When I’m travelling, I feel this constant need to be busy. I feel guilty if I’m not utilising every minute to explore, discover and immerse myself into my new surroundings. Which is why, by day 16, I was shattered. I was half in a daze when a car with blacked out windows, driven by a man wearing white gloves pulled up to take me to the Shangri-La Hotel in Shanghai’s Jing’an area.
I had rough plans for the day in my head for after I’d checked in, but they totally fell by the wayside as soon as I walked into my home for the next two nights. A Horizon Club corner room on the 34th floor meant that I had a 180 degree view of Shanghai, looking down to Nanjing Road and the famous Pudong skyline. That was enough to shake me out of my semi-comatose state and inspire me to get exploring, only this time within the confines of the hotel. No guilt here; I knew I’d be spending the rest of my day in the hotel like a proper holidaymaker, and, against all my usual instincts, I started out in the gym.
I had an hour’s personal trainer session which gloriously stretched out my back after it had been battered by my huge rucksack and dodgy plane seats, and then ran on the state of the art treadmills facing out onto the famously busy Yan’an Elevated Road. Feeling slightly more human, but understandably bushed, I took a dip in the beautiful swimming pool before nestling in a cosy nook of my own whilst watching other (/better) swimmers.
The hotel has a number of incredible restaurants to choose from (hence why there was absolutely no need for me to leave!), and I started off with lunch in Tsuru for a Japanese feast and later indulged in an incredible steak dinner at The 1515 West Chophouse. These restaurants are more than deserving of individual reviews (which is what they will get!), but the photos can give you a hint of the beautiful food I was so lucky to try.
There is something extremely magical about lying in a bubble bath and peeking into the skyscrapers next door. I lowered the curtain so that I wasn’t flashing our new neighbours, but so that I could still see beautiful Jing’an Temple in the distance. I could’ve happily slept in the expansive bathroom with its twin sinks, incredible wet room style shower, L’Occitane smellies and a dressing area to put Carrie Bradshaw’s dream wardrobe to shame.
But that would’ve wasted the insanely beautiful bedroom. Elegant hints of purple, grey and gold draped the twin beds, and the sofa and two armchairs enveloped me in such cosiness that I forgot I was in one of the busiest cities in the world.
It really is something to have a slice of absolute serenity in a country that exudes anything but calm. I slept a blissful, dreamless sleep; the sort that I haven’t experienced in years and woke up, literally, on top of the world.
Thank you to the team at Shangri-La for inviting me to stay at their beautiful hotel. All opinions are very much my own.