There’s not many hotels we visit that laud the local flavours, artistic flair, and style of its city.
But at Hotel Indigo Shanghai, entering the hotel instantly makes you aware that you are in a whole new world.
An artfully red painted rickshaw sits alongside a bright yellow bicycle; birdcage-like nook chairs nestle in the corners, and thousands of mini dolls line the cavernous reception area whose walls are patterned in a wood panelling that resembles the inside of a whale.
All at once, design, art, and lifestyle throw themselves at you Shanghai-style – overwhelming, intoxicating, and very, very cool.
Upstairs, you can select from up to 7 types of room, from the most extraordinarily opulent Iconic Suites which are themed by the ages of Shanghai – take your pick the opulent 1920s Shanghai Deco Suite with marbled bathroom, separate living and dining areas, or the richly furnished Glamour Suite both with incredible private terraces that offer views straight to the historic Bund precinct. The dazzlingly all-white marble Future Suite appears a perfect backdrop for your close-up.
For those of you who are not Lady Gaga, try the very comfortably sized Premier Bund Pudong Room which has ample room for extra children to stay, or the Deluxe Bund Pudong Rooms which both offer views right up and down the river and have a modern, tasteful finish worthy of its own Pinterest board. Extra nice about these rooms is the sexy bathrooms with white tubs and rubber duckies looking square across the river.
On the roof there is a picturesque bar that turns into a local’s place-to-go after dark. The rooftop terrace is immense and the perfect place to see Shanghai and the Bund alight at night, arguably when the city is at it’s most beautiful. And after your drinks, head downstairs to the adjoining barbecue restaurant CHAR for some grilled lobster, seared foie gras, black truffles and wild mushrooms.
In the day time, probably one of the most lovely places to get a morning swim and some fitness in a hotel is the FIT gym and pool, which has state of the art facilities and those stunning views. Breakfast at the Quay restaurant is easily one of the most fresh and impressive buffet breakfasts we’ve seen; watermelon shots amuse the bouche before a traditional Shanghainese breakfast or a full Western-style plate served with coffee with real milk (and not the terrible UHT served at even hoitier hotels in the city).
Be sure to make use of the free bike hire and the city tours to ensure you see as much of the city as you can (given it’s immense size!). The fantastic Yu Temple is also just minutes walk away which is one of the oldest temples in Shanghai built by a past emperor for his ageing parents.
Finally, take a stroll up to the historic Bund, which is only 15 minutes walk away, and be sure to go inside each of the European-style buildings which now exist mostly as banks and hotels to give you some glimmer into the past 1920s glory of this exquisite, ever-growing, city.