Opened in 2012, this hotel is a welcome addition to Shanghai Caohejing Hi-Tech Park near Hongqiao district, catering to the needs of the many business travellers brought in by companies with operations in the area.
WHAT’S IT LIKE?
The hotel has all the touches of an upscale hotel yet offers a very sociable and casual feel. The marble walls and flooring are matched with highly textural accessories such as cushions, carpets and abstract art pieces that one would commonly find in contemporary museum shops or design boutiques.
WHERE IS IT?
Located in the Shanghai Caohejing Hi-Tech Park, where many multinational corporations have offices. You can access the underground system (lines 3 and 9) at the Caohejing Hi-tech Station, about five minutes’ walk away. Hongqiao Transportation Hub, which consists of the city’s secondary international airport and high-speed rail station, is about a 20-minute drive away, depending on traffic.
My 37sqm Deluxe Room looks out to the driveway and has an open view of the high-tech park. I liked the soothing neutral colour palette and I found the space highly user-friendly. The work desk with a glossy wood surface, located near the window, is a decent size and is paired with an ergonomic chair that provided a good level of support. Right next to it is a big mirror that adds a sense of space. The chill-out corner on the other side of the room features a black leather two-seater sofa and a slick, marble top magazine table. A copy of Tatler magazine and the hotel group’s own The Navigator came with the room. On one side of the bed, there’s a master control panel for most of the lights (except odd ones such as the desk lamp), as well as a universal socket. On the other side, there’s a smaller panel for lighting. One of the nightstands features an iPod/iPhone-dock alarm clock (iPhone 4 model) while the other has one of the two phones in the room (its counterpart is on the desk). The mounted flat-screen TV across the room from the bed is big, making for great viewing pleasure. There is a counter surface below that is a great alternative space for placing loose items such as the key card, especially when the desk is occupied by documents. The plush marble bathroom is equipped with a rain-shower and a separate bathtub. Right next to the tub is a big window looking in to the room, but you can draw down the shade for some privacy while bathing. The wardrobe is a regular size, with a standard in-room safe.
RESTAURANTS AND BARS
There are four food and beverage outlets. Other than The Lounge and the all-day dining buffet restaurant BLD Cafe, there are also Wan Li Restaurant for Cantonese and Shanghainese cuisine, and Smoki Moto, a well-designed Korean BBQ restaurant. The latter was a real highlight of my experience here. I had some truly authentic Korean dishes, including ginseng chicken and japchae (stir-fried sweet potato starch noodles), and given that there were several Korean diners in the restaurant, I was not surprised.
There is a notable Korean community near the hotel, about a 20-minute ride away.
This has to be one of the liveliest club lounges I’ve ever visited. Granted, the hi-tech park does not offer many entertainment options, so guests who stay here tend to make use of this facility on the 26th floor, especially during happy hour. But the design is also conducive to socialising, with different types of seating ranging from window-side tables with cushioned chairs and the cosy TV corner, to the comfortable living area with long sofas, a big coffee table and communal table with high stools. The range of complimentary food and drinks for happy hour was also very good, with a whole marble table top of continental offerings such as cold cuts, cheeses and fruits, and hot dishes that included mini-burgers and fried rice offered in mini takeaway boxes. There was also a full range of spirits and wines. Bordeaux’s Michel Lynch and Australia’s De Bortoli were two of the wine producers featured when I visited.
BUSINESS AND MEETING FACILITIES
There are eight meeting rooms offering a total of 1,160sqm of space. The Grand Ballroom can accommodate up to 700 people.
There is the Touch Spa, run by an outside operator, and a well-equipped gym. The indoor pool is moderately sized but big enough for quick laps.
A very enjoyable hotel that strikes the perfect balance between luxury and practicality. Nothing is over the top or underwhelming, and the service is helpful and friendly. The Korean restaurant and the club lounge made my stay a particularly memorable one.
HOW MANY ROOMS? 373 guest rooms, including deluxe rooms and suites
HIGHLIGHTS Slick and modern interior design, proximity to Hongqiao airport, free wifi
PRICE The average internet rate for a midweek stay in a Deluxe Room in the middle of March is RMB1380 (US$222)
CONTACT397 Tianlin Road, Caohejing Hi-Tech Park, Shanghai, China; tel +86-21-3325 8888; marriott.com/hotels/maps/travel/shaca-renaissance-shanghai-caohejing-hotel