Back in the late 1990s when the Jin Mao skyscraper opened, the Grand Hyatt was among the highest hotels in the world, taking the top floors of the building and catering to diplomats and business executives. Since then, the competition in luxury high-rise hotels has multiplied, and this spot is working to catch up although rooms over-looking the city are still breathtaking and seemingly in the clouds. In 2013, the Grand Hyatt was halfway through a renovation that started with the rooms and will finish with the bars and restaurants. Upgrades are being done quietly and with no disturbances to guests, morphing small and dark rooms into accommodations with brighter colors and modern furniture. The hotel still has luxury and style, but is value-priced relative to some of the newer five-star hotels in Pudong.

Try the Cucina Italian restaurant, which is among the better Italian restaurants on the Pudong side of the city, as the executive chef hails from Italy, seafood is fresh and wood-oven fired pizza crusts flaky and light. Of all the restaurants in the hotel, it also hogs the best views as it overlooks the Pearl Tower. The three nightlife venues have live music every night, and the Cloud 9 Sky Bar circles the top floor with 360-degree views of the city.