As I write this I'm in Shanghai in the Hotel Indigo, overlooking the river with it's continual traffic of sand, coal, lumber, and dinner cruises. I have a corner river view premier room...very nice. The view is absolutely magnificent, at least on those days when the haze/smog isn't too bad. The hotel is very modern and new. The staff is helpful and eager. The only complaint I have is....THE PRICE. This place is grossly overpriced in every way except the free wi-fi. I was here for two nights, then went to X'ian, and am back here now readying for my journey home to usa.
In X'ian I stayed at the New Century Holiday Inn and it was also nice and modern, though it's WAY inconvenient if you're a tourist. It's about a 20-30 minute taxi ride from downtown, city wall, temples, museums etc. And the price is much better....about $70 usd for a king room. There is currrently lots of construction next door and they like to work through the night, but lucky for me I'm a good sleeper so it didn't bother me much.