Fairmont Peace Hotel Shanghai Introduction
Fairmont is one of my favourite hotel chains in the world for their historical properties, world-class service and consistent loyalty recognition. When planning my trip to Shanghai, I had originally planned to stay at only Fine Hotel and Resort properties, though my plans changed when Fairmont emailed me a complimentary 3rd night free certificate as part of my membership in the Fairmont President’s Club. Furthermore, I had a suite upgrade certificate from my Platinum status left to use, and had heard the Fairmont Peace Hotel Shanghai was a great place to use them, as you were confirmed in a large one-bedroom suite coming in at just under 1,000 square feet. Given our excellent experience at the Fairmont Singapore, where we were upgraded to a Junior Penthouse Suite, I decided to go ahead and book, and cancel my reservation at The Mandarin Oriental (though I’ll definitely consider that hotel in the future based on Britt’s review of their property in Las Vegas).
I checked out of the Four Seasons Hotel Pudong at around 2pm and took a taxi to the other side of the river. The Fairmont Peace Hotel Shanghai is located right on the famous Bund promenade, and is walking distance to the Nanjing shopping district. This location is arguably better than Pudong for anyone visiting Shanghai for tourist purposes.
I was greeted at the door and escorted to the check-in area, where I was immediately helped by a friendly front desk agent named ‘Apple’. The interior of the hotel is quite nice, with rich dark woods and art deco style. The hotel was recently restored to its former glory, and I must say they did a phenomenal job at bringing the hotel up to modern standards without taking away a lot of the original charm.
I was recognized as a Fairmont President’s Club Platinum member, and thanked for my loyalty (I always find this a bit funny as I have far less than the required stays due to my accelerated status from the American Express Platinum Card – where 5 nights/year will get your top-tier status). Apple confirmed that I wanted to use my 3rd night free and suite upgrade certificates, and said I had been assigned a beautiful 1-bedroom suite on the second floor. I also asked about upgrading to the Gold Floor, which was accommodated for a very reasonable copay of about $80CAD per night (more on the amazing lounge later).
Apple personally escorted me to the elevators, and was kind enough to wait while I took a few pictures of the main lobby. I’ll let the pictures showcase just how grand this hotel is.
The elevators were located just around the corner and there was always a member of the team eager to greet you and press the call button. This part of the hotel can get fairly busy with tourists, as there is a lot of historical memorabilia on display.
The elevators were tiny and slow, similar to the Plaza Hotel in New York City, which is a small price to pay for the rich history.
The second floor elevator lobby had a lot of the original charm, including the green tiled walls. The hallways had been redone and featured plush carpet and neutral colours.
My suite, number 218, was located at the far end of the hallway.
Fairmont Peace Hotel Shanghai One-Bedroom Suite
I was a bit worried this hotel wouldn’t live up to the Four Seasons Pudong, where I was upgraded multiple categories to a Pearl View Junior Suite, but as it turns out I had nothing to worry about. While completely different, this suite offered character and charm that just isn’t available in new construction hotels. I mean, to think how many people had been in this room prior to my stay was a bit mind-blowing.
Apple showed me around the room and asked if I had any questions. She also explained the location of the Gold Floor lounge on the 9th floor, and invited me to contact her with any questions. My bags were brought up less than a few minutes later, at which point I started to explore the massive space!
This one bedroom suite featured a nice foyer with beautiful hardwood floor where the minibar was located. There was a small powder room to the left, and the closet/en-suite entrance to the right. The powder room featured a vanity and toilet, and was stocked with Le Labo Rose 31 amenities.
The minibar had a small selection of snacks and cold beverages, along with an espresso maker and complimentary bottled water, which was refreshed twice a day during housekeeping, and always available upon request.
The closet off the foyer was quite large, and featured the same original hardwood floor as the entrance.
The living room area was enormous, and featured a comfortable sitting area with couch and armchair, television, and dedicated workspace.
Upon arrival there was a small fruit amenity waiting with a handwritten letter from the guest services manager, along with a small guide explaining all the health benefits of the fruit!
The television was housed in a nice cabinet, though the position was a bit awkward and away from the sitting area.
The office desk was large and had all of the stationary you would expect in a luxury hotel. I had to laugh a little bit at the warning letter placed by the concierge, but I guess people still fall for these scams quite often…
The bedroom was separated by sliding doors in the living room, and was also generously sized. There was a small sofa opposite the plush king bed, and a similar television cabinet on the far wall.
The bed was one of the most comfortable I’ve slept in (as is the norm with many Fairmont hotels) and featured high quality linens and pillows. The bedside tables housed lamps, telephone, and a Bose speaker with a jazz CD. There were also individual reading lamps on each side and controls for the room lighting.
The seating area featured a small sofa and table next to the window, but unfortunately also had the same awkward viewing angle for the television.
The ensuite bathroom was accessible by the foyer closet and by a door off the master bedroom. While not as flashy as The Four Seasons Pudong, It was still one of my favourite bathrooms. The space featured a separate water closet, deep soaking clawfoot tub, double vanity, large walk-in rainforest shower and small makeup area. I found the design to be timeless and classic, and loved the black and white marble!
The robes were incredibly soft and I seriously considered taking one home as a souvenir.
The one major flaw in the design (in my opinion) was the tiled wall in the water closet and shower. It just didn’t seem to fit with the rest of the classic design.
The vanity area had lots of counter space, and featured dual sinks with all of the amenities you could need, including larger than average bottles of Le Labo Rose 31 toiletries (I definitely took some of these home with me).
I loved the clawfoot tub, which featured a small television built into the marble wall (so much better than mirrored ones that have awkward angles) and a small cutout section for amenities (and maybe a glass of wine).
Further on in the bathroom, towards the entrance foyer, was a small makeup vanity and the large walk-in shower.
I was actually a bit disappointed by the walk-in shower, as it had the same tiled wall and featured a strange grooved marble floor which was quite uncomfortable to stand on for more than 10 minutes. On the plus side, the water pressure was fantastic.
Fairmont Peace Hotel Shanghai Gold Floor Lounge
I opted to pay a small supplement at check-in to have full access to the Gold Floor lounge based on our experience at The Fairmont Singapore. Lounges in Asia are usually worth the money, and often include breakfast, afternoon snacks, evening canapés, complimentary cocktails and desserts. All Gold Floor guests are entitled to the following enhanced services at The Fairmont Peace Hotel Shanghai:
Located on the 9th floor, the lounge featured dedicated concierge services and a large open seating area with buffet. The food offerings were incredible, and easily justified the daily charge for access. Afternoon tea included a variety of treats, including finger sandwiches and desserts. Dinner and breakfast had a selection of hot and cold items, which were rotated daily.
Seating was generous, and the lounge never felt crowded – even during meal times, which can be a major issue at other properties where access is included with status, like the JW Marriott Hotel Chongqing or the Marriott Hotel Hong Kong Skycity Hotel.
There was a small bathroom off the lounge with a ridiculously low ceiling. I’m only 5’8 and I found I almost had to crouch. The washroom featured the same Le Labo amenities found in the suite and other nice touches like fresh flowers and branded hand towels.
The service in the lounge was fantastic, with the staff knowing my drink and seating preferences by the second day. They were also quick to offer directions, address cards, and any other personalized service you might need. I had a very strange request during my stay, and the staff went above and beyond to ensure my needs were not only met, but exceeded.
Fairmont Peace Hotel Shanghai Location
Depending on what king of traveller you are, or what your purpose for visiting Shanghai is, you’ll either love or hate the location. Being right on The Bund promenade, the area outside the hotel was insanely busy, especially in the evening when the Pudong skyline lit up. For people visiting as tourists for the first time, this is probably the best location with easy access to the Nanjing shopping district, subway system, and walking distance to many top attractions. Anyone staying for business, or for those who appreciate peace and quiet, you may want to consider a hotel in a different area.
I did most of my tourist activities while at the Peace Hotel, but the weather was disturbingly hot for most of my stay…
While I thought the note from the concierge in the room was a bit much, apparently this area of Shanghai has a lot of tourist traps where people can be extorted, so act accordingly.
Fairmont Peace Hotel Shanghai Bottom Line
I absolutely loved my time at The Fairmont Peace Hotel. For a first time visitor to Shanghai, I would argue that this is the best location for easy access to tourist attractions, with many areas walking distance from the hotel. Like any Fairmont, the service is above and beyond, with staff anticipating needs and ensuring all requests are met. While I can’t comment on the basic guest rooms, the suite I received using my upgrade certificate was incredible, and easily one of the nicest hotel rooms I’ve ever stayed in.
I would strongly recommend booking a Gold Floor room for the enhanced service and lounge access, and can say with confidence that it’s one of the best club floor experiences out there. While I wasn’t a huge fan of the crowds outside of the hotel (especially since many of them wanted to take pictures with me), or the strange shower design in the bathroom, I consider these very minor compromises for such a terrific property. I’ll definitely be staying here on my next visit to Shanghai and would recommend it to anyone looking for a world-class and historically significant luxury hotel.