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Stepping into the one-year-old Sukhothai Shanghai, I’m greeted with high ceilings, tall grey slate walls, clean lines and sleek lighting fixtures at the check-in desk, followed by a welcome tea and cooling mint oil-infused towel.

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[Elegant wayfinding throughout the hotel]

A member of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World collection, the Sukothai Shanghai is all about guest experiences, from a tuk-tuk ride to nearby luxury HKRI Taikoo Hui Mall down the road to an exploration of the city’s art scene.

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After its first property opened 27 years ago in Bangkok, this is the second Sukhothai of the gently-evolving brand (luckily for the discerning traveler, it won’t be that long until the third!).

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The lobby is also where you’ll find several handmade bamboo bikes (yes, bamboo). They are super cool two-wheeled works of art with sturdy wooden baskets and wooden fenders.

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Rooms

The Sukhothai’s 201 rooms and suites feature light wood floors, sleek complimentary furnishings, area rugs and a curvy wooden coffee/mini bar cabinet with brass detailing.

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The work desk contains velvet-lined drawers with modern brass pulls. Above the desk is one of two Samsung flatscreen TVs in the room, including a SONOS sound system.

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An outlet strip on the wall includes two handy USB ports (I noticed a couple more by the bed).

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The bathroom is stocked with Australian beauty brand Grown Alchemist amenities. In tandem with the Sukhothai’s health and wellness aesthetic, Grown Alchemist products are made using organic, botanical ingredients.

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As I’m settling in, the doorbell rings with a member of the housekeeping staff bearing fragrant blooms that get placed on both the coffee table and in the bathroom.

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[Curated spirits and objects d’art]

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[A healthy assortment of welcome snacks]

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From this moment forward, I realize that I will be spoiled here and intend to enjoy every moment of my two-night stay.

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Late in the afternoon, housekeeping returns with turndown service. Not only are water bottles replaced and slippers put by the bed on a towel, but a small clay pot containing Ayurveda herbal-infused tea with with two little cups on a wooden tray is placed at the edge of my bed.

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This blend is geared to calm the body and promote fitful sleep, perfect after a day of sightseeing or a long flight. Sipping this tea, looking out at the city below in this gorgeous room, I’m soon wishing that my stay here could be longer!

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[Minimalist, yet chic: The Loft, a penthouse suite]

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If the fluffy pillows on the bed are not to your liking, there’s a pillow menu of seven other types to choose from. Blinds and black-out curtains on the floor-to-ceiling windows operate via the remote panel on the wall. The TV can also control desk lighting and media outlets.

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Spa, Pool, Gym

While I didn’t indulge in the Sukhothai spa experience, I did visit the pool and fitness center (the latter open 24 hours a day).

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A candlelit, serene stone walkway near the changing room leads to a relaxation lounge near the spa.

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The pool area is stunning. There’s rows of white lounge chairs on each side of the room and at each corner, elegant sitting hammocks. After a few laps, I wrap myself in a large towel, pour a glass of cucumber water and chill in one of those inviting hammocks; with soft Thai music in the background, it’s hard not to drift away in there, so I indulge in a quick cat nap.

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[Just dare me to not fall asleep in here!]

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[Spa entrance]

The shower area contains a couple of steam and sauna rooms. I also discover a rainforest shower with changing lights and water systems (including the sound of chirping birds and a natural rain storm). This unexpected treat makes me wish that more hotels would create as calming a space as this one.

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Dining

Chef de Cuisine Stefano Sanna oversees the culinary creations at La Scala. Dolomite-born Executive Chef Theodore Falser visits the hotel each quarter to work with the team in developing a new seasonal menu (Falser earned a Michelen star just nine months after he got started, a first for the rating giant).

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Hawker-style URBAN Café offers modern Asian dishes for breakfast and lunch, with an open kitchen and several chefs working to promote a social dining experience.

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[At La Scala]

Adjacent to the Café, URBAN Lounge is the spot for drinks and live music; ZUK Bar offers light meals and libations, including 60 gins plus homemade organic infusions and botanicals using vegetables picked from an area bio-farm.

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[ZUK Bar]

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[URBAN Café]

An elevator from the lobby leads to a walkway entry to luxury HKRI Taikoo Hui Mall, with grab-and-go outlet Beans & Grapes along the way.

Nearby Attractions

Shopping is on another level here in Shanghai and right at the end of the road is HKRI Taikoo Hui Mall and the start of West Nanjing Road, another mega shopping street.

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The largest Starbucks in the world is also here, and worth checking out even if you’re not a diehard Starbucks fan. It’s on two levels, with baked goods, a full Neuhaus Belgian chocolate counter, gourmet breads and pizzas, tea and of course, every Starbucks roast you can imagine.

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[The view from my room]

The Sukhothai is also close to Nanjing Road West metro station, serving lines 2, 12 and 13. Jing’an Temple is just one stop away on line 2, Jade Buddha Temple is three stops on line 13 and Longhua Temple is five stops along line 12.

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[Jing’an Temple detail]

This is a highly desirable address, as I notice a pretty green walkway, a colour-changing waterfall against a nearby building and a row of luxury cars on one of my many strolls from The Sukhothai to West Nanjing Road.

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The Sukhothai Shanghai is located at 380 Weihai Road in Shanghai’s Jing’an District.

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My stay was hosted by The Sukhothai Shanghai. Opinions, as always, are my own.

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