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Short stay: Portman Ritz-Carlton Shanghai, China

This year I had the pleasure of attending ILTM (International Luxury Travel Market) Asia – an exclusive, invitation-only event held in Shanghai – and stayed in the Portman Ritz-Carlton Shanghai which was very conveniently located opposite the event venue. I only stayed a few nights and spent most of the time attending events, but here’s a quick overview of the hotel. Portman Ritz-Carlton Shanghai The central building in the picture is the hotel and I think each flank contains both short and long term rental accommodation, as well as office space and even a school. I met one gentleman who works at the business centre in the middle, lives in an apartment in a building on one side, and his children attend school in the one on the other. On a wet day his kids can even get to school without so much as going outside! The welcome The welcome was quick and efficient, without any lengthy delays. The room I stayed in a Club Level room on the 42nd floor with acess to the Club Lounge on the 43rd. The room was tastefully appointed and an inviting bed after a long flight – even if it was still daylight outside. Ritz-Carlton bed Despite a slight haze (probably not that bad by Shanghai standards), the view over the city was an impressive one and all the more dramatic come nightfall. Ritz-Carlton view WiFi in the room was free – I’m not sure if this was because I was attending ILTM… I would it is the case for all Club Level guests. The bathroom The bathroom was well stocked with toiletries (which were ‘topped up’ both morning and night), and all the usual things you might expect (good qualty towels, robes, etc.). It was also stocked with plenty of useful extras such as a full shaving kit, comb, emery board, etc. Ritz-Carlton bathroom The facilities Breakfast in the Club Lounge was a relaxed affair – away from the hustle and bustle of the hotel’s main breakfast area – with an excellent selection to choose from including both Chinese and Western options and another great view over the city. This was also a place you could come and relax at pretty much any time of the day, with refreshments and snacks available. Club breakfast I didn’t explore the dining options in the hotel, but did briefly make use of the hotel’s indoor pool (which also extends outside). I also made brief use of a small gym near the spa but, on studying the website further, have concluded there must be a much larger gym elsewhere in the building! Ritz-Carlton swimming pool Finally, I also had an invitation to have an Urban Retreat Signature Body Refreshing treatment at the Urban Retreat spa but unfortunately my schedule ended up being a little too busy to be able to take advantage of that as well. Other nice touches It wasn’t good for my waistline but a plate of treats was left each evening at turndown – chocolate-dipped strawberries and other goodies, and on my final night, a giant fortune cookie! Ritz-Carlton treat Cost De luxe rooms at the hotel start from 1,380 CNY. The best bit The efficient handling of my lost property. I foolishly left my camera on one of the hotel’s minibuses one day and, on calling the concierge once I got to my room, they quickly tracked it down. That particular minibus was by then at another Ritz-Carlton (the Ritz-Carlton Pudong, Shanghai) but they kept me informed and arranged for its return. It felt like longer but the camera was returned to me about an hour later… what a relief and thank you, Ritz-Carlton! The final verdict An excellent hotel in a good location in the city – ideal if you are travelling on business or enjoying a spot of retail therapy, with outlets for many leading luxury brands just a short walk away.

Paul Johnson

Paul Johnson is Editor of A Luxury Travel Blog and has worked in the travel industry for more than 30 years. He is Winner of the Innovations in Travel ‘Best Travel Influencer’ Award from WIRED magazine. In addition to other awards, the blog has also been voted “one of the world’s best travel blogs” and “best for luxury” by The Daily Telegraph.

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  1. I love that they took such good care of your camera. Hotels really stand out when they actually take an interest in who you are. By the way a giant size fortune cookie sounds delicious – I want!

  2. We’ve never considered China, but I was struck by it when watching the BA programme about Chengdu recently! I particularly like the bathroom and pool of this hotel – even the big hotel chains often don’t bother with making them special but it looks like they’ve got it right here!

  3. I think that the treatment regarding your camera was excellent. You must have felt like you’d lost one of your hands? I love the look of the naughty turn down treats and the swimming pool.

  4. Yet another stunning hotel that you were fortunate enough to stay in Paul! That swimming pool really takes this to the next level. Luxury hotels in general have nice pools but from the image above it really looks like this is better than the norm.

    Love the idea of the treats left on a daily basis. It’s the small touches sometimes that really makes you appreciate your stay and clearly this is something that gives this establishment a competitive advantage – of course in addition to the fact it is part of the Ritz-Carlton chain!

  5. I really enjoyed staying in Shanghai (stayed at the Radisson- quite an iconic landmark in Shanghai). If I go again I will definitely try stay at the Ritz. They definitely go up a notch in quality.

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