Shanghai does luxury, and then it does luxury. We have enough five-star hotels to house a mid-tier city, and they are indeed luxurious. But what happens when you stop worrying about being able to afford any old room there, and demand the room? The big one. The penthouse. The six-figure accommodation. I’ll tell you one thing: money stops making sense. 88,000rmb per night. 170,000 per night. More. Not that they are always booked that way. In fact, these luxurious suites are so expensive that they are most often used for small, high-end events. But of course, you can still book them for a private night of wanton excess. We set out to find the city’s most expensive rooms, and then charmed, wiggled and finagled our way in to see them, and take a peek at where the mega-rich and famous are laying their heads when they’re in town. So here they are, in reverse order: Shanghai's five most expensive hotel rooms.
The Middle House
Swire Hotels has four properties: The Upper House (Hong Kong), The Opposite House (Beijing), The Temple House (Chengdu), and The Middle House in Shanghai, which opened in 2017. We’re fans of its affordable Italian restaurant, Frasca. But until now, we’d never seen its huge (660 sqm) penthouse, up on the 14th floor.
What it comes with: Soaring views of the city skyline. A living room with a private bar. Two bedrooms. A dining room for at least 12 people. A 205 sqm function room, big enough to host a wedding reception or a private cage match. A spacious, private rooftop terrace (cocktail bar set up on request).
What it’s like: Minimalist and elegant. Good enough for David Bechkam. What it costs: 139,920rmb per night
The first Peninsula opened in 1928 in Hong Kong. Shanghai opened in 2009. It has a helipad on the rooftop and a yacht for hire. The epitome of luxury that is. The Peninsula Suite sits on the 9th floor of the 15-story tower, taking up 400 sqm of real estate.
What it comes with: A grand living room with a soaring ceiling. Views that look out onto the Bund and Pudong skyline. A 12-seat dining table. Two bedrooms, one with a fitness room attached. Two spacious dressing rooms, with little gender-specific design accents, like a fancier mirror in the lady's. High-tech bathtub covered in gorgeous jade. A 24-hour butler.
What it’s like: Grand and gleaming. Elegantly opulent. The room has a baby grand piano and vintage-looking telescope. Breakfast, lunch and dinner not included in the price tag.
What it costs: 169,070rmb per night
Bvlgari Hotel Shanghai
This is only the second Bvlgari Hotel in mainland China and the sixth in the world. It’s part mod-tower and part heritage building, which we’ve documented at length before. Its primo bed is on the 45th floor, a 400 sqm penthouse that goes for more than 40 times the cost of a normal room. When connected with adjoining rooms, this suite can expand to a three-bedroom, 570 sqm space.
What it comes with: Private lift access, exclusive to this room. A six-meter high ceiling. A kitchen for your personal chef to cook in. A private steam room. A spa massage room. A Brera jacuzzi facing the Bund, made of a single slab of green onyx imported from Pakistan. A Technogym treadmill, exercise bike and indoor rowing machine, on request. A 24-hour butler.
What it’s like: Understated, sophisticated and classy. But you’ll still pay for room service, which is not included in the price.
What it costs: 169,080rmb per night
The W Shanghai, the third in mainland China, opened in 2017, and has tried to be a cool, happening, “youth-oriented” brand, not the fussy establishment. Still, that doesn’t stop them from charging like you’re made of old money: its duplex penthouse suite (388 sqm) is the second most expensive in all of Shanghai.
What it comes with: A conference table that can be converted for ping pong. A king-sized bed with a giant pair of soup dumpling-and-chopstick-shaped pillows. A 55” Loewe HDTV with Subwoofer brand soundsystem (the most expensive amenity in the suite). A stunning bathroom with a sweeping view, and next to it a private sauna. Oh, and there’s a DJ booth in the living room.
What it’s like: Much cooler than most hotels. You can bring your dog. But it’s not that popular for individual use. Instead, the hotel often recommends the smaller Cloud on the Bund suite for celebrities, which has a hanging bed in the middle of the room.
What it costs: 185,264rmb per night
This is it. This is the most money you can spend on a single night for a hotel room in Shanghai. Hong Kong’s Mandarin Oriental group have 31 properties in 21 countries and four in mainland China: Beijing, Guangzhou, Sanya, and Shanghai. This one, in the northern part of Lujiazui, has Shanghai’s largest and most expensive Presidential Suite, the biggest room in the city, at 788 sqm, with nearly five-meter high ceilings and a view over the city from the 25th floor.
What it comes with: Two bedrooms with Frette linens and Ploh pillows. A chauffeured S-Class Luxury Mercedes-Benz. 24-hour butler service. 90 minutes in the spa. A personal chef to cook three meals and an afternoon tea with Champagne. Two private roof terraces with tables and lounge seats, overlooking the skyscrapers of Pudong.
What it’s like: Old-school, heavy luxury. Almost palatial. Jackie Chan, Andy Lau and Christoph Waltz have all stayed here.
What it costs: 186,560rmb per night