Establishment neighborhood
Capella Shanghai Jian Ye Li
Jian Ye Li 480 W. Jianguo Rd., Xuhui District
Located in the former French Concession neighborhood–a quiet, residential spot with tree-lined brick walkways–this boutique villa hotel is excellent if you're looking for a quieter stay in the city. The grounds are both historic and impressive: the buildings, all of which were built in the 1930's, are of the Shikumen-style architecture distinctive to Shanghai and include elaborate stone gates and brick detailing. Each room is technically a two-story home in which there's at least one bedroom, two baths, and a private patio. The service here is impeccable: a personal assistant contacts you prior to arrival to tailor your stay (say, for gluten-free meals or site-seeing plans), and the staff offers grocery shopping services for longer visits. Given its proximity to the city's stellar food scene, you may want to venture out for dinner, but it's worth booking at least one meal at Le Comptoir de Pierre Gagnaire, the hotel's in-house restaurant serving incredible authentic French food.
The Peninsula Shanghai
32 Zhongshan Dong Yi Rd., Waitan Residential District
This classic hotel hails from a hospitality family we've loved forever—and its Shanghai outpost offers all the amenities you've come to expect—solid service, clean design, an over-the-top ESPA spa, complimentary Rolls Royce or BMW airport transfers—plus, drop-dead views of the Pudong skyline. It's the first building to be constructed on the historic bund in Shanghai in the last seventy years, a fact that makes it an attraction in its own right. Each of the 235 rooms feature a tranquil neutral-and-blue color scheme, lacquer cabinetry, leather headboard, and, best yet, a walk-in dressing room. For hungry guests, the restaurants Sir Elly's and Yi Long Court are both Michelin-star gems.