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Lapis Casa Hotel, Shanghai 

See the Shanghai Guide ›
68 Taicang Road
Tel: 86 21 5382 1600
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From the editors of Condé Nast Traveler:

The 18 antiques-filled guest rooms at this gem of a hotel are reminiscent of a romantic Parisian inn yet work for demanding business travelers as well as they do for vacationing couples. The young staff are uniformly helpful, making the extra effort to walk guests around the corner to flag down a taxi or recommend their favorite haunts, among them Xintiandi's hip bars and restaurants that draw both locals and expats. The three floors of rooms (there are no elevators) branch off long, narrow hallways decorated with Oriental rugs and stained glass windows. Four-poster beds, vintage-style bedside lamps, comfortable desks, and chocolate-scented candles round out these homes away from home. Standard bathrooms lack tubs, and the ring of a telephone in an adjacent room may be audible, but the hotel is extremely quiet given its central Shanghai location. Skip the stale hotel breakfast served in a French-themed eatery across the street; do, however, reserve a table at the in-house Japanese restaurant, packed nightly with fashionable diners.

—2008 Hot List

When to go: In September and October, typhoons to the south keep the air especially clean during the comfortably warm days.

Which room to book: Back rooms face the leafy park.

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