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Shanghai - China

Befitting its role as China's most cosmopolitan city, Shanghai boasts a bewilderingly large number of business and luxury hotels. If you want to travel in style, there is no better place in China to do so than Shanghai. Travel within Shanghai proves fairly fluid, and getting across town is generally hassle-free. Hotels abound, and travelers with sufficient funds can get finicky about location necessities and desires. However, hotels in Shanghai are not cheap, leaving little variety and few options for the budget traveler. The selection of moderately priced accomidation is wider if you are willing to stay in Jing'An, Pu Dong, or further away from the city's main tourist attractions.

The Bund
Nostalgic visitors looking for a taste of Shanghai's colonial past should not pass up a stay at the historic Peace Hotel. The hotel's art deco interior and famous cafe are some of the reasons it maintains an internationally renowned reputation as one of the most famous hotels in the world. The affordable Pu Jiang Hotel on Huang Pu Road provides travelers a taste of Shanghai's past at considerably lower prices (with correspondingly lower amenities) than the more famous Peace Hotel. Once known as the Astor House Hotel, it also dates back to the turn of the 20th century but is more popular with backpackers and budget travelers as it is one of the few hotels in Shanghai that offers economical dorm-room beds. Also in the Bund is the esteemed Manhattan Bund Hotel, and the more modest Metropole and Ocean Hotel. All are in buildings that date back to the Bund's heyday and have atmospheric qualities.

Hong Qiao District
This district provides a home to the ShanghaiMart, Intex Shanghai, Shanghai International Trade Center and the Hong Qiao International Airport. Most hotels in this area cater to the needs of business travelers. Highly recommended lodgings include The Westin Tai Pin Yang Hotel, the Renaissance Yangtze Shanghai, and the Hotel Nikko Longbai Shanghai. Also noteworthy is the Shanghai Worldfield Convention Hotel.

Nan Jing Road
Along with Yanan Road and Huai Hai Road, Nan Jing Road spans Shanghai's city center from east to west. For the ultimate in hotel stays, try the elegant Portman Ritz-Carlton Hotel in the Shanghai Center. Half a block east on Nan Jing Road lies the ever-pleasing Shanghai JC Mandarin Hotel. Also on Nan Jing Road, the Sofitel Hyland Hotel sits within walking distance of the Bund and shops on the pedestrian-only section of Nan Jing East Road. Just off Nan Jing Road but within walking distance of everything is the moderate City Hotel. Refined and comfortable, Le Royal Meridien is top notch. The Salvo Hotel in the area gets great reviews, and has multilingual staff. For those on a budget who would like to be in the center of town, YMCA at People's Square is a cheap and reliable backpacker's staple.

Old French Concession Area
Several small hotels are placed within older residences, surrounded by gardens and in districts that provide interesting walking tours of this historic neighborhood. The Okura Garden Hotel Shanghai affords all that plus a touch of history. It once housed the French Club, and its lush gardens have provided respite from Shanghai's congestion for almost a century. Across the street lies the equally impressive Jin Jiang Hotel. Originally built to house foreign diplomats and businessmen, the hotel retains its lavish art deco design. Radisson Plaza has all the comforts a business or leisure traveler can dream of. More modest, the 88 Xintiandi is a cute boutique hotel in a neighborhood slowly filling with eclectic shops and small, chef-owned restaurants. Hengshan Moller Villa Hotel is in a historic estate with a lovely garden and surprisingly modest rates.

This area has deluxe rooms as well as comfortable and affordable accomodation for those on a slimmer budget. The Grand Pacific Suites has full amenities yet modest rates in the center of one of the main shopping districts. The Jing'An Regalia seems conveniently close to everything. The Hengshan Hotel is a good value and set in a historic building, as is the Picardie Hotel, which is noted for its unusual French architecture. Those wishing to splurge on a room away from the bustle of Nan Jing Road but still be in the center of it all may want to check into the Four Seasons.

Pu Dong
The 88-story Grand Hyatt Shanghai, responsible for holding Shanghai's skyline up and boasting the record for the world's tallest hotel, claims title to the most notable of Pudong's hotels for business-travelers. The surrounding Lu Jia Zui financial area also houses the Pu Dong Shangri-La Hotel and the Shanghai International Convention Center Hotel. Other noteworthy hotels located in Pudong include the New Asia Tomson Hotel, the Holiday Inn Pu Dong, the Grand You You Hotel and the Hotel Nikko Pu Dong.

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