Fashioned from a French villa once belonging to infamous gangster "Big Ears" Du, the Mansion feels like a smaller, more exclusive version of one of the state-run heritage hotels but suffers a few of the same service issues. The lobby is a marvel, festooned with traditional Chinese furnishings and colonial-era museum pieces, such as the grandfather clocks and the gramophone. Rooms are each uniquely laid out, though consistent in their high ceilings, bathroom Jacuzzis, thick carpet, and hardwood furniture. The Bose iPod docks add a modern touch. There's a great outdoor terrace in the upstairs restaurant and champagne bar. For all its opulence, though, service can be poor. Though there are no major sights on the doorstep, the location is absolutely superb for pedestrian exploration of the French Concession.