Royal International Hotel - Shanghai, China
Address: 998 Xiuchuan Road, Chuansha, Shanghai 201200
Clean. Modern. Comfortable. What else can I say to describe my experience at the Royal International Hotel?
I stayed at the Royal during a transit through Shanghai. Let me be precise so I can take yet another shot at China Eastern Airlines. After being royally screwed by them when they cancelled one leg of my flight and then left me with my balls in my hand, I was forced to book a hotel in Shanghai. Either that, or spend 12 hours sitting in an airport after a 15 hour flight. I opted for the hotel! I did not feeling like taking a dump in a squat potty (although I’m half kidding since the airport has “western” or “5 star” style bathrooms).
After much reviewing, the Royal looked interesting. It cost me about $90, wasn’t terribly far from the airport, and the photos had some nice things to say on TripAdvisor. In case you’re wondering, if you have a Canadian or USA passport, you can get a 24 hour transit visa while at the airport to go and roam while why wait for your next flight. And yes, you can do this without having to spend money at the local consulate or embassy before you leave on your trip.
Since the subway system is attached to the airport, I went straight from the airport to the hotel, which was just a few blocks from the transit line. Not including the missed stop, I would say it takes approximately 30 minutes to get from the subway stop at the airport to the subway stop nearest the hotel. Tack on another 10 minute walk and you’re there!
This hotel is quite impressive. It is not in a very industrial area of the city so the giant building stands like a monolith in this section of the city. It has a glass façade so you’d think it was some misplaced building from Las Vegas, including the fancy fountain etc.
Check-in was fast. I had an interesting stay since I was only checking in early in the morning, and checking out, mid-afternoon which I had to explain to them. The receptionist didn’t seem to understand English surprisingly however I had another individual during check-out who did understand. They took my credit card info for ancillaries and led me up to my room. I was impressed!
The room was modern, super clean, with an amazing view, and had every updated amenity you could think of, and an amazing floor to ceiling view. The bathroom had its own hot-tub with it’s own TV and remote. Also cool was the glass partition between the bathroom and the rest of the room because at the flick of a switch, you could make the glass opaque or transparent. Very nice. Even the bathroom came with everything you could think of from a razor and comb to a toothbrush. And for those picky sleepers, yes, the bed was very comfortable. Instead of me babbling about it, take a look at the pictures and judge for yourself.
Of course, I was hungry. There were quite a number of small local hole-in-the-walls all around the hotel, but given that they were VERY local in nature, the hope of ordering what you wanted was slim to none if you didn’t speak Mandarin or Cantonese. Trust me, this hotel is not in one of the international areas of Shanghai. The hotel itself has a couple of restaurants on site including a sushi restaurant as well as an international restaurant (ie. chicken sandwiches, French fries, etc.). While the sushi restaurant was tempting, I opted for the international restaurant.
The hotel was not very busy. At the restaurant there was only me, another man, and a family. The restaurant looked high end with cloth tablecloths and all that fancy stuff you usually see. I think I ordered a chicken sandwich with fries, my excuse being that it would be the last American food I’d be eating for a few weeks. It tasted fine.
Even though I wasn’t at the hotel for very long, I decided to indulge in a bubble bath while watching a Chinese soap opera. Why not? Use up the toiletries that came with the place and indulge myself before the next let of the trip.
On my way out, it happened to be sprinkling a bit. The manager at the door offered to give me an umbrella to walk back to the subway which I thought was nice. I politely declined given that there was no need to have extra stuff to carry around through the airport.
As I walked back to the subway through the smoky streets of Shanghai with roasted duck and miscellaneous pastry shops surrounding me, I felt rested, ready for the next leg of my journey. While I had chosen the Royal International for a quick layover to lie down for a couple of hours and take a dump, it turned out to be one of the nicest hotels where I’d ever had the pleasure of staying.