THE incredibly dense metropolis of Shanghai is a dazzling display of modern skyscrapers and colonial architectural styles.
China’s biggest city is also a global financial center, one of the world’s most populous cities, and an immensely successful hub for luxury accommodation and shopping.
As a highly-developed city and the centerpoint for commerce, Shanghai’s list of accomplishments can only be described in superlative terms. But amid the city madness, there are times you might crave a brief respite from it all.
And because Shanghai doesn’t believe in mediocre, it’s well worth the time to experience the city’s many leisure offerings.
Shanghai Marriott Hotel Riverside – located along the Huangpu River of the Huangpu district – is a great contact point from which to venture to local attractions. While the financial districts of Pudong and Puxi are within easy access, so are a host of leisure sites.
People’s Square, also in the Huangpu district, is an iconic public square that houses the Shanghai Museum, the Shanghai Grand Theatre, and the Urban Planning Exhibition Hall. It’s not difficult to spend an entire day at the Square sauntering in and out of attractions or simply people-watching.
Xin Tian Di is also a short distance away, a site that holds some of the city’s historical and cultural legacies. The aesthetic here is noticeably refreshing from most other parts of the city, with features including Skihumen residences and European-style cafés.
For more of a posh suburban feel, The French Concession is a popular address for young, trendy expats. Along the gorgeous tree-lined avenues are hip cafés, concept bars and breweries, upscale boutiques, antique stores, and art galleries.
As unlikely as it sounds in a metropolis like Shanghai, you can also partake in the outdoors. Bikes are easily available for rent, and are a common way to weave in and out of traffic. Some locals, in fact, might tell you that bikes are the best way to intimately connect with the rapid pace of the city.
Thrill seekers can also book in a rock climbing session at the Shanghai Stadium Rock Climb Sports Centre, with the walls scaling up to 18 meters, the highest in China. If you prefer to scale the real thing, trips to hiking and climbing spots can be arranged for rewarding views of China’s stunning terrains.
Of course, if you’d rather remain in the confines of the hotel, Shanghai Marriott Hotel Riverside has plenty to offer for a time-out after a series of meetings. For starters, the fitness center and swimming pool are sure to keep your daily exercise routine in check.
Done pumping iron and looking to replenish those burnt calories? You don’t need leave the Marriott sanctuary for that. The hotel is also something of a dining enclave, housing an impressive number of cuisines under one roof.
Choose from contemporary Red Zen, a lunch-and-dinner outlet offering affordable, home-style Japanese dishes with a Chinese twist, or the elegant Blue Moon, a Chinese restaurant perfect for lavish course meals and group dining, with nine private dining rooms able to seat up to 12 guests. If you’re in search of all-day options, drop by City Bistro any time for a meal and bonus views of the Huangpu river or while some hours away with delicious teatime snacks at the Lobby Lounge.
Yu Bar on the 28th and 29th floor is great for those looking to kick back with dinner and a tipple whilst overlooking breathtaking views of the city.
The most satisfying “city break” of them all is the in-house Touch Spa where your tired limbs will be submitted to European and oriental health knowledge. Massages, couple’s packages, and customized men’s services are available as well.
But whether you’re within the soothing walls of the spa or riding a muddy bike trail, Shanghai has plenty to do outside of its primary role as a commerce hub. Book a trip out and see for yourself.
Interested? Book a stay at Shanghai Marriott Hotel Riverside