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If You Need Me I’ll Be with Mariah Carey in the RMB 180,000-a-Night Suite at the J Hotel

SmartShanghai tours all the rooms at the newly opened “World’s Highest Hotel”. Oh, what great heights!
2021-07-09 18:00:00
Photos: Brandon McGhee

My friends, when you’re talking about the RMB 180,000-a-night hotel suite at the "world's highest hotel", you gotta see if your man Nietzsche has anything to say on the matter.

Oh good. He does.

“He who climbs upon the highest mountains laughs at all tragedies, real or imaginary.”

Yes! Who knows what that means! But doesn’t it just sound really apt?

And we’re off.

Making headlines around the world — CNN; USA Today; New Zealand NewsHub — after four-plus years of planning and construction that probably went really, very smoothly, the “world’s highest hotel”, the J Hotel in the Shanghai Tower is now open to the people.

Not the people. But, y'know… "people". Eventually, the people. But for now, "people". C'mon.

Occupying floors 84-110 (out of 128), and positioned roughly two Eiffel Towers up into the sky, the J Hotel comes to us from Jin Jiang International, a state-owned enterprise and one of the world's largest hotel groups. In Shanghai, they also operate the Jinjiang Hotel, the Peace Hotel, the Park Hotel, and the Metropole Hotel. They also own a slew of chains around the world — really wide-reaching chains like 7Days Inn and the Radisson Group. Known for their conservative, big business traveller energy, the J Hotel in the Shanghai Tower feels like it represents Jin Jiang’s embrace of “New China”, and specifically Shanghai’s affection for luxury, status, and wealth written in massive amounts of steel, marble, and glass.

Read: They went all-out on this guy right here and tried to make it real fancy.

The ***chef's kiss*** piece d’resistance is a RMB 180,000-a-night Shanghai Suite on the 98th floor.

Seems reasonable.

Let’s check it out.

Checkin’ IN

This is the lobby on the 101’s floor. This is the first thing you see after taking Willy Wonka’s Great Glass Elevator up 2,000 feet in like .02 seconds.

Really futuristic and almost spiritually white, eh? Felt like I died and because I’ve been such a good person, they sent me to the set of The Matrix 4.

The Rooms

So, after you check in to Westworld, the rooms occupy 13 floors underneath the lobby — floors 86-98. (J Hotel's seven or so restaurants are in the floors above the lobby). With only 165 rooms, of which 34 are suites, it’s got a “boutique hotel” sort of feel, reinforced with esoteric and variously pretty marvelous and expensive sculptural pieces throughout the venue.

Entry Level: The Staterooms

Staterooms, the least expensive rooms, are currently going for around 3,600rmb per night but will probably be more like 5k in the future. They're split into two styles: “New Chinese” and “Contemporary”. This is the standard stateroom in the “contemporary” style. "Esprite de MacBook", non? Everything’s pearl white, marble, metal and glass — this will be a theme throughout. A SmartPhone on the desk controls the TV, lights, and temperature through built-in sensors in the room, and will eventually become self-aware and start World War III.

You’ve got your sitting room, office space, and a lux bathroom, which features toiletries by Hermes. The bed looks like a giant marshmallow. It’s around 61 square meters.

Stepping Up: Premium Staterooms

For a couple grand more, Premium Staterooms are bumped up in size to around 70 square meters, and feature larger sitting, sleeping, and bathroom spaces. This is one of the rooms done in the "New Chinese" style. More gold. More jade coloring. Arty reliefs of classic Chinese architecture on the walls. Natch.

The Suites

The Grand Suite

Getting into the business here. There are 24 Grand Suites are they’re going for around 10K a night. Available only in the “contemporary” style, these are serving more Apple Store realness. Bigger everything and the bathroom now has a magnolia petal-shaped bathtub and a dedicated vanity mirror.

Gotta have a dedicated vanity mirror.

High in the Sky: The J Suite

Here’s the J Suite, swinging it back to that "New Chinese" style again. This is when these rooms start feeling like some despot’s actual house rather than just a really nice hotel room. We’re talking zany crystal shit hanging from the ceiling kinda territory. These are 67K a night. A NIGHT. And include a kitchenette with wine cellar, a dining room, a kitchen, a sauna, a “butler closet” (eh? wot?), and a walk-in closet.

***drum roll***

This is RMB 180,000. A. Night: The Shanghai Suite AKA ‘All I Want for Christmas Is You’

It’s the 380-square-meter “Shanghai Suite”. Parlor, sitting room, study, banquet area, two bathrooms, jacuzzi, full kitchen, physiotherapy area, and a room bigger than my apartment just for putting your socks on in.

Did you ever think we could get so high?

It’s number 9808 on the 98th floor. Upon entry to the Shanghai Suite, you are greeted by a this giant, magnificent, bursting phoenix on the wall, which is an invigorating and bracing experience. And then a slightly sad one when you realize that this happens so rarely in your lifetime.

It's pretty much a smorgasbord of all their styles all at once. The one joining aesthetic element here is that it feels like it was put together by someone who is glamorous and regal and expensive and excessive and never, ever, ever denied.

Never denied, yes! And nor should they ever be denied because they are fabulous!

Like… Mariah Carey. Is the person that comes to mind.

So, I waited until the PR person was showing the photographer one of the other 900 rooms. I put my feet up on the couch and cranked up a vape. I plopped a complimentary lychee fruit off a bed of ice into my mouth. And then I spent a good 20 minutes daydreaming about how wondrous it would be to spend an afternoon in this place with Mariah Carey. Just gossiping and cackling about any old silly bullshit.

Just living, living, living, my god!

I’m still there…


The J Hotel is in the Shanghai Tower, at 501 Yincheng Lu. As of right now, booking at the J Hotel is done exclusively through their website. If you'd like to visit any of their restaurants, or bars you can't just walk-in. You'll need a reservation, which you can get by calling this number:  021-3886-8989. For Rooms, check out availability — but, hey, there isn’t any for a while — right here.