Four Seasons Hotel Pudong Introduction
I knew in advance I would be staying three nights at the Fairmont Peace Hotel on The Bund, and thought it would be nice to stay on the Pudong side to get better access to all that Shanghai had to offer. I originally considered booking the Ritz Carlton or Mandarin Oriental, but decided on the Four Seasons Hotel Pudong after an amazing stay at the recently reopened Four Seasons property in Jakarta. I knew I wanted to stay 3 or 4 nights and decided to check American Express Fine Hotel and Resorts to see if they had any 3rd or 4th night free offers, which they did! I was able to snag a Deluxe Room for $456CAD per night, inclusive of taxes, with the third night free.
I contacted the hotel in advance of my stay to inquire about airport transfers. While I would normally take the Maglev Train in Shanghai, my flight from Tokyo was arriving shortly after the last ride into the city. Airport transfers booked through the hotel can be expensive, but I knew I would be exhausted after 24 hours of travel and considered it money well spent. In the email response from the hotel, the reservations agent also offered me a confirmed upgrade to a Pearl View Room to ensure my first stay to Shanghai was memorable!
My flight from Tokyo was about 45 minutes late into Shanghai, and I was through immigration within about 20 minutes from stepping off the plane. There was a Four Seasons rep waiting with a name placard just outside customs, and he quickly whisked me to the pickup area where a shiny new Audi A8 was waiting. The car was equipped with bottled water, cold towels and wifi, which made the 45 minute drive to the hotel very comfortable!
The exterior of the property is fairly unassuming, and looks like many other luxury business hotels around the world. The sidewalks and gardens were kept immaculately clean for the duration of my stay.
Upon arrival I was welcomed by name by three staff members who guided me to my room on the 38th floor for a private checkin. The lobby of The Four Seasons Hotel Pudong is stunning, with lots of marble and fresh flowers – two of my favourite things.
The elevators were at the far end of the lobby, and were extremely fast. Come to think of it, I’m not sure I ever waited more than a few seconds for a car.
On the way up the reservations agent informed me I had been upgraded to a room he considered ‘very, very nice’. The hallways on the 38th floor were spotlessly clean and featured some nice artwork throughout the long corridors.
Four Seasons Hotel Pudong Pearl View Junior Suite
Wow. I’ve received some very generous upgrades over the years, including just recently at The Four Seasons Resort in Whistler, but this was an instant favourite. The Junior Suite was sectioned off with a large living room and office space next to a huge bedroom with small sitting area. Between the two was one of the nicest bathrooms I’ve experienced, with one of the largest in-suite closet areas I’ve seen (with the exception of the Junior Penthouse Suite at The Fairmont Singapore). Everything in the room felt high quality and I loved the finishes. If I were to design a hotel, it would probably look something like this.
The living room was a decent size and featured a small sofa and armchair around a coffee table. Across from the sitting area was a large television and built-in storage.
The view from the room was, well, stunning.
And the view at night was even better…
On one side of the living room, next to the bathroom entrance, was the office desk with comfortable work chair. This space had everything you might need to get some serious work done, including an iPad with room controls, electrical cords, stationary, and basic office supplies. With the two chairs it could easily be used for a large dining room table also.
Service is always incredible at The Four Seasons, with little touches separating them from other luxury hotels. I loved that during housekeeping the staff would wrap my laptop and cell phone chargers with a little Four Seasons branded strap. Nice touch!
At the entrance of the room was a cream coloured closet which housed the minibar. Inside was a nice selection of snacks and beverages, along with an illy coffee machine and nice selection of teas. There was also plenty of bottles water which was restocked each time the room was serviced.
The bedroom was on the far end of the living room and was separated by a partial wall only. I did find it kind of strange that there wasn’t a way to make the room fully enclosed, but I guess it was only a Junior Suite. The room featured wrap around windows offering views of the city and Pearl Tower, a large television and dresser, and a small sitting area next to the window.
The bed was incredibly comfortable and featured high quality linens and pillows.
The views from bed were simply amazing. This is one suite where I almost would have preferred there be no television, as I didn’t use it and it only took away from the magnificent skyline views!
As mentioned, the room was only partially partitioned from the living room, which obviously wouldn’t be a problem for a solo traveller or couple.
There was a small sitting are in the corner of the room with nice views overlooking the city and a small collection of magazines on offer.
Bedside tables featured all of the standard features of a luxury hotel, including room control switches. The blackout curtains could be lowered electronically from bed, which is always nice!
Turndown was done daily, with bottled water replenished and curtains closed, in addition to some light housekeeping. During my stay I was also provided some complimentary fruit bowls and chocolate plates.
Now to my favourite part of this suite (and maybe all of Shanghai): The Bathroom! If I had to sum it up in one word, it would be WOW… I have never seen such a luxurious bathroom in any hotel around the world, and I’ve seen a few. Located near the office desk, the bathroom entrance featured one of the most well thought out closet spaces I’ve ever seen – with more room than I have in my apartment at home.
The rest of the space was absolutely stunning, with contrasting marble, a rose/copper finish around the shower, and reflective black ceiling. I’m not easily impressed by bathrooms anymore, but this easily became my favourite of all time – both functionally and aesthetically. The space started with a small makeup seating area and separated water closet, followed by large walk-in rainforest shower and deep soaking tub.
The bathtub was deep soaking and featured contrasting marble finishes. It was the nicest hotel tub I’ve seen, with views overlooking the city.
The vanity was equally impressive with dual sinks and stunning finishes. There was also a small chest filled with every amenity you would ever need, and many that you wouldn’t.
Four Seasons Hotel Pudong Dining And Amenities
I wasn’t able to try any of the dinner options while at the hotel, but I did have daily buffet breakfast in the lobby restaurant, Camelia. Service was incredibly good all three days and by the second visit the staff remembered where I liked to sit and what kind of tea I drank with breakfast. I first experienced this level of service when I stayed at The Four Seasons Hotel in Jakarta, and I still don’t know how they do it.
For anyone who’s been to a buffet breakfast in Asia, you know just how ridiculous they can be. The Four Seasons Hotel Pudong was no exception, with a variety of hot and cold items from various cultures. I’m not an adventurous eater, so I mainly stuck with what I know.
I’ll let the pictures explain how plentiful the buffet spread was, and keep in mind I didn’t actually get a chance to photograph everything…
My breakfast was included daily (up to two people) with my American Express Fine Hotels and Resorts booking, but for anyone who plans to pay for it bring lots of money; this buffet will set your back 276CNY (about $52 CAD). Ouch.
Everyday after breakfast I would check out the fitness centre and pool before heading out to explore the city. While I’m not a huge fan of indoor pools, this one was quite fantastic with sweeping views of the Shanghai skyline. There was also a jacuzzi tub with built in seating with the same stunning views.
While I didn’t use the fitness centre as much as I would have liked (I had good intentions though), I did appreciate all of the modern equipment and amenities on offer.
Four Seasons Hotel Pudong Bottom Line
Hmmm.. How do I sum it up. If I had to use three words, they would have to be:
I’m a particular traveller, and I have a gift at finding flaws in seemingly perfect hotels. This property, however, did not disappoint in anyway on my three night stay. The service was beyond anything I’ve ever experienced, with all of my needs being anticipated by housekeeping, front desk, and dining staff. An interesting story to showcase this:
On my first morning I realized I had no cash. No problem though, as the lobby had an ATM machine. The front desk agent apologized profusely that it was out of service, and actually walked around the desk and accompanied me to the nearest ATM off property, which happened to be the bank next door.
As fate would have it, that bank machine was also out of service! What are the odds? The Four Seasons agent seemed as though the world might implode, and invited me back to the hotel to regroup. It was a good coincidence, as I had actually left my wallet in the room. When I came back down they had their house car waiting to take me to the next nearest bank, which was across the street this time.
While all of this was completely unnecessary (I could have easily walked across the street), it was appreciated greatly, and a reminder of the service level Four Seasons provides to all of their guests.
Beyond the service though was the physical building itself. This hotel is stunning, from the beautiful lobby with fresh flowers to the unique rooms with contrasting marble bathrooms and high quality finishes, this is one nice hotel!
Is it expensive? Absolutely, but you really get what you pay for here. Also, booking through American Express Fine Hotels and Resorts allows for a lot of added value with a property credit and daily breakfast included, amongst others. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this property for anyone looking for the very best in the Pudong area of Shanghai, and can’t wait to return myself!