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REVIEW: DoubleTree by Hilton Shanghai Jing’an, King Room

As part of my mattress run in Shanghai, I took out one night at DoubleTree Shanghai Jing’an, a relatively new property in Shanghai.

Located on the west side of the Huangpu river, the hotel is centrally located near to some of the commercial districts, in the Jing’an district. At the time of my stay, the hotel is only about four months old, having opened only in July 2019.

In this report:
The hotel & locality
The room
The facilities
Breakfast
Final thoughts

The hotel & locality

DoubleTree by Hilton Jing’an (photo: Hilton)

The 307-room property is the second DoubleTree branded property in Shanghai, with the first one located in the Pudong new district.

Rooms at the hotel run in two towers, up to 28 floor each. At the time of my stay, it seems like all the guests were funneled to only one of the towers, with the other one cordoned off.

This property is located about 15 minutes north of Shanghai’s famed Xintiandi area. The actual distance is not that far, but the traffic in Puxi area leaves much to be desired pretty much throughout the day, no thanks to the many traffic lights.

There is a subway station (Line 8) about 10 minutes walk away, so that is always an option in the cooler months, and you may be surprised it might be faster than taking a car ride at certain times of the day.

As for the distance to the airport, the hotel is about a 30 minutes drive from Hongqiao airport, and 45 minutes away from Shanghai Pudong International Airport.

The room

As a Hilton Honors gold member, I was once again upgraded, this time to an executive room. However, I didn’t have the chance to check out the executive lounge on this trip, as I was out of the hotel most of the time.

DoubleTree Shanghai Jing’an, King Room

The room itself was pretty much a standard King room, which was fairly small based on the past rooms in China I’ve stayed in before. The room was decked out in modern dark wood finishing, which thankfully was accompanied by pretty decent lighting.

The king bed was generous in space and fairly comfortable, unfortunately the choice of pillows left me with a neckache the morning after as all the pillows are too soft. If you a side sleeper, you may want to use the extra pillow in the closet, or request for even more pillows.

There was also a sizeable work desk, making this a decent hotel to use for business trips.

Working desk in room

The electrical fittings were also pretty well thought out, with an assortment of international sockets available at the work desk, as well as USB charging ports by the bedside. This to me is one of the small but meaningful details hotels can do to make big differences in the experience.

There was also a little armchair and coffee table by the window, which I thought was pretty unnecessary. The chair was stiff as hell so I don’t really lounge there.

Armchair and coffee table that I didn’t use

The bathroom was also pretty compact. There were separate toilet and shower cubicles, each with their own doors.

Bathroom with separate bath and toilet cubicles

I typically prefer this arrangement if I’m travelling with a companion, so that we could both use the bathroom at the same time if necessary. There was also a bathtub next to the shower, which was a rarity in newer DoubleTree properties.

You will be able to find the other standard amenities such as a bathrobe, bedroom slippers, ironing board and iron, hairdryer, all either in the bathroom or in the wardrobe.

Wardrobe situation

Unlike the DoubleTree by Hilton Pudong, the minibar is not filled up. Instead, there was an order chit from which you can order, and the items will be sent up to your room. I personally prefer this model, so I can use the minibar for my personal items.

The facilities

As I had a pretty short stay there, I didn’t have much time to fully check out the hotel.

There is an executive lounge on the 27th floor, which opens from 10.30am daily. Do note that if you have executive lounge benefits either as part of your room or your Diamond status, there is no breakfast served in the lounge so all guests will have to head to the level 2 restaurant for breakfast.

The lounge also serves up afternoon tea as well as evening cocktails daily, but do check with the reception on the exact hours.

All-day dining restaurant on 2nd floor

As for recreational facilities, DoubleTree by Hilton Shanghai Jing’an has a fitness centre in the basement. While I didn’t use it, I went to take a look and found it pretty well equipped.

Fitness centre in the basement

The strange thing about this hotel is: I’m not clear if there was a swimming pool. Based on earlier news reports about the property, there seems to be one. However, it was not mentioned on the hotel official website, neither was it mentioned in the information booklet or any of the signs when I was in the hotel.

Also, there are no spa services or facilities, so in this respect the hotel is pretty no-frills.

Lobby bar

There is a lobby bar on the ground floor for your evening tipple and a Starbucks within the same building accessible from the lobby, even though it is technically not part of the hotel.

Breakfast

Breakfast was served at the all-day dining restaurant located on level two of the hotel.

When I went down for breakfast, I was a little lost. My room number was taken by a staff at the door of the restaurant, but the staff signaled for me to head into the restaurant and look for a table by myself.

DoubleTree by Hilton Shanghai Jing’an breakfast restaurant

I don’t usually like to do that at a hotel breakfast restaurant, as many people are usually walking around taking food, and I certainly didn’t want to accidentally sit at a table that someone else had taken.

Also, at first glance, some of the tables had incomplete settings, so all the more I wasn’t sure if those tables were taken. Eventually, I found a huge booth (ample seats for six people) which wasn’t taken, and I awkwardly took up the table.

A little about the space within the restaurant. The restaurant was huge, but lacking in natural light. There were also not many tables, and while I liked space, I felt this restaurant had too much space.

Plenty of space in this restaurant, but a little too much space

Food selection was terrible. There was a lot of food, but nothing particularly stood out. Some of the food on offer included one entire section of steamed goods, but it turned out to be all root vegetables (potatoes, lotus roots, tapioca). There was also a tray of fried dough items that was present in a pretty haphazard and unappetising manner.

Tray of deep fried dough and spring rolls, anyone?

There was also the usual western breakfast offering, including an egg station, bacon, sausages and bakery items, but none of them looked appetising.

Bakery items

As such, I simply took a croissant and a fried egg to fill myself up a little, before skipping the restaurant and head out for a much better breakfast.

Final thoughts

As with all newly built hotels, the finishing for the hotel is gorgeous. I loved the spacious lobby,

Unfortunately, this strength of the hotel is also its weakness. In my opinion, there was a poor use of space. There was so much more potential in what the hotel could use the abundant space in lobby for, such as a cafe (or two) or perhaps even a bistro.

The rooms on the other hand, are fairly efficient in terms of space to a fault as well. I would have preferred slightly more space to move around within the rooms, particularly the bathroom.

In my previous trips to Shanghai I’ve always stayed at the now-gone Hilton Jing’an, which has always been excellent. Having not visited Shanghai in a while, I was horrified to find out that Hilton Jing’an, a well-known landmark having been around for over four decades, have been sold off and is now rebranded as Kunlun Jing’an Hotel. So now if you are looking for a Hilton-branded property in the Jing’an area, the DoubleTree by Hilton Shanghai Jing’an is your only option.

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