July 11, 2011

NI HAO MA CHINA: Sleeping in Shanghai

Because we didn’t think we’ll be granted entry to the Peoples republic of China due to the usual 4 days VISA processing stretching to almost a month of unbearable waiting time and follow ups, we got so discouraged we didn’t do enough research prior to our trip to Shanghai. Our preparation consisted of few speed readings from Lonely Planet’s China guidebook and some unfocused internet research.

It’s bad enough that we didn’t do much research on such an expensive city and haphazard cyber hotel hunting just won’t cut it. Did I mention that Shanghai was hosting the World Expo at that time? Meaning, thousands of tourists from all over the world flocked to the city and made it even more difficult for us to book rooms. We also got scared with the bed bug horror stories we’ve come across on cheap hotel reviews so we're looking in the mid range accommodations.

Through agoda.com, we booked for 2 nights at the MANHATTAN BUND BUSINESS HOTEL, for Php 3,100 per night (or USD 63.26. At the time of travel, exchange rate is 1 USD = Php 49). Manhattan Bund Business Hotel sits just a block away from the Bund’s riverfront viewing deck and Nanjing Road and a couple of blocks from the train's ticket center. For the very central location, the rate at agoda is a great steal. Although the rooms were really small it was spotlessly clean and the ensuite bath with ample hot and cold water was spacious enough, complimentary toiletries were also laid out neatly. It has a flat screen TV with zero English channels and an electric water kettle for your coffee. The bed was comfy enough, white linens and best of all, no bed bugs! I find it a little odd though for a business hotel to have mirrors right above the bed - a round- shaped bed. Our flight landed a quarter before midnight and we checked in at about 1 am but we we're shown to our room right away.

Manhattan Bund Business Hotel
hotel's restaurant
kinky round-shaped bed
even kinkier mirror right above our bed
that's how much walk space you have
really clean bathroom
We were hoping to catch a sleeper train to Beijing when we get to Shanghai so we did not book for the
remainder of our stay, but as it is, train availability were even scarcer. We thought we could also scout
around the area to look for cheaper hotels and get to inspect them first, but as you’ve guessed, they are
all booked to the brim and even if something opens up, it will be beyond our budget as everything seems to be priced north of USD150.

We would have stayed for 2 nights more, but since we only have reserved for the previous 2, we had to move to another hotel.

HOTEL TOPSUN ON THE BUND was our second hotel. The location is not as great as we need to hop on a cab to get to the Bund but the room was bigger than our first one. It had an office desk, a couch and a center table, starched white linens, comfortable bed and fluffy enough pillows. The ensuite bathroom have an ample supply of hot and cold shower, complimentary toiletries and a bath tub . The hallway and the lobby needs a bit more polishing and tidying up though as it wasn't as clean as it's supposed too. Service is lamentable and we paid Php 3,750 (USD 76.53) per room per night.

Hotel Topsun on The Bund standard room
bath tub, yes that's our bed!
hot and cold shower
view from our room
We find that the best feature of Topsun is the nightly street side feast just outside its doors. The best tasting grilled lamb kebabs, stir fried noodles and aromatic steaming bowl of hand pulled noodles on the cheap. A convenience store is also situated in front while the international fast food chain KFC with their divine Portuguese egg tarts right at the corner. These egg tarts are so good we hoarded and brought some home.

 MANHATTAN BUND BUSINESS HOTEL : No.81-85 Dianchi Road, Huangpu District

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HOTEL TOPSUN ON THE BUND: No.36 Huimin Road,Shanghai  

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  1. Thanks for sharing! Will definitely use this in my future Shanghai travel. :)

  2. Panalo yung kinky bed at kinky mirror parang meron silang mensahe na nais iparating ;)

  3. You're welcome Dylan, our pleasure to share:-)

    Hi Claire! kaloka yong mirrors and bed, and it's supposed to be a business hotel haha.


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