from Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Submitted on 03-28-2016
They've made this really difficult to find online by adding "Jinjiang Shanghai" to the front of the name recently. And, bizarrely, there's a separate - and much more prominent - listing on TripAdvisor for the hotel "ballroom". Further confusion may arise from the fact that many sites have a separate listing for the Jing'An's "New Building" (although you have to be careful that attempts to book at the Jing'An do not allocate you to the New Building, which is ridiculously NOISY). There's another m...
They've made this really difficult to find online by adding "Jinjiang Shanghai" to the front of the name recently. And, bizarrely, there's a separate - and much more prominent - listing on TripAdvisor for the hotel "ballroom". Further confusion may arise from the fact that many sites have a separate listing for the Jing'An's "New Building" (although you have to be careful that attempts to book at the Jing'An do not allocate you to the New Building, which is ridiculously NOISY). There's another more modern, more business-y hotel, The Shanghai Hotel, just next door, which is apparently a related establishment too (not such a nice place to stay; but you are able to use some of their facilities, notably the good free wi-fi in the lobby cafe area).
The original "old building" of the Jing'An has a rare touch of period character about it; I'm sure it's all fake, but the interior decor has an early 20th century Art Deco style to it. Things were getting pretty tatty in many of the rooms, but over the last few years they've been systematically redecorating and refurbishing everything.
Even the smallest rooms are a fair size, and some of the larger suites are really quite expansive. They are quiet, and very nicely decorated. And there's a good cable TV package that includes CNN and HBO Movies (although the picture quality often drops off, starts pixelating). The one black mark is the ridiculously expensive pay-as-you-go wi-fi deal they try to force you to sign up to (guests have been complaining about this for years, but they won't change it). Luckily, there are several places nearby with good, free wi-fi (including the adjacent Shanghai Hotel, if you don't want to go too far afield to get your computer work done).
The other facilities aren't up to much. The "gym" is too small to be worth mentioning, just a handful of free weights. The bar and the business centre never seem to be open!! And I wouldn't use the restaurant - although it does provide one of the better hotel breakfasts to be found in China (not high praise!).
The reception staff are mostly very good, and all speak some English - not a great deal but enough to get the job done. The only problem I've ever had there is with the incredibly rude guy that used to manage the bar/coffee shop, and wouldn't let you sit in there without buying something (even if you were just waiting a few minutes for a crowd at the reception desk to clear before you could talk to a receptionist); but, luckily, he seems to have been moved over to the sister establishment, the Shanghai Business Hotel.
There is an elevator at each end of the building, from the lobby level to the top floor restaurant (only 9 floors); but unfortunately, there's a long flight of stairs up from the entrance to the lobby area, with no elevator or chair-lift - so, it's most definitely not wheelchair accessible.
The hotel's main advantage is that it enjoys such a quiet and secluded location, well back from the main roads (basically in the parking lot round the back of the Hilton). And it is very conveniently situated - just 10 minutes' walk from either the Jing'An Temple or Changshu Lu subway stops, and nearby to lots of great bars and restaurants around the westernmost end of the trendy 'French Concession' district. I've stayed here dozens of times over the past few years.
However, you do have to take care NOT to get booked in the "New Building" a few hundred metres away: the rooms there are tiny, the decor is bland, the beds are uncomfortable - and there is an appallingly LOUD entry buzzer for a delivery bay or something nearby which goes off every 30 seconds all day and all night and shakes the entire building. (Many Chinese guests seem prepared to put up with this. Foreigners, I'm sure, almost invariably complain. And if you do so, you might well be able to get a free upgrade - as I once did - to a nicer and more expensive room in the Jing'An Hotel proper. But I wouldn't want to take a chance on that! Just AVOID the horrible New Building!!)
The Jing'An Hotel's 'Old Building' offers some of the best value in Shanghai (whose hotel accommodation is mostly very expensive, but not very good): a touch of class you can't usually find in the mid-price range of accommodation.