Distance from Shanghai: One hour drive, South East
Room Rate: ¥750-1750
Best for: Outdoors, Pool, Close to Shanghai city
The Location: The Crowne Plaza Harbour City is in the area of the man-made Dishui Lake, at the most South East point of Shanghai. There is a Metro line that goes very close, and even by taxi it would only be a few hundred RMB.
Driving there by car is easy – just go to the S20 toward the South east, then take the S2, which will take you all the way to the Dishui Lake area.
It’s location is the attraction; it’s only a one hour drive from the centre, and being at the South East tip means that the air is the freshest that it can be in Shanghai.
The Hotel: The hotel is in excellent grounds, with a nice outdoors pool (the indoor pool is a little small and dull), an outdoor playground and lots of walkways.
You can hire bicycles and cycle-cars to go around the grounds.
On our last visit in 2016, the food was disappointing — though they have since hired a new F&B Director, so it may be better now. Just beware that busy seasonal holidays, it is packed with locals queueing up for the buffet from early on.
The rooms: The rooms are excellent and spacious. Is it worth upgrading? Yes, if you have more than one kid, or kids over age 8 or so. Their suite room is around ¥1,700 versus the normal room at around ¥750 upwards. So it depends on what you think you will be doing. If it’s just a one night stay then you don’t need to upgrade as you’ll be mostly out of the room. But otherwise if your kids are older than the suite has that useful extra room.
Note that some ‘lake view’ rooms also overlook the pool. So if you don’t want the sound of screaming kids, then ensure you don’t get a room by the pool.
Overall: One drawback is that the food quality is not very good, but overall you should definitely visit the Crowne Plaza Harbour City.
Definitely do not visit the hotel in the public holidays such as National Holiday in October, Labour Day or such, because it will be packed. But at other times, it’s an ideal family weekend getaway from the city.