Courtyard Marriott Shanghai Xujiahui - My favourite slice of Shanghai
My lovely Shanghai driver Tom asked me why I always stayed at the same hotel in Shanghai. And I told him the same thing I'll tell you. You don't mess with a good thing, folks.
Remember when I told you last week that you'll get the best service, food and met expectations at a Marriott in China? Take heed!
My favourite Marriott of them all is the Courtyard Marriott Shanghai Xujiahui!
And let me tell you that this place ain't no regular Courtyard. This place is swank!
The service here is great! The staff can help you with anything you need including getting your packages from customs, booking train tickets, accurately directing a Chinese speaking driver. You'll be okay in their hands!
I love the hotel card they give you! Normally a hotel can give you a card with their address and directions on it in the local language. This hotel goes the extra step with communication on it to get you to many nearby tourist destinations!
I've been staying at this hotel once or twice a year since 2013. And I can say that each time I visit, their food has gotten better and better. There are two things that you will always find on a western menu in China - pizza and carbonara. You will also always find tiramisu on the dessert menu. Strange, but true! I was blown away by how on point their Italian food is here!
Their personal sized pizza is huge a thin crust masterpiece. But their carbonara will blow you away! I would post a pizza pic here, but I ate it in such haste, I forgot to take pics in time. Whoops.
As I mentioned in my last post, if you price watch for a while, you can usually get a club room for the same price as a regular room. There is no need to purchase breakfast with a club room, as it is served for free in the lounge each morning.
They also have happy hour in the club lounge each day from 6-8 with free booze and hot foods. Yes, unlimited dumplings. Unlimited. I have tested it. They've never cut me off. To be honest, when I stay in this hotel, I usually have a big breakfast and skip lunch. And then I eat dumplings for dinner in the lounge. So I don't spend any money on food.
When I get off the elevator, they're probably yelling to each other in Chinese "She's here! Put on some more shrimp dumplings and stock the fridge with Diet Pepsi!". That brings me to my ultimate critique, they have Pepsi, not Coke. A small sacrifice, I suppose.
They do not have a spa and their pool area is not particularly impressive. However, after some experience, I now avoid swimming pools in China. It's pretty common for people to hawk and spit a lot in China, even in swimming pools. From my understanding, it mainly comes from a cultural difference. In China it's encouraged to get toxins and germs out of your body through spitting when you feel the need. It's put me off swimming a little though.
My regular pool at home is in Chinatown and I have noticed signs around asking people not to spit in the pool. It's all so fascinating to me! And you're all probably reading this thinking of how gross that is. But we know people pee in pools, and we still swim without being too grossed out. So it's all about what we consider normal.
As I am an avid price watcher, I have only ever stayed in a club room. Some years I can score a club suite on sale, some years (like this year) I just get a regular club room. Both are spacious and beautiful. The suite has a separate living room and a nice bath tub and separate stand up shower. The regular club room just has a stand up shower and a standard room.
The one thing that I find extremely disruptive is that there is what I assume to be a smoke alarm above your bed (you can see it in the pic on the right). It blinks with two big flashing green lights all night long. I find it so disruptive when I'm trying to sleep. I've seen others mention this in reviews.
The location is ideal for me, as it is situated very close to my regular business meetings in Shanghai. But if you're visiting as a tourist, you'll find it's next door to a shopping mall (with a Chinese Sephora!). And perhaps most importantly, is less than a $5 cab ride away from the French Concession.
With that being said, if you're looking for the hustle and bustle of Nanjing Road or the Bund, this may not be the location for you.
I can usually get a club room for less than $220 CAD ($160 USD) per night. This is with some fierce price watching. It's a great price for Shanghai as Shanghai tends to be the most expensive city in mainland China
Would I stay here again? Oh yes! I hope I'm not stuck staying somewhere else!
Champagnes on the Luximetre:
*The Luximetre is FooteOuttheDoor's 5 point scale to measure the degree of luxury felt by the hotel guest