Sheraton Sweet Sleeper beds, they do provide a good night of sleep, which I’m fine with just like that.

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Hyatt on the Bund Shanghai Twin Room beds

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Hyatt on the Bund Shanghai Twin Room

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Hyatt on the Bund Shanghai Twin Room

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Hyatt on the Bund Shanghai Twin Room light switches

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Hyatt on the Bund Desk and Chair

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Hyatt on the Bund Shanghai Twin Room flat screen TV

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Hyatt on the Bund Shanghai TV panel and not charging iPod dock

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Hyatt on the Bund Shanghai Twin Room cups

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Hyatt on the Bund Shanghai Twin Room liqueurs

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Hyatt on the Bund Shanghai Twin Room boiler

The minibar featured some soft drink and beer, along with some juice.

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Hyatt on the Bund Shanghai Twin Room minibar

I had forgotten to bring a power adapter to Shanghai, but luckily the room provided universal power ports, though the front desk gave me poor instructions on how to find it.

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Hyatt on the Bund Shanghai Twin Room universal power ports

There was one built in, but it was the only one I could find. Thank god it was next to the bed.

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Hyatt on the Bund Shanghai Twin Room universal power ports

While the room wasn’t actually stunning, the view was. While I couldn’t see the Shanghai Tower, we had a view of the bay along Puxi, which was awesome.

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Hyatt on the Bund Shanghai Twin Room View by day

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Hyatt on the Bund Shanghai Twin Room View by day

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Hyatt on the Bund Shanghai Twin Room View by day

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Hyatt on the Bund Shanghai Twin Room View by day

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Hyatt on the Bund Shanghai Twin Room View by day

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Hyatt on the Bund Shanghai Twin Room View by day

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Hyatt on the Bund Shanghai Twin Room View by day

The view was even more stunning by night, and the lights gave a contrast of modern Shanghai (Pudong, on the left) and old Shanghai (Puxi, on the right).

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Hyatt on the Bund Shanghai Twin Room view by night

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Hyatt on the Bund Shanghai Twin Room walk in closet

The bathroom was even nicer, featuring a single sink, a separate tub and shower, and a toilet in a separate room.

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Hyatt on the Bund Shanghai Twin Room Bathroom Sink

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Hyatt on the Bund Shanghai Twin Room separate toilet

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Hyatt on the Bund Shanghai Twin Room bathroom tub

The tub sure was interesting, with an undetachable shower head like

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Hyatt on the Bund Shanghai Twin Room bathroom tub “shower head”

The shower itself had a handheld shower head and a rainforest shower head, which I always enjoy.

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Hyatt on the Bund Shanghai Twin Room bathroom shower

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Hyatt on the Bund Shanghai Twin Room bathroom shower

The bathroom featured June Jacobs amenities, which are perfectly fine. I actually tend to like them, though they aren’t my favourite.

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Hyatt on the Bund Shanghai Twin Room bathroom amenities

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Hyatt on the Bund Shanghai Twin Room bathroom amenities

The towels were pretty soft.

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Hyatt on the Bund Shanghai Twin Room bathroom towels and amenities

Overall, I found the room really well furnished, and while it was small, the only thing I actually found missing was a chaise lounge or sofa.

I tried to connect to WiFi once I bought it in the room, and here’s my first beef with the room. The WiFi was really, really bad. There was probably a router really far from the room, and once I lost connection I had to walk out into the corridor to reconnect. For free WiFi I can accept that, but I expect at least another router if you’re trying to charge people CNY 60. Okay, I can live with it given that we had them give us a room since we waited so long, but it all boils down to management problems.

After we sat down (on our beds) for a while and I took some time to catch up on my emails, my aunt and I had a look at some of the tour packages for outlying towns for a while, and decided on a day tour the next day, which was headed to Suzhou and Zhouzhuang, two interesting towns I didn’t aspire to visit at first but had no problem looking at.

It’s also worth noting that there are three bubble lifts from the lobby to the rooms (the other three are faster, but don’t feature a city view, and it’s out of luck for which lift you get).

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Hyatt on the Bund Shanghai View of City from Bubble Lift

The tour required waking up, having breakfast and being ready at the lobby by seven o’ clock in the morning. Argh!

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Fortunately I managed to get up in time and I even had a chance to check out the breakfast spread the next morning, which was served at the hotel’s main western restaurant, Aroma.

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Hyatt on the Bund Shanghai Aroma Restaurant

It wasn’t a ginormous spread, but with comparatively underwhelming spreads from the Ritz-Carlton Millenia Singapore, both Toong Maos I stayed at this year (the Evergreen Kaohsiung and the Kao Shang Ching Kenting) and the Grand Hyatt Fukuoka, it holds the title as the best “city” hotel spread I’d seen this year (after the actual ryokan style breakfasts I had in my two ryokan stays, the Seikai Beppu and Hoteiya Yufu City). It was substantial in both quality and quantity.

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Hyatt on the Bund Shanghai Aroma Breakfast Spread

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Hyatt on the Bund Shanghai Aroma Breakfast Spread

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Hyatt on the Bund Shanghai Aroma Breakfast Spread

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Hyatt on the Bund Shanghai Aroma Breakfast Spread

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Hyatt on the Bund Shanghai Aroma Breakfast Spread

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Hyatt on the Bund Shanghai Aroma Breakfast Spread

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Hyatt on the Bund Shanghai Aroma Breakfast Spread

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Hyatt on the Bund Shanghai Aroma Breakfast Spread

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Hyatt on the Bund Shanghai Aroma Breakfast Spread

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Hyatt on the Bund Shanghai Aroma Breakfast Spread

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Hyatt on the Bund Shanghai Aroma Breakfast Spread

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Hyatt on the Bund Shanghai Aroma Breakfast Spread

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Hyatt on the Bund Shanghai Aroma Breakfast Spread

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Hyatt on the Bund Shanghai Aroma Breakfast Spread

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Hyatt on the Bund Shanghai Aroma Breakfast Spread

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Hyatt on the Bund Shanghai Aroma Breakfast Spread

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Hyatt on the Bund Shanghai Aroma Breakfast Spread

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Hyatt on the Bund Shanghai Aroma Breakfast Spread

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Hyatt on the Bund Shanghai Aroma Breakfast Spread

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Hyatt on the Bund Shanghai Aroma Breakfast Spread

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Hyatt on the Bund Shanghai Aroma Breakfast Spread

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Hyatt on the Bund Shanghai Aroma Breakfast Spread

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Hyatt on the Bund Shanghai Aroma Breakfast Spread

Unfortunately the breakfast service was pretty bad – the staff had trouble clearing up plates in time, and I was informed that I was allowed to take photos by one staff member and was informed “No Photo” by another.

While I’ll talk about the actual places we visited in the next installment, the tour was pretty nice, and we met a few incredibly nice and similarly old people along the trip.

And the bus ride was comfortable as well…

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Hyatt on the Bund Shanghai Tour Bus

We returned that night tired, as we were the the first hotel the bus picked up from and the last hotel the bus went back to (there were people from the Jing’an Hotel, the Holiday Inn and also from other hotels, and we had to route through these hotels in the outbound and the inbound ride), so decided to have dinner at the hotel. At first we wanted to try the Xindalu restaurant due to its better morale (and we were in China, so Chinese food is our first choice), but it was full out, so we ended up having dinner at Aroma.

The spread was huge, but I didn’t really find it as tasty as the breakfast food, and while the Western options were delicious, the Chinese options were comparatively lacking. Still, it was tasty, but I’m not sure the buffet was worth the CNY328 I spent on it.

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Hyatt on the Bund Shanghai Aroma Dinner Spread

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Hyatt on the Bund Shanghai Aroma Dinner Spread

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Hyatt on the Bund Shanghai Aroma Dinner Spread

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Hyatt on the Bund Shanghai Aroma Dinner Spread

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Hyatt on the Bund Shanghai Aroma Dinner Spread

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Hyatt on the Bund Shanghai Aroma Dinner Spread

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Hyatt on the Bund Shanghai Aroma Dinner Spread

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Hyatt on the Bund Shanghai Aroma Dinner Spread

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Hyatt on the Bund Shanghai Aroma Dinner Spread

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Hyatt on the Bund Shanghai Aroma Dinner Spread

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Hyatt on the Bund Shanghai Aroma Dinner Spread

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Hyatt on the Bund Shanghai Aroma Dinner Spread

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Hyatt on the Bund Shanghai Aroma Dinner Spread

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Hyatt on the Bund Shanghai Aroma Dinner Spread

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Hyatt on the Bund Shanghai Aroma Dinner Spread

With the fondue and delicious meat choices, I’d pay 200 yuan for the buffet, but I do think the price was a bit much (especially factoring in that tea at the Park Hyatt, which we had on our third day in Shanghai, was only CNY200 for two).

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Hyatt on the Bund Shanghai Aroma Dinner Spread Fondue

Service at the hotel overall, much like the WiFi and the service in the restaurant, was underwhelming. Never did I receive a smile with exception of the woman who checked us in and out, and while it wasn’t actively rude, it was the most indifferent service I’d ever had in a hotel this year. While the Business Centre associates were jumpy and refreshing, I can’t name a single person elsewhere in the hotel that was as happy.

Speaking of the (paid) Business Centre, I had to print off a boarding pass for online check in on the second day (mostly to secure my aunt and I a window pair, which I nearly failed to do), and there was an hourly fee for the Business Centre, though I can’t quite remember what it was. There was also a printing fee, which I think was CNY 5 per page, though I can’t quite recall the fee either.

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Hyatt on the Bund Shanghai Business Centre

There’s a pool and a gym, but we didn’t have time to visit either.

Bottom line on Hyatt on the Bund

While it was no means a bad stay, given that the room was gorgeous and the grounds were fully functional, the service and the bad, inconsistent WiFi in our room pulled down my overall thoughts of the hotel. While I’m happy that I visited, I don’t think there’s a big chance I would return in the future.

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