Exploring: The Sofitel Shanghai Sheshan Oriental
Gather around, Shanghai residents, and let me tell you about something I can't believe it's taken me this long to experience: The Sofitel Shanghai Sheshan Oriental, located within the Sheshan National Tourism Resort.
For the longest time, I - for some reason - thought the Sofitel sounded nice in theory, but was out of the way so why would I ever check it out?
Well friends, If you’re ever staycationing during the Summer in Shanghai, don’t be dumb like I was all those years.
Go to here. It. Is. Not. That. Far. Away.
No really: The Sofitel is a 140rmb taxi ride from city center – and without traffic, you can get there in less than an hour. In that less-than-an-hour ride, you are transported to one of the largest outdoor pools - roughly 4400 square meters of water - and man-made beaches in the Shanghai Greater Metropolitan area.
One caveat: The outdoor pool is not deep at all. There is an indoor pool that is slightly deeper and better for swimming laps. But... does anyone actually go to a non-gym pool to exercise?
There are two ways to get pool access without paying just for the pool access:
Stay overnight in the Sofitel.
After all, it is a hotel, and allegedly a 5 star one. If you are going to Staycation, you might as well actually stay. The cost of a room with two-double beds and a small balcony (that admittedly looked out to nowhere) was roughly 1500rmb.
Besides the pool, though, there’s not too much else to do here for people without families. Not surprisingly for a resort with a pool that's about 3-foot deep, this place's activities mostly cater to parents and grandparents bringing their small kids. So you get your gym, your gigantic playpits and plenty of daytime "resort club" activities, but come night - you're SOL.
None of the bars stay open late (I guess the 90% Chinese clientele don't have as many nightcapping parents), and their “karaoke” rooms are literally two-person booths that you pay for by the half-hour.
So, if you're young and wild, I highly recommend bringing your own drinks and food from Shanghai to the room (especially since room service is exhorbitant - 120rmb or abouts for a middling hamburger).
Pro tip: Call up the maid service to get buckets of ice. They are obliged to keep bringing you them.
Or! If that seems to intense there is also:
Go to their Sunday Brunch
The Sunday brunch at the Sofitel is 568rmb and includes free-flow wine, soft drinks and mojitos alongside a seriously impressive spread. If you want free-flow champagne, the cost goes up to the 700s. Both give you access to the pool alongside your eating splurge.
Guys, look at this brunch:
It has an entire room dedicated to cheese. There is a full bar of charcuterie – including a giant leg of Iberico ham that they are exceedingly generous with. There is a fricking foie gras station, a fresh-shucked oyster station, the requisite giant bucket trays of crab legs.
And if you ask them nicely for just the full bottle(s) of wine, they will give it to you.
The brunch runs from 11am to about 2pm. So if you get to Sofitel in the morning, you can spend the first couple hours relaxing by the pool, go indoors to gorge for three hours when the sun’s at its hottest, and then head back out to the pool, presumably to pass out until it closes at 5-6pm-ish.
Which did I do?
You have until October before the pool closes. Get yourself there, my Shanghai sweeties. You won't regret it.