A bed in China

Close to what was the city's French Concession area until the 1930s, the Four Seasons Shanghai is in a part of town that is changing rapidly.

The location

Close to what was the city's French Concession area until the 1930s, the Four Seasons Shanghai is in a part of town that is changing rapidly. Skyscrapers are going up nearby, but within seconds you can be in narrow alleys with tiny, overcrowded houses or heading for swanky shopping on Nanjing Road.

The USP

A 37-storey tower furnished in an inoffensive style, its melting-pot blandness makes it the perfect place for the people of the world to unite at the buffet. Because many are business folk in meetings, you may have the 20m pool to yourself. Fun Jazz 37 bar is on the top floor.

The comfort factor

Own-brand beds in the large rooms are big enough for the whole family. Décor is Chinese meets Laura Ashley.

The bathroom

Bathrobes, cotton robes, slippers, hairdryers, separate shower and bath.

The food and drink

There are 1,000-year-old eggs for the Chinese guests, bagels and muffins for the Yanks, croissants for the French and things I wasn't touching for the Japanese, all for $20 (£11) a head - more than many passers-by earn all day. There are good Chinese, American steak and Japanese restaurants, but you'd be mad not to explore the city for your meals.

The people

Attentive staff write instructions for your taxi driver in Chinese. Our fellow guests were delegates from a US university, business people from across the world, and Japanese tourists.

The area

See the famous colonial strip of 19th- and 20th-century buildings known as the Bund, shop in the antiques markets, hang out at hip Xiantiandi's cool eateries. Go to the National Theatre to see the acrobats. Have a massage. Walk your legs off.

The access

Several rooms are accessible by wheelchair and most of the restaurants are on the ground floor. Some areas can only be reached by stairs.

The damage

Rooms cost from US$244 (£130) for bed and breakfast.

The address

Four Seasons, 500 Weihai Road, Shanghai 200041, China (00 800 6488 6488; www.fourseasons.com).

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