I flew from Beijing to Shanghai and landed at Hongqiao Airport. Flagged down a taxi to take me to the hotel, but the taxi driver didn't know where it was. Asked another driver, who didn't know either. Pretty soon, about 5-6 drivers were having a small conference how to get to the She Shan Tourist Area. I took out my mobile phone, called the hotel, and asked the Concierge to give directions to the driver. So, for anyone planning to stay at this hotel, either book a car to pick you up or have the taxi driver (or you) call the hotel for directions.
The hotel is advertised at 20 minutes from Hongqiao, but it took me about 35 minutes to get there. Granted, there was a lot of road construction going on. The taxi had to go through quite a few industrial areas, and then some pretty run down areas of Shanghai before getting to She Shan. The Le Meridien She Shan is situated in the Tourist Area, and is undoutedly the best hotel there.
Driving up to the hotel, I could see a lot of private cars parked around and outside. I guess a lot of local families come here for the weekend (it was a Saturday) to enjoy the place. The building is actually three wings. The entrance is at the centre building. Upon entering the lobby, I could just see how HUGE this place was. One side of the lobby was glass-enclosed and looked out to the (man-made?) lake and man-made beach (actually, just sand). I saw a lot of Chinese families in the lobby, all getting ready to go swimming or playing the beach. Suprisingly, some caucasian families here as well...maybe expats working in Shanghai and staying at the hotel for a weekend getaway.
Booked a rate of RMB 888/night via spg.com. This included a RMB 460 credit for F&B, which I used for dinner that night and in-room breakfast the next morning. Another rate which was available was RMB 718/night, with 2 buffet breakfasts included. Because of my platinum status, I was upgraded to a Junior Suite. Platinum amenity was not immediately offered, and I had to ask for it (it's the standard Platinum Amenity choices). There is no lounge in this hotel. Reception was manned by a gentleman and a lady, both quite young. Their english was not very proficient, which is surprising for a five-star hotel in Shanghai. This was probably the lowest English proficiency level I have encountered in Shanghai. They could converse, but not very fluently and confidently.
Anyway, I took the set of elevators right next to the Reception, to the top floor (the hotel only has 4 floors). This put me right between the centre and right wings. The corridors on the uppers floors were not air conditioned, and felt very, very stuffy and warm (it was 34 degrees in Shanghai). Now, I could really see how BIG this hotel was. The corridor leading from the elevators through the centre wing and to the last (left) wing seemed endless. And, it was just my luck that my room was at the left wing. So, a long walk.
I was totally taken aback by the size of the suite, room 4013. With the exception of my stay in a suite at the Grand Hyatt Bali, this suite has got to be one of the biggest suites I have ever been in...maybe 1,500 to 2,000 sq. ft.? There was nothing "Junior" about this suite. Entering the room, there is a guest washroom on the right-hand side. Then, a corner of the room is taken up by a huge mirror and cabinet, with a dining table in front. The table had 4 chairs, but could easily sit 8 people. There was a worktable and desk separating the dining room from the living room. The living room had an L-shaped sofa and a huge round coffee table, and then another single-seat sofa on the side. Along the wall was a huge LCD tv. The farthest wall was actually floor-to-ceiling window, which opened up to a balcony with lounge chairs and table. The balcony overlooked the park. A set of sliding double doors on one wall opens up to the bedroom. The bed is VERY comfortable, and I had an excellent night's sleep. Another huge LCD tv is in the bedroom. In one corner is a round sofa/chair which was very comortable to sit in and read my novel. The bedroom also opens up to another huge balcony. From the bedroom, you can walk though one door into a walk-in closet, and then through another door into a huge bathroom. The close and bathroom then connects again via a door on the the far end. A free-standing tub sits in the centre of the bathroom. There are two sinks. There is an enclosed toilet and also a separate (rain)shower. All the towels in the bathroom are stitched with blue lettering: "Executive Suite".
Although the room design was quite nice, the workmanship of the wood, trims, finish, paint, etc. was not very good. You could see drawers and cabinets which couldn't close properly, wood which was not sanded smooth, electric sockets and light switches with the cover not put on straight, some wires protruding, etc. It would have done the hotel to spend a little bit more time to get the finish right.
I went down for dinner at the Cafe on the lobby level around 7:00pm. This restaurant was also HUGE, and could come close to the size of some buffet restaurants in Las Vegas! Besides me, there was only one other table with two guests. Where was everyone? It turns out that most guests went out to the outdoor restaurant, where they were having a barbecue and grill. Not for me...I'd rather sit back in an airconditioned restaurant with my novel! The menu was typical "coffee shop menu". Prices similar to any five-star hotel in Shanghai city proper. I did see a buffet table and open kitchen in one corner, but the buffet was not being offered that evening. Later, around 8:00pm, some families with screaming children came to the restaurant for dinner. There goes my quiet reading time...back to the room.
I walked aroudn the hotel for awhile, and they do have many glass-enclosed conference rooms on the ground floor. And, function rooms and ballrooms are also quite numerous. In fact, there is also a store selling or renting (?) wedding gowns, so I would expect that the hotel hosts quite a lot of wedding parties. I looked into the swimming pool and gym, and they were too crowded with families. Not bad facilities, though.
I was planning to spend a relaxing morning the next day, but the electricity to my room promptly cut out at 11:00am sharp. I opened the door to my room, and looked out into the corridor, but all the lights were working. I called down to reception and asked why my room didn't have electricity, and he said they would send someone up to fix shortly. I didn't bother to wait, and decided to check out.
Checkout was quick. I was told not to wait for taxis because this resort is really far away from the city, and taxis just don't come here empty. So, I booked a limousine from the hotel to the Grand Hyatt Shanghai at RMB 200 (it should be RMB 250, but I get 20% limousine services included in my rate). Out of curiosity, I asked about the price of a limousine from the hotel to Pudong Airport, and it was RMB 800.
Definitely do NOT stay in this hotel if you have anything to do in Shanghai city. It's just too far away and transportation is very inconvenient. But, as an add-on to a business trip for a relaxing 1-2 days, the Le Meridien She Shan is perfect.
I've taken a lot of pictures of the suite, but I don't have any facility to post them publicly. If anyone wants to post them on my behalf, or if you want pictures, please PM me and I'll email to you.