Having been to Beijing twice in the previous year, I decided to visit Shanghai in China instead for my birthday. I booked myself on SQ828 (SIN-PVG) but since it was scheduled to depart at 7:30AM, I decided to stay over at the Aerotel Singapore again before my flight. After checking out of the transit hotel, I made my way down to the SilverKris Lounge in Terminal 3 for some breakfast and Champagne before making my way to the boarding gate.
The plane landed approximately 30 minutes ahead of schedule and it was a fantastic flight - knowing that I would be celebrating my birthday in Shanghai, some of the crew actually prepared a birthday cake on the flight to surprise me. I had initially wanted to arrange for a hotel pick-up service but it was something along the lines of S$200 so I decided to try my luck with Klook instead - it costed me only around S$53 and the driver was there on time, the car was clean and the trip was great (safe driving!).
The trip from Shanghai Pudong International Airport (PVG) to the Andaz Xintiandi, Shanghai took approximately 45 minutes in the absence of traffic. As soon as the car pulled up on the main driveway, the bags were taken care of while I proceeded directly to the check-in area of the hotel. It is definitely worth noting that the Andaz Xintiandi, Shanghai is the first Andaz-branded property to open in Asia and it located in an iconic entertainment area of downtown Shanghai. Even though the official check-in time at the property is 3:00PM, I did not face any trouble getting a room assigned to me at approximately 2:00PM. In fact, the hotel actually accorded me with an upgrade into a King Bed Deluxe (much like a Junior Suite and you will see why later) since I was celebrating my birthday there.
There is a small area upon entering the room which leads to the bathroom, bedroom and the walk-in wardrobe. Even though the lead-in room category is not small and it measures approximately 41sqm in size, the Deluxe Room that I stayed in offers 87sqm of space (more than double of the entry-level rooms!). In comparison, the standard suites here at the Andaz Xintiandi, Shanghai start from 80sqm in size so technically the Deluxe Room is larger than the Andaz Suite purely from a size perspective. There is no real 'living room' here in the Deluxe Room but you do have a spacious and separate seating area. The various windows also offer expansive views of the surrounding Xintiandi area as well as Huai Hai Road. The lights on the ceiling can be changed (it reminded me a little bit of a W Hotel) to match your mood but there were only two or three different colours to choose from.
The Deluxe room here at the Andaz Xintiandi, Shanghai features a king-size bed that face the large windows that looks out to the restored Shikumen (石库门 which translates into 'stone warehouse gate') architecture nearby. There is also a large TV that sits between the bed and the windows where you can enjoy programmes from a range of satellite channels - you will find the usual suspects here so nothing real to shout about. I did find the position of the TV to be placed in a slightly awkward area (almost obstructing the flow of the room) but placing a TV console underneath it would have been worse.
There is a large walk-in closet behind the bed which you can access from the room or from the area directly in front of the entrance - there is a sliding door to close it on one side to preserve your dignity if you are sharing this place with a friend. Honestly, this space is large enough for an adult to hang at least a hundred pieces of clothing since it expands across the whole bedroom technically. You will also find other conveniences like a safety deposit box, iron and bathroom slippers here.
I really like the abundance of natural daylight that the bedrooms here in the Andaz Xintiandi, Shanghai enjoy - there is even a small lounge chair located next to the bed for you to not only take in the sights but also to replenish some vitamin D while you are at it.
I really appreciate the iPad (found in every guest room and suite) where you can control almost every aspect of the room - you can not only tweak with lighting options but also control the TV from this one-stop solution.
Light controls are carefully embedded in the bedside tables located on each side of the bed so you can leave them hidden when you do not need them - LED mood lights can also be adjusted from the panel.
As mentioned earlier, there is a separate seating area here in the King Bed Deluxe room - you will find a work desk here (complete with an extension cable in one of drawers located under it) as well as a smaller dining table by the side. Unfortunately, due to government policies in China, you will not be able to access services like Google, Facebook, Instagram and Netflix with the hotel Wi-Fi but there are ways to get around the great firewall of China. While I will probably update that article at some point this year, roaming on a 4G connection from Singapore is actually great since you technically do not even need a VPN to access restricted sites.
As part of my welcome amenities, I received a bowl of fresh fruits, a tart of some sorts as well as a bottle of wine (most likely due to the fact that I will be celebrating my birthday here in this property). I also received a welcome letter alongside the aforementioned amenities.
Strangely, there is another TV here in the 'living area' of the King Bed Deluxe Room - I did not think it was necessary since this space is quite small compared to the rest of the room but hey if you want some background noise while working, this might just be your thing.
Consistent to the Andaz Core Benefits and the standards of the greater Andaz brand, the minibar in the rooms here at the Andaz Xintiandi, Shanghai are complimentary. Apart from some candy that you will find in a small bowl, guests will also get to enjoy a bar of Snickers, a small bag of chips as well as some Korean gim (laver) snack each day. Not all the snacks were replenished in the morning however (perhaps a mistake by housekeeping?) but I would imagine them to be (housekeeping did a flawless job over at Andaz Tokyo Toranomon Hills).
Non-alcoholic drinks in the fridge are also complimentary for all guests staying in the Andaz Xintiandi, Shanghai - these drinks included regular carbonated drinks, tea as well as juice (not a bad selection at all!). There is also a Nespresso coffee machine as well as some quality teabags located in this area if you prefer to stay caffeinated instead of hydrated.
The bathroom is probably is coolest area of my room here at the Andaz Xintiandi, Shanghai. While the bedroom utilises plenty of wood to create a modern and minimalist space, the spacious bathroom are covered in jagged stone.
Honestly, it looks a lot more like a cave but it features underfloor heating, Japanese-style toilets as well as a translucent bathtub which glows in luminous colours. The transparent sinks also look great in photos but honestly, I would pick regular sinks any other day.
I like the fact that the bathtub looks out to the Shikumen architecture and that it is located in the 'wet area' of the bathroom. Since the bathtub is right next to the shower area, you can essentially get out of the tub without worrying about dirtying or wetting the floor (something that I wish more interior designers will take into account). The toiletries here in Andaz Xintiandi, Shanghai are not branded but they looked pretty trendy - I particularly liked one of the designs which reflect the exterior designs of this building.
Much like every other Andaz property that I have been to, complimentary evening happy hour is provided to all guests and it was located in Xuan Bar when I visited. On top of red and white wines, the Andaz Xintiandi, Shanghaioffered bottled beers as well as a small selection of canapes on the side.
While this is definitely insufficient for dinner (and it should not be!), there are plenty of great restaurants to choose from around the Andaz Xintiandi, Shanghai. If you are feeling up for Chinese food and would like to try the famous yellow croaker noodles, there is a great one located just minutes away from the property.
Since my room rate comes inclusive of breakfast, I decided to check out the spread at Kitchen Studios the next morning - the selection is decent but I have seen a much wider selection in other properties in the Asia-Pacific region (e.g. Bangkok and Bali). The quality of food is pretty good and the coffee is solid so that is definitely a lot more important.
I really enjoyed the hot food stations here at Kitchen Studios but I decided to save more stomach space for better food outside of the hotel. Seriously, there is just so much to see (and eat!) in Shanghai and I am surprised that most people recommended only three or four days in this city (I would definitely recommend at least five nights!).
I really liked the area that the Andaz Xintiandi, Shanghai was in but I can't help to feel that even though the interiors are beautiful, the property lacked personality. Perhaps the Andaz Tokyo Toranomon Hills has raised the bar to a level that no other Andaz properties can emulate but I was not completely won-over or blown away by this one. The location of this hotel is great and I would definitely stay here again if I am visiting Xintiandi (there is just too many great food options here) but Shanghai has no lack of luxury hotels to try out (a lot of them participate in the American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts program too) and I will probably be more interested in those on the next visit.