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“Brilliant hotel - Boutique with flair and amazing service!”

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Hotel Indigo Shanghai on the Bund
Ranked #26 of 5,138 Hotels in Shanghai
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 2 May 2012

What a wonderful hotel!
Decided to treat ourselves to a two night stay at Hotel Indigo after a work conference at a big conference hotel in Suzhou. Having read the many glowing reviews all I can say is that I fully agree with them! All the staff made our stay very special and everyone was so friendly. The breakfast was divine. The design of all the spaces - lobby, rooms, bathrooms, quay, pool - was fabulous and inspiring, chic and modern yet comfortable and warm. And the view - breathtaking.
A great young enthusiastic team in an ideal setting.
The perfect finish to our china experience.
Thank you.

Room Tip: Upgrade to a river bund pudong corner room (09 room)
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  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled as a couple
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    • Service
2  Thank EricaFuxing
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 1 May 2012

Just got back from spending 10 days at the Indigo. Here's the full report highlighting the pros & cons for all aspects of the hotel, including those items that are in need of improvement in order to make this truly an "Excellent" hotel. Warning: this review is long & with lots of details, written by a picky NYer... just like all my other reviews ;)

LOCATION:
Pros: If you're looking for "The View" that makes you feel you're really in Shanghai and not some random city, look no further. Our room was on the 27th floor, faced North, and had sweeping views of the old city, the Bund, the river and Pudong. There are no other tall buildings around this one, so most floors command excellent views of Shanghai. During the day it's very interesting, but at night it's truly amazing with the Las Vegas-like light shows put on by the skyscrapers and boat tours. If you are a Walker or Runner, location is great because hotel is situated right on the elevated river walkway (Bund). At a NYC walking pace you can walk from hotel to the end of Bund in 30 minutes (looks further). Several hotels and restaurants say they are "on the Bund" when they are in fact only NEAR it, but this one truly is ON it!
Cons (maybe): There is almost nothing immediately near this hotel in terms of restaurants or shops. So if you're looking to walk out your front door and grab a coffee and roll, or a convenience store / bar / clothing shop, then this is not the hotel for you (yet) - you'd probably be happier at a hotel near People's Square or in the French Concession. Aside from the hotel's own restaurants Quay and Char, your closest restaurants are 2 formal Chinese located on the river walkway. If you walk a full 15 minutes in any direction you'll find more choices. If you need immediate access to a subway line, this isn't close - again, a full 15 minute walk at a good pace to get to a station. But taxis are CHEAP in this town and if you don't care about other food options immediately next to your hotel, then this section really isn't a "con" - let's move on!

ROOMS:
Pros: Gorgeous, trendy, boutique decor. Entire wall behind our bed was image of a Chinese teahouse or something... again, we really felt like we were in Shanghai. Bed was comfortable, linens and towels were great, AC and heat worked and showed both C and F temps, kettle for tea and coffee along with interesting selections for both, hot shower with multiple jet options and great pressure, Japanese toilet that can do interesting things for you, etc.

Cons: Noise! Depending on location of your room, if you are a Light Sleeper remember to bring your white noise machine (or download an app for that like I did!). The hotel interior is very quiet, and we never saw another guest on our floor or heard a thing from next door. BUT... there is a construction site directly across the street from the hotel. And they do construction ALL NIGHT LONG. Want to know why Shanghai appears to erect new buildings overnight? Because they literally work at welding, hammering, pounding All Day, All Night. This will undoubtedly go away once the buildings are up... but right now the foundation isn't even poured. Perhaps our room had leaky windows, perhaps if you get a room facing only the river/Pudong to the East you will not hear this. But sound travels, and if you need absolute quiet to sleep or work in your room this can be a challenge right now. Also, WiFi was spotty at best - worked better during "non peak" hours (4 am, 10 pm).

FOOD:
Pros: Breakfast buffet each morning was wonderful. Considering there are no other nearby options to eat breakfast (or grab coffee/roll), I highly recommend booking the room rate that includes the breakfast each day. Well worth it, incredible value - you get the entire buffet PLUS any hot item on the menu (scrambled eggs, Japanese breakfast, benedict, pancakes, dim sum, full English, etc). Buffet presented gorgeously every AM: fresh croissants baked in front of you, moist muffins, bread pudding, assortment of artisan breads for toasting, interesting jams & spreads (carrot jam!!), pigs in a blanket with bacon, more fresh fruit than you can imagine, cheese, ham, prosciutto, lox & fixings, yogurts, juices, milk options, dry cereals & dried fruits/nuts, shanghai noodles with oils/vinegars/vegetables, congee with fixings, etc. Everything was super fresh, moist, delicious. This is honestly the best breakfast buffet I've ever experienced. And the coffee was wonderful. Oh, and every morning they give you a shot glass of a different fresh fruit juice (watermelon puree, cuke & melon puree, etc).
For Lunch, get the chicken sandwich or the noodles - both are amazing! We ate at Quay one night and it was "okay". We did not eat at Char.
CONS: Yes, there are 2 but they are small: first, hard boiled eggs should be offered on the buffet, that's pretty standard elsewhere and shouldn't be skipped here. Second, cooked to order items off the menu were hit or miss. Twice the scrambled eggs came out light and fluffy like a dream, but more often than not they resembled the over-cooked, small-curd scrambled eggs that come in fried rice (boo). Eggs Benedict should be served on English Muffins - Always (not white bread). "Full" breakfast that advertised sauteed spinach literally gave me ONE small spoonful of spinach on the plate. If I had been paying for those items, I would not have been happy with these amateur mistakes.

SERVICE:
Ahh, the service. This to me is what really differentiates a hotel between 'good' and 'great'. And this was the area where the Indigo needs the most help in order to bring it to it's full potential. Am I being picky? Yes. It's all in the nuances. I know other reviews say "great service!" but if you're really used to Great Service, this is not it... it's simply Friendly Service right now.
Pros: The staff really, really wants to help you. Everyone greets you with a smile, looks you in the eye, nods, says yes, etc.
Cons: Most of them don't know what they're doing. Is there a language barrier that is my fault? Absolutely. I don't speak but a few words of Chinese and I'm sure I mangle those as well. (For you English speakers, I found Gigi, Anthony and Daniel to not only be the best English speakers but also very efficient.) However, here are a few things that I experienced and it was frustrating that a hotel of this caliber (and we travel with IHG all the time, as we're Platinum):
1. Every Front Desk staff member I encountered told me THEY were the Concierge, THEY could help me book X, Y or Z, etc. And then I'd say "where do I go to get a massage?" or "what are my options for night river boat cruises?", really simple requests, and I'd get terrified stares, stammering, conferring with other confused front desk agents, mangled phone calls to outside vendors, etc. It was honestly a freaking mess. Mind you, in the Hotel Book in every room there is an entire section that says "Please ask us, we know the VERY BEST place you can find X Y or Z" (and the caps are theirs - not mine). What no one bothers to tell you is that there is indeed a Concierge Desk, it is located on the 6th floor on the way to restaurant Quay, and they are better equipped to help you book things. During my stay this person was Daniel and he more or less took care of me after I found him. Daniel is not a traditional concierge in the way that you expect at an Excellent, 5 star hotel but he does his best under the circumstances and he became my go-to person while I stayed here. The best thing this hotel can do for itself is to get a Full Time Concierge who is Fully Trained in the craft. I can't stress that enough. That desk was empty 50% of the time time because Daniel was called away to other managerial duties, at times I was supplying THEM with basic information from my Frommer's guide book, there were no unique suggestions coming from that side of the desk, etc. Once they invest in a full time, fully trained concierge this hotel is going to become more of a player. Our concierge Jack at the Crowne Plaza in Beijing (visited after Shanghai) was knowledgeable off the top of his head, made suggestions, booked stuff immediately, and I had my restaurants/tour bookings for my 4 days in under an hour. Nice!! (hint: See what concierge Kevin McQuade did to wow guests & increase business for the Holiday Inn in Charleston, SC and now does for the Marriott in that same city.)
2. Attention to detail by the Staff. We get the feeling that most of the staff is very green, very new, and needs more training - most appeared to not have answers/know what was going on. One time we left our DND light on when we left the room for the day and maid service still made up the room (big no no). We requested more hangers for the room (which involved me having to go down to the lobby and draw a picture of a hanger), they were delivered and the next day the maid took away the 4 that my husband hadn't gotten around to hanging something on yet - so that required another trip to the lobby, more drawings, etc. Wanted to have a drink before 6 pm and was told by Quay waitress at 4 pm that there was no place to get one (found out they do serve drinks at Quay prior to 6 pm!). One time I was looking for Daniel the concierge, was told by a Quay waitress to have a seat and wait for him, after a full 10 minutes went by and her passing me several times, I flagged her down and asked when he was coming only to be told that he was in a meeting and wouldn't be done for another hour. Small stuff? You bet. But stuff like this happened EVERY DAY over 10 days, to the point where it became a joke between my husband and I each morning as to what frustrating thing would we encounter with the staff that day. On a long trip, and at a hotel that is supposed to be A+, this stuff shouldn't happen every day.

AMENITIES:
BAR: Char is on the 30th floor, super swanky with a decent drink menu. Large outdoor patio overlooking Bund, River, Pudong. Saw a turn-table there but it wasn't in use during the times I went. CONS: Bar doesn't open up until 6 pm. Really?? This should be 5 pm, and there should be shade coverage on the outdoor patio.
POOL: I don't need a sweat house, but I don't want to be "cold" either. The water temp was cool which is okay if you're heating up the room, but they're not... so you've got AC blowing in the area and a cold water temp (they say it's 29 degrees C, which is about 80-something F, and there is no way on this planet that was true!). Even my hubby is always hot found it uncomfortable - we tried 3 times to enjoy this area and only managed to get into pool once (after a long, hot walk we were on) and then only stayed about 5 mins. Bummer.

Would I go back again? Yes. It's my hope that at that point they will have ironed out the rough spots to make this the A+ hotel it almost is.

One Last Tip for Shanghai in General: Reserve, Reserve, Reserve. I can't stress this enough. Even if they tell you (esp at the hotel) "oh, no problem, you can reserve the day of or a day before" - don't believe it. We got locked out of a few things and restaurants because we were not prepared by how everything (even small/scrappy things you think "No way!") gets booked up and reserved well in advance. If you think you might want to do it/go there - BOOK IT ASAP.

PS: Best Dumplings? Hands down its Yang's Fried Dumplings (find out where on trip advisor listings). You get 4 for 6 RMB ($1 at time of posting), take a minute to watch how the locals eat them before you dig in, there's seating upstairs too, and you can curse me later for the cravings that will ensue for this delectable treat once you leave Shanghai.

Room Tip: Best Views are on the North Facing Rooms, Quieter Rooms face the East.
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  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
6  Thank LemonCake
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 April 2012

I just checked in and was told I have been upgraded. But when I walked in, the room is facing construction site, and have partial view of the river...(.only if I turned my head very hard to see it). I was also given one of lowest flOor(8th floor), and was told there's no more rooms at upper floor. But I saw someone else getting upper floor after negotiating hard to get it. Anyway. I am disappointed with the treatment. Overall hotel is nice and good location.... Can't flaw indigo in this case.Hope they can platinum member better next time. Perhaps platinum means nothing....

Stayed: April 2012
Thank hstan80
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bruce_au, General Manager at Hotel Indigo Shanghai on the Bund, responded to this reviewResponded 2 May 2012

Hi hstan80,

Many thanks for your feedback to us and I am pleased that overall you liked our hotel.

I am disappointed that you felt the upgrade to a river view room was not acknowledgment of your Priority Club Platinum status. Our company's policy is to automatically upgrade full rate platinum guests - it is more difficult to offer this benefit to our points redemption customers as the redemption is based on our hotels lead in rate - however at Hotel Indigo we will always try to do something a little extra for our Platinum guests which is why we offered you the river view room. In fact our hotel was very full that night so a higher floor was not possible.
The construction site you mentioned is a vacant lot and has no construction on it.

We have updated your guest profile and will certainly do all possible to ensure you have a great room when you return.

Best regards from the entire team


Bruce

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 April 2012

We chose this hotel after it appeared as one of the boutique hotel to check out in Shanghai on a newspaper review. After comparing Indigo with few other options weighing of course the price, we are glad to stay we definitely made the right choice! Staffs were friendly and very helpful. Location is as good as it gets if you get a room with a view of the Bund, blows your mind as you can see the opposite of the Bund too. We tried the restaurant once and found it decent, although it seems to be slighlty dim, perhaps to draw attention to the neon lights outside.

The decor of the room is very stylish and designed with some quirky decorations. Loved every single moment we were here. Don't miss out the swimming pool, a swim in the evening with the view is second to none!

  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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1  Thank bluestar428
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 April 2012

The hotel was well organized and the staff was fantastic and friendly.
Boutique style hotel at its best, with great location and wonderful extras such as free wifi, large rooms, great organic local toiletries, amazing views, free massage chairs, library for quiet time with free book xchange and delicious cafe breakfast selections.
Will definitely stay here again and recommend with pleasure.

  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank JuneXuhi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hotel Indigo Shanghai on the Bund

Address: No.585 Zhong Shan Dong Er Road, Huangpu, Shanghai 200010, China
Phone Number:
Region: China > Shanghai Region > Shanghai > South Bund
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #26 of 5,138 Hotels in Shanghai
Price Range: ₹ 12,748 - ₹ 29,138 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Hotel Indigo Shanghai on the Bund 4.5*
Number of rooms: 184
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Hotel Indigo’s first property in Asia Pacific opened its doors in December 2010. Sitting directly on the Huangpu riverfront, Hotel Indigo Shanghai on the Bund assures not only spectacular views of both the historic Bund and dramatic Pudong skylines, but an upscale boutique hotel experience where the focus is on inspired service, fresh and vibrant design reflecting the local neighbourhood, and providing guests with an authentic taste of today’s Shanghai, where old and new converge. Featuring 184 rooms, including 23 suites, each individually designed room at Hotel Indigo Shanghai on the Bund provides all of the creature comforts expected from an upscale boutique property, but they are anything but ordinary. Maximizing the spectacular views and combining traditional and modern Chinese design and bespoke pieces, each room provides an intimate haven and unexpected details – be it the walk in “shell shower” featured in a number of guest bathrooms, the oversized wet room with spectacular views, the reclaimed Shikumen brick feature wall or the hidden refreshment bar with individually designed tea sets. All Guests can enjoy the bund view at the public areas. Attention: The Shanghai Regulations on Smoking Control in Public Places took effect on March 1, 2017. Hotel can’t offer smoking room and smoking has been banned in indoor place. ... more   less 
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