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Urbn Hotel, Shanghai 

183 Jiaozhou Road
China 200040
Tel: 86 21 5153 4600
view web site ›'s insider take:

Tucked away on a side street north of Jing'An Temple, this 26-room design hotel is built around an enclosed slate and bamboo courtyard with calming water fountains. Constructed using reclaimed local materials —such as gray factory bricks, mahogany, and slate—Urbn wears its eco-conscious credentials on its sleeve; the hotel also tracks its ecological footprint and matches it in carbon credits. The rooms, in five categories, are all relatively small but make good use of space with low-level beds and a sunken "lounge" area, complete with hemp cushions on the broad benches and a wall-hung flat-screen TV. Neat in-room design touches include mahogany floors and wall paneling, desk chairs made from compressed cardboard, and under-floor bathroom heating, plus free Wi-Fi and iPod docks. Contemporary Australian-Asian cuisine is served in the ground-floor restaurant, Roomtwentyeight.

From the editors of Condé Nast Traveler:

Serene little URBN is a hotel with lofty environmental ambitions, implementing eco-friendly elements such as solar shades and water-based A/C, and allowing patrons to buy carbon credits. Two blocks from Nanjing Road, this former warehouse has been creatively renovated with reclaimed materials such as the stack of 1930s leather suitcases that forms the wall behind reception. The 26 Zen-like rooms, each adorned with a single orchid, come with a huge bed and a sunken living area whose large windows overlook the hotel's bamboo grove and the weathered rooftops of an old lane. A bank of glass doors opens onto a courtyard that holds the lively restaurant, Roomtwentyeight. The effect of all this is rather like being in a familiar and beloved art museum café. Indeed, URBN's patrons tend to be the clad-in-black art and fashion set. Eager-to-please staff create an atmosphere far more relaxed than at the rest of the city's growing league of high-end small hotels.

—2008 Hot List

When to go: March through May, when the plane trees bloom.

Which room to book: Each of the two Penthouse suites has its own roof garden.

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