Fantastic Stay (Humbled, Really) at Mandarin Oriental Pudong (Shanghai, China)
The hotel I’ve stayed in Shanghai is the Mandarin Oriental Pudong. If you ever talked to anyone who lives and/or works in Shanghai and you mention that you’re staying at the mentioned hotel, its reputation preceded it, whether or not he or she stayed there. So when I rolled in my bags and arrived at the door, we were treated like VIPs. My reservation was an Executive King room so we were escorted to the second floor (you need a special key swipe to access that floor) and checked in from there.
It’s a contemporary, zen-like Executive Lobby lounge where it serves as a meeting place (I’ve seen several business meetings occur toward the back of the room over the past few days), living room, and dining area. While I was waiting for the ladies to check me in, one of the servers gave me a cappuccino dusted with cocoa that has the Mandarin Oriental fan logo on top of the milk foam (very charming touch) and in a few short minutes my paperwork was done.
Since I was at the lounge, I might as well have some breakfast and relax a little before I head out to the city to explore and shop. Their breakfast options are limited in terms of quantity compared to the larger, all-day restaurant Zest downstairs but the quality is good. What appealed to me the most is their soup noodles with the fish cake and fried tofu cubes options (the latter isn’t available at Zest). There were an assortment of fresh sliced fruits, a few steamed dim sum dishes (usually char siu baos, walnut buns, shu mai, charcoal black buns filled with egg custard and soup dumplings), selected assortment of Western style baked goods, cold cereal and yogurt, and sliced hams and cheeses.
After being out for the rest of the day, I was in awe how great my King bed room was! The large space that’s smartly laid out. The living space that has a spectacular view of Pudong and The Bund. The huge bathtub that can easily fit more than two people with peeks of Pudong (the wooden paneled shutters are intentional for privacy – and appreciated). The marble glass-in shower and double vanity sinks and a spacious closet. You can see my video of the room tour below.
My sleep every night was very restful and sometimes I wish I didn’t have to get out of bed because I was comfortable! There was a few afternoons when I came back from shopping and sightseeing that I spent time at the hotel’s spa. The hotel has a lovely indoor pool, day beds nearby the pool, and a dry sauna (separate for each gender). I admit I didn’t make time to go to the gym but it was spacious and was appealing to do a workout when I passed by.
The service is professional and the staff from various departments would try to meet or even exceed my requests like having fresh rose petals for my bath and housekeeping managed to get me a medium sized bowl of red rose petals (roughly six large roses) and a whole rose! Also something quite brilliant that’s both room layout and service are planned together: when I had dry cleaning done, my cleaned clothes were sent to my room without needing me to answer the door nor the staff needing to enter my room. There’s a two-way closet that’s adjacent to the door to my room so it’s left in there and the staff slip a note under the door mentioning that it’s there.
There were a few mornings where I had breakfast at Zest. This huge restaurant has a large variety of cuisines covered from Chinese, Continental European and touches of Indian. There’s an impressive array of breakfast pastries ranging from doughnuts, muffins, danishes, even to kugelhopf. There’s egg custard tarts (they were fantastic especially when it’s fresh from the oven) and jian dui (fried sesame balls), and an assortment of classic dim sum dishes. The best part for breakfast is the made to order soup with noodles (there’s three different types to choose from) with an assortment of fresh vegetables and various Chinese style pickles, chili sauces and condiments to top off the bowl of deliciousness. There’s also an omlette/egg station for those who like their Continental style breakfast but since I’m in China, I tend to avoid it and I can’t vouch for it even though it seemed good.
I had an amazing dinner at the hotel’s 1* Michelin Shanghainese restaurant, Yong Yi Ting. I will write about that experience on a separate post.
The hotel did send me off to Pudong International Airport in a gorgeous pristine Mercedes E-Class car. The driver was friendly and professional throughout the drive. I wasn’t aware he had a colleague working at the airport by retrieving our luggage from the car to a trolley and escort us all the way up until security check. (If you want to see photos and videos of that, please go to my Instagram story highlights labeled MO Pudong and it is found toward the end of the series.)
Going along with Mandarin Oriental’s social media hashtag #ImAFan, I truly became a fan of this hotel and the brand. Everything about my stay was fantastic and I can’t wait to stay there again.