“Relaxed city hotel with an intimate vibe, oriental-style and a top location in the midst of bustling authentic Chinatown”
Shanghai Mansion Bangkok's charming rooms are spread across a number of floors. We stayed in a cosy Superior Room (Mei Hua, meaning ‘Plum Blossom’) which was decorated in a vibrant contemporary Chinese style, and had a carved wooden four-poster bed, silk cushions, a polished-concrete floor, brightly coloured rugs, and red and lilac painted walls.
Suites (Mu Dan) are bigger and feature a free-standing bathtub, a living area and a private terrace with a daybed. That extra space makes all the difference. Some overlook Chinatown’s main thoroughfare, and with that bustling view comes some traffic noise. Swing open red double doors and you'll find an open-concept bathroom with shower, large hanging lanterns and a birdcage sporting ornamental birds.
But our rooms of choice are the grand, romantic Deluxe (Ying Hua) ‘Cherry Blossom’ rooms, decorated in opulent '30s Shanghai style. Each has its own calligraphy sign above the door, a luxurious double bed and, their piece de resistance, a deep free-standing bathtub, as well as access to a shared terrace. The ones in front are somewhat exposed to noise from the restaurant. Those on the second floor surround a landscaped goldfish pond.
Most rooms look onto the hotel's interior atrium through stained-glass windows, and all feature a satellite TV, WiFi, a complimentary minibar (with beer, soft drinks and snacks), and tea-making facilities (Chinese tea, of course).
Breakfast (6.30-10.30am) is included in the room rate. A buffet spread is provided in the stylish lobby lounge, with its kitschy paintings of Jazz-era Chinese beauties and opulent fabrics. It is reached via a cast-iron winding staircase from the lobby or, in style, through the glass doors on the third floor. You get a mix of Western and Asian options, including fresh fruit, cereal, yoghurt, pancakes, ham, toast, dim sum and tea and coffee.
Red Rose is open for lunch and dinner on the third floor. It’s a restaurant-cum-jazz bar which hosts a nightly live band. The decor is wonderfully Chinese, so it felt a little peculiar to be tucking into our Chinese roast duck and pak choi fried in garlic while listening to a cover band sing Eternal Flame. On offer is the usual mix of drinks, as well as a substantial Thai and Chinese menu; we wish we’d had the chance (or appetite) to try the deep-fried sea bass, crab meat with broccoli and chilli, or ma-po tofu with squid ink noodles. It’s a great place to escape the bustle and heat of Chinatown and unwind with a cocktail; we liked the sound of the Shanghai mojito.
There’s a complimentary dim sum afternoon tea, served in the lobby lounge outside the rooms. Sample the selection of fresh fruit and Chinese teas; all of which is served up by friendly smiling old ladies who explained the difference between each pot of leaves - after an exhausting morning of shopping, it was a welcome break from the hustle and bustle outside.
Be sure to eat out while you're here as this area serves the full gamut of glutinous banquet food. Seafood lovers have only to walk a few paces to be sated beyond their wildest dreams. To your right are a number of popular seafood restaurants, but better still, turn into the soi (street) known as Soi Texas which has a popular market selling huge fresh prawns, sea bass and crabs - watch them sizzle over charcoal fires before tucking in. Be sure to try the suki (Thai hotpot with a dipping sauce) which is very good here, too. A string of restaurants on the main drag specialise in controversial dishes such as shark's fin and bird's nest soup (both in places open to the street and in more upmarket, indoor air-conditioned venues, with big, important cars parked outside), though these can be easily avoided. Street food vendors abound; noodles in the fruit market (100m away to the right) are excellent.
Shanghai Mansion Bangkok welcomes all ages. Baby cots are free of charge, and extra beds incur an additional charge, however 1 child under 12 can stay in their parents' bed for free in all room types (breakfast is charged as extra). That said, the frenetic nature of Bangkok’s Chinatown is not the ideal place to bring kids.
Teens (over 12)
Suites (Mu Dan) are best suited to families as they can fit 2 children in the existing beds (1 double and a day bed ), and the room can accommodate a further extra bed. The Deluxe (Ying Hua) can fit 1 child in the existing double bed as well as 1 additional rollaway bed. All can fit a baby cot.
Please state when enquiring if you would like your child to sleep in an extra bed or share your own bed.
Baby cots are available on request.
Remember baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking