Contributed by ramoneur
Renaissance Shanghai Yangtze Hotel
This is my favorite hotel.
I have seen quite a few hotels, all over the world in general, and in Shanghai in particular (I like to hop around a bit, especially when I am pursuing a “challenge”;-)).
I normally stay here as a starting point for further travels throughout China; most of the times for a few days, sometimes for a few weeks.
I have liked this hotel since the first time I stayed here.
Although the rooms are a bit small (but I tend to always book the cheapest rooms; I am still Dutch…), the personnel is always very polite and professional. It doesn’t matter where/when I am in the hotel, I am always happy and impressed with them doing a good job.
Since hitting Gold status, I am even happier to stay here.
The reason: the lounge is really the best, ever.
…so let’s review it.
What's the lounge like?
Very, very nice. Lots of room. Different types tables (2 and 4 people) and even some very comfortable sofas for lounging.
It is really my favorite working place, with typical set up like this:
(the very big laptop is my boss’ idea of a mobile office (don’t ask…), the nice small one is an XPS12 which I use to watch movies and listen to music when I work).
There is even a second (top) level where people can smoke:
I try not to smoke (and mostly succeed at this, but China is…. let’s day, sometimes difficult for ex-smokers), so I don’t go there often, but this set up is an all time favorite for my colleague (who smokes like a chimney...) who accompanies me from time to time.
They will even bring you drinks/food here :-)
It is a very good spot for enjoying a really good view of the city, especially at night;
The personnel is extremely polite and professional.
For example, when I work there during the day (so not during breakfast or “evening snack time”) I get left alone when I appear to be busy, but get asked if I want to have coffee when I appear not to be busy. This is very appreciated and hard to be found professionalism (…I hate those trained "robots" in restaurants who will
interrupt you with their mechanical question “everything ok?”; this sometimes kills the “flow”, the atmosphere).
Furthermore the ladies of the staff are quite pretty (yes, I know I am married, but it’s still nice to look….) and their smiles are even better; dressed decent, but elegantly and nice.
They remember your preferences when you are a frequent visitor. For example during breakfast I get brought a coffee as I like it (black, so no sugar/milk/spoon on the side) and a glass of grapefruit juice.
Without me having to ask for it.
I have found myself to be so spoiled now, that in other lounges I sometimes forget to ask and then be confused why there is no coffee and juice. In the evening I like to drink a local (QingDao) beer. Out of the bottle directly. It is brought to me, almost instantly, without a glass. I don’t have to ask.
Gate-keeping is done quietly and respectfully. When you walk in for the first night/morning/time you first get brought to a free table, you're asked what you would like to drink, and then get asked, by the way, what your roomnumber would be. Maybe they have been lucky up till now, with having almost no problematic (attempts by) free-loaders, but still... I have been approached in less respectful ways, regarding this (sometimes very needed) checking (yes, also in China).
(I don’t always dress like a typical business traveler, so I have some experience with less polite gate-keeping in other hotels; especially at the "upper-tier" hotel brands here, but let's not elaborate....).
Overcrowding issues I have not yet seen; although sometimes, well, the Chinese will be Chinese
(you will sometimes be in need some earplugs, to listen to with music whilst working during the busy times).
Last but not least, they have real and large meeting rooms at the top floor. I think lounge visitors can use these for free for one or two hours, with additional fee required for longer usage (I believe something like 300 rmb/hr).
So, concluding, what is this lounge like?
It is perfect; 5 out of 5.
How's the evening food?
Another 5 out of 5.
I have gotten used to the fact that, when I am alone and/or working in the hotel, I do not have to spend time to go out for a decent dinner. Their offerings of food is very versatile and it varies from day to day. As an exception to the rule, I have stepped over my shyness and photographed today’s offered foods.
Two days ago I brought one of my colleagues to the lounge.
He too was quite impressed.
That day there was even a special treat:
Any free alcohol?
Yes. Plenty. Beer (multiple brands):
and a wide variety of stronger drinks (wines, whiskey, gin) and/or stuff for making cocktails (lemon slices, etc.).
You don’t get comments on how much you take/drink (as long as you keep your behavior decent of course);
I have tested this some time ago, staying an entire night, drinking far more than I should have done (no further details….). …and I got no comments, no bad looks, no shenanigans with the supply were played, there were no
(I wonder what they will do when a crowd does get a bit too rowdy (but I haven’t seen that happen yet)).
What're the hours?
From 06:00h to 23:59.
Outside hours for breakfast and “evening snack” times, there are small snacks like cake, fruit, etc.
And are they being meanies and closing the lounge at weekends?
7 days per week.
Without any noticeable difference, of the quality/quantity of foods offered and service provided, during the weekend or during working days.
How about Gold/Plat breakfast?
4,9 out of 5.
I don’t give 5/5 here because I know just how good the breakfast is in the main area, on the first floor c.q. breakfast area.
For breakfast a wide variety of foods is offered, which a recognize to be about 50% of the choices in the main area.
You can even have eggs baked/poached/cooked for you, on the spot, by a cook.
Coffee is good. There’s a wide variety of juices, yoghurt, etc.
There’s even a wide variety of good quality cheeses (Edam, Emmentaler, French cheese, etc.), salads, etc.
Everything is constantly replenished (no empty dishes) and they are not too strict with closing time c.q. taking away the foods. You will even, always, get informed in advance that they will be closing soon. You're five minutes too late? You are still able to get your food :-)
I think a room on the higher floors is considered to be an upgrade. I mostly get those; haven’t paid much attention to be honest, they always seem about the same (although I tend to get assigned to higher floors for shorter stays; I still need to form a theory to explain this observation).
You seem to get some more amenities on the higher floors than “normal” (a small bottle of mouth water for example) and there seems also to be a DVD player.
... but I don’t stay in the room to work. I only sleep there. I love the lounge for non-sleeping activities ;-).
Yes. Internet/wifi-connection is very good (it's much better than the heavily firewalled connections I encounter almost everywhere else in China).
And so are the toilets and about everything else.
They even have a corner with some pc's and printers you can use (first 20 prints seem to be free of charge, but I have never seen them charge you for a few more).