We have just returned from a 10 day trip to Shanghai, possibly the longest time we have stayed put in one place, with no side trips or anything. Just 10 days of city wandering.
We stayed in an excellent service apartment “New Harbour Service Apartments,” which we found on the internet, and we could not have been happier with our choice. Brilliant location, lovely spotlessly clean flat, great shopping and eating area – all absolutely perfect.
For the equivalent of Indian Rupees 6000 per night/US $100, we had a decent sized flat with a bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, sitting room, free wifi, large TV, safe, air-conditioning (though we didn’t need it, rather the opposite on one or two chilly nights). The kitchen had a kettle, a combined fridge & freezer, a microwave, a hob – and that was about it. No pots, pans, cutlery. Nothing. Well, there were 2 x 2 plates, 2 bowls and 2 sets of chopsticks. And that was it.
Loads and loads of cupboard space in the kitchen, but all empty.
We eventually worked out that we could borrow things from housekeeping – I asked for knives, forks and glasses, and received exactly 2 of each. Everything was taken quite literally.
We had a lovely view over our neighbourhood, and every morning I went down and got a coffee from a corner shop not even 150 metres from our hotel, and in the evenings we bought dinner from street vendors – fabulous skewers of meat and fish and veggies that would be grilled in front of us. There is a supermarket literally at the bottom of the building, that stays open very late, so all in all, even with a language barrier, shopping was a doddle.
New Harbour Service Apartments are 1.5km from The Bund – I know, I ran there and clocked the distance – and probably about 1 km to Nanjing Lu and Peoples’ Park – so for wandering and exploring, the location couldn’t be bettered. A metro station is about 500m away – possibly closer.
We didn’t eat in the hotel nor did I check out the gym or pool, so other than using the laundry and the convenient ATM in the lobby, we didn’t use the few facilities on offer. The housekeeping staff could not have been sweeter and more smiley. The front office staff and the bell hops all seemed borderline surly and disinterested. Totally unsmiling and not really interested in being more than coolly helpful. They seemed to be a bit of a throwback to the China of the 1980s and 1990s, unlike everyone else we met.
For such a busy place – and there were always people coming and going – so it’s clearly very popular, the standard of the rooms was exceptional. No signs of wear and tear at all, with everything spotless and well maintained. Spare duvet in the cupboard.
When we checked out, we received a bill for the laundry usage (they have large washing machines and dryers) which was fair enough, and a small charge for rental of the 2 x knife/fork/glass. Very odd.
Other than the front office staff – who were never rude, just completely disinterested – I have nothing but praise for the New Harbour Service Apartments.
Whenever we next go to Shanghai – soon, I hope – we will definitely stay there.