One of my goals on this trip to Asia was not to spend any money on hotels, and up until our trip was impacted by the Typhoon in Osaka I was going to accomplish this goal. When searching for hotels I try to keep the following in mind and will focus on these on this and any hotel review:
As I wasn’t planning on starting this site when I was on this trip I unfortunately did not take any pictures of the hotel room, however there are many pictures on the TripAdvisor Site.
On trips like our trip to Shanghai and Japan, a great way to save money is to utilize public transportation. Renting a car and driving in a foreign country can be expensive and stressful and using Uber or Taxis can get extremely expensive. Unlike a lot of cities in the United States, the major cities I have been to in Europe and Asia have amazing public transportation systems and when there is major traffic they can even get you to your destination quicker. When looking for a hotel in Shanghai I wanted to find a hotel that was that was within 5 minutes walking distance of a metro station and not more than 30 minutes ride to the major sites that my wife and I wanted to visit.
Shanghai Fish Inn Bund, was in the perfect location. It is located about 5 minutes from two shanghai metro stations (East Nanjing Road and Tiantong Road). It was also within reasonable walking distance from 2 of the major tourist sites we were wanting to check out, The Bund and East Nanjing Road.
Some people when they go on trips want to stay at a luxury hotel that has all of the amenities that you would expect to see of something that is five-star quality. Luxury is not what we look for, as luxury does not save you money. When Stephanie and I go on an overseas trip we want to spend the vast majority of our time exploring the city and experiencing the new culture, because of this, we end up spending very little time in our hotel and we look for a place that has a comfortable clean bed and bathroom.
Shanghai Fish Inn Bund scores pretty well on most hotel review sites somewhere between 4/5 stars or an 80/100. It rated high in cleanliness, location, and the review commented on the fact that they had a friendly English speaking staff. Our experience matched up with the reviews. The room was pretty small and plain but consisted of a queen bed, a desk, a wardrobe, and a bench; with all of this furniture in a such a small room there was actually very little room to walk around, but the bed and pillows were extremely comfortable neither too firm nor too soft exactly what we were looking for. Most importantly the room had an individual air conditioner; not all hotels in shanghai are air conditioned and when we visited in shanghai every day was in the high 90s and extremely humid, I am not sure how we would have survived without an air conditioner. One drawback about this hotel was the power was controlled by your keycard thus, when you left the room the air conditioning would stop and when you came back it would take some time before the room would cool back down.
The bathroom was relatively small but it was clean and usable. The stall shower had a rainfall shower head that did not provide the water pressure that I am used to and that I like and the cover for the soap dispenser attached to the wall kept falling off every time I pushed it.
Surprisingly the television had one english channel (which was the most we would see on our entire trip), however, the amount of content this network had must have been extremely limited. The shows would typically repeat multiple times in a period of a couple hours, but given that were not in the room all that much it wasn’t a big deal.
Overall if you do your research Shanghai can be an extremely cheap place to visit, but hotels in shanghai seem to be comparable to prices that you would find in the United States. The big name brands five-star hotels (Like the Ritz, Weston, or Waldorf) are likely to cost upwards of $300 a night and even a name brand 3 or 4 star would still run you over $150 a night. As I wanted to book with my Chase points and did not want to spend that kind of cash I relied on the Chase Ultimate Rewards Portal. That is where I stumbled across the Fish Inn, which priced out at about $76/night, significantly cheaper than any hotels in the desirable Bund area of Shanghai.
Through the ultimate rewards portal my points are worth 1.5 cents each as I am a Sapphire Reserve Cardholder. While some say that using the rewards portal is not the best use of Ultimate Rewards Points, I wholeheartedly disagree with that statement. Personally i believe it is all a matter of perspective yes you can get a way better cents per point valuation than 1.5 if you save a ton of points and spend them all on a one first class one way plane ticket, and sure if you transfer them to a hotel partner you can spend 30,000 points on one night in a $300+ hotel, but at my 1.5 cent rate through the portal I was able to book 4 nights of hotel in a hotel that met all of my needs for 5,129 points per night or a total of 20,516 points.
Shanghai Fish Inn bund is a nice place to stay. If you are looking to take a luxury vacation, this is not the hotel for you. However, if you are looking too save significant mone, and just want a quiet clean place to sleep, Shanghai Fish Inn Bund is a great hotel in an unbeatable location.