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Luxury in China’s Chengdu: A Stay At The Shangri-La

Shangri La sign - shrink

When you’re taking your kids sightseeing around a Chinese city, let me give you one piece of advice. You need a hotel with an indoor pool to return to!  Whilst touring the temples and markets might be fun to you, having a swimming pool as bribery in your back pocket is the best way to get a five year old on board.

I chose the Shangri La Chengdu as I am huge fan of the brand and the hotel came highly recommended on Tripadvisor.  When traveling with kids in an often bewildering Chinese city, it’s worth paying to have somewhere clean, airy and friendly to retreat to.

The hotel is located beside the JinJiang River, a thirty minute drive from Chengdu Airport.  In most cases you will be taking a taxi to and from all the attractions. However, there are a few restaurants, ATM and coffee shops nearby and also a nice river walk.  For those looking for a bit of nightlife there’s even ‘Lan Kwai Fong Chengdu’ just behind the hotel.

Hotel Booking

You can book through the hotel website direct or have a search through sites like Agoda for the best rate.

It’s also worth joining the Shangri La’s frequent user club, the Golden Circle if you think you might be frequenting other properties (if you live in Asia with kids this is more than likely!).

Our room

We were extremely lucky to be upgraded to a suite (yes I did feel like a rock star!).

The suite has a separate bedroom and large lounge area. The lounge also has a small dining table and separate toilet in the hallway.

Shangri La - Lounge - Shrink Shangri La Lounge 2 - Shrink

The bedroom is tastefully decorated with a large king sized bed and sofa.  The ensuite has a separate bath and shower in addition to the toilet. The best thing about the room (we were on 27th floor) were the incredible floor to ceiling windows with views over Chengdu.

Shangri La - Bedroom - Shrink

Facilities

The hotel has a big main pool and smaller shallow children’s pool.  Be sure to pack your swimming hat or you can borrow one.

There’s a jacuzzi, sauna and steam room in the changing area.  My 5 year old is now a convert to the wonders of the steam room!

I didn’t use it but the gym looks new and modern with a huge range of equipment. I also saw a sign for a tennis court.

Dining

There are four restaurants; Cafe Z, Lobby Lounge, Mooney’s (looks like a pub) and the elegant Shang Palace.  Breakfast is served in both the Horizon Club (if you have access) and also Cafe Z.  We opted for Cafe Z as this offered a large selection and we are greedy.  This was one of the best buffet breakfasts I have ever encountered (and I’ve eaten a lot). In addition to your usual Western items, you are treated to some sichuan delicacies like dan dan noodles and spicy dumplings.

Shangri La - Dan Dan Noodles - Shrink

We had intended to eat lunch at the Shang Palace but it was fully booked (the hotel is extremely popular for meetings so be sure to book in advance). Instead we had the international buffet at Cafe Z which was also excellent offering up anything from curries to kebabs, hot pot to noodles, all of excellent quality.

Shangri La - Cafe Z - Shrink

Horizon Club

As with everything in life, there are those who pay a little bit more to get a little bit of extra luxury in their stay. With the Shangri-La that means use of the Horizon Club, a large lounge with free snacks and drinks at various points throughout the day and an extra level of service.  

Chengdu’s Horizon Club is spacious with fantastic views over the city. When traveling with kids, it is sometimes worth paying extra for access to a lounge.  The free happy hour food meant we saved on dinner and it was nice to have a space to retreat to where my daughter could do her activities whilst I sipped on some free wine and read a magazine..

Daisy writing travel diary - shrink Overall

The Shangri La staff are incredibly friendly and eager to help.  Concierge in particular was very good in helping me plan my day, write out taxi instructions in Chinese and booking cars for us.

As we were checking out, I heard the Czech President was checking in.  Well.. if it’s good enough for him then it’s good enough for me 🙂

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