What: The Ritz-Carlton Shanghai, Pudong’s 58-story all-glass façade gleams like crystal among the futuristic Pudong-side skyscrapers that tower over the Huangpu River. Opened in June 2010, the flashy Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star hotel epitomizes new Shanghai—it’s modern but respects tradition. The Ritz-Carlton Shanghai, Pudong offers a new take on the city’s famous Art Deco features—it swaps period-appropriate clawfoot bathtubs for updated angled tubs with scallop-patterned details, and the seafoam-hued rooms mix Art Deco metal screens depicting women in flowing dresses with bedding covered in contemporary abstract shapes.
Where: The Ritz-Carlton’s location is a major draw—those in town on business like its spot in the Lujiazui financial district (it also won our Editors’ Choice Top Business Hotel award for offering perks such as 18,300 square feet of meeting space, technology butlers and more). Shoppers love that the hotel connects to the couture-filled IFC mall, and tourists find it convenient to popular attractions (it’s a couple minutes’ stroll to the Oriental Pearl Tower and a half-mile from the Bund). The hotel’s proximity to the river makes the sky-high hotel a prime place for taking in views of the city.
When: Shanghai fills up in the spring and summer, when the weather is at its best and popular events including the Formula 1 UBS Chinese Grand Prix roll into town. Not coincidentally, that’s the best time to visit The Ritz-Carlton—mainly so you can sit outside on the must-visit rooftop lounge, Flair, with a lychee mojito and a great view of the Oriental Pearl Tower. But expect to pay a fee in the summer for the privilege of simply sitting at the alfresco hot spot.
Why: This hotel impresses with its Art Deco redux design, but thoughtful details show it isn’t style over substance. In the rooms, you’ll find panoramic maps near the windows pointing out all the Bund buildings in front of you, and desks hold a brown octagonal box labeled “Your Office,” stocked with must-haves such as mini staplers, erasers and Post-its. But perhaps the top reason to stay here is the amazing vistas. Whether you party at the always-packed Flair, take a dip in the 53rd-floor pool or relax in the waiting room of the Four-Star Ritz-Carlton Shanghai, Pudong Spa by ESPA, you’ll have some of the best views in the city.