Worldwide, the quality of W Hotels can be spotty—but this one is a high spot indeed. This new build opened in 2017 and the big red W atop its tower instantly took its place among the skyscrapers of central Shanghai. As with most Ws, it makes a strong effort to meld Western-style hip luxury with an artsy nod to local culture and traditions, and the blend is reflected in fun light sculptures, mock historical graffiti in the main restaurant, and even novelty dumpling-and-chopsticks decorative bed pillows that evoke traditional Shanghainese culture. There's nothing dumpy or dark about the vibe, which takes Shanghai's Art Deco glory days and twists them into something that wouldn't be out of place on Miami's South Beach. In summer, the pool deck, which overlooks the river, is packed with celebrants; on Sundays it grooves to a gobsmacking all-day, all-you-can-eat brunch; and even in smoggy or cold weather, the lobby bar attracts fun-loving locals with an evening DJ and frisky cocktails—try the negroni served under a glass dome of sage smoke. The best part, especially for guests coming off a 12-hour journey from other places, is the view that fills your eyes when you open your door: Shanghai's skyline floods your room. Windows are floor-to-ceiling to better soak up that sensational, multicolored panorama of Pudong's skyscrapers, across the river, and The Bund, a 15-minute walk away (despite the hotel's name, it's not actually on the Bund—it just owns a great view of it). Cleverly, all rooms face the river and the less prestigious real estate, facing inland, is for the service areas. So the price of the room escalates with the floors; pay more, get more of a view, from low-down Cozy to high-up Fabulous, plus suites beyond those. The low-priced rooms may not have tubs, but they do have terrific daybeds built into the windows so you can luxuriate in that world-famous view. The nearest Metro stop is pretty much underneath the building, the cruise terminal is pretty much next door, and although a new shopping mall is attached to the complex, the area is fairly mellow.
W Shanghai—The Bund
No.66 Lvshun Road, Shanghai
Our Rating Neighborhood International Settlement Transportation Metro: International Passenger Transport Center (Line 12) Phone +86-21-2286-9999 Prices Doubles from $275 Amenities Indoor/outdoor pool with bar, spa, two indoor bars, two restaurants, fitness center, free Wi-Fi Units 374 units Web site W Shanghai—The Bund