I’m taking a week-long pause in my Southeast Asia 2014 trip report to bring you a week of posts about a trip to China that I took in July 2014. During this trip, I went to Shanghai and Beijing with a friend: Shanghai to eat; Beijing mostly to see the Great Wall of China.
In Shanghai, we stayed at the Bund Riverside Hotel, mostly because it was pretty cheap and had a decent location. The room rate was about $65 per night all in, which is only marginally more than booking dorm beds at a hostel would be. That being said, there’s a reason why the hotel is so cheap, because it honestly wasn’t a very good hotel and had some very strange service.
Note that the location on Google Maps for the hotel is incorrect if you search for “Bund Riverside Hotel”. It has the right address, but the location is just wrong (like it’s not even on the right street). If you search by the Chinese name, you’ll find it. Here’s the correct location: https://www.google.com/maps/place/上海新协通国际大酒店firstname.lastname@example.org,121.4839093,17z/data=!4m6!1m3!3m2!1s0x0000000000000000:0x30234c08c8a06c9c!2z5LiK5rW35paw5Y2P6YCa5Zu96ZmF5aSn6YWS5bqX!3m1!1s0x0000000000000000:0x30234c08c8a06c9c?hl=en
Our room wasn’t anything fancy, but it was functional. Nothing was great (like the beds were a bit hard, the pillows a bit meager), but I’m not going to complain too much given the price that we paid.
The location is also pretty decent. It’s a little over 5 minutes to the East Nanjing Road metro station, and East Nanjing Road is one of the main touristy shopping streets in Shanghai. There’s also a fair number of street food vendors on the way to the metro station, if you’re feeling adventurous (as you should, since Shanghai has some of my favorite street food in the world).
The odd part came when we left. We were taking an overnight train to Beijing, so we needed to get a taxi to the train station (the central Shanghai rail station, not Hongqiao). We asked the front desk to get us a taxi, and they said that they would. So we waited. And waited. After about 15 minutes of waiting, we were worried that we wouldn’t have enough time to get our tickets and make our train, so we went out on the street to try to catch a taxi ourselves since the front desk was being unhelpful and just told us to keep waiting.
We found someone getting out of a taxi at the hotel, so we thought to ourselves, great, we can just catch this taxi. But the doorman was physically preventing us from entering the cab (like he stood in the open car door). He kept saying that we couldn’t take this taxi because the front desk had already called us a cab. After trying to argue with him in Mandarin and failing, I got the concierge to come out and knock some sense into this doorman. The concierge said that of course we could use this cab, and so we were on our way.
Anyway, just an odd story. This hotel is pretty bare-bones, but it’s a decent budget option. Just be warned about potentially odd service.