Concierge.com's insider take:
The Waterhouse's battered concrete walls and bare brick floors are far removed from the marbled glitz so often associated with new Shanghai hotels—almost as far removed as the location, at the far south end of the Bund. But the edgy, pared-back appeal of this former 1930s factory is exactly the draw for the modish, designer crowd that frequently books the 19-room boutique property. Arranged around an internal courtyard, the rooms are each a different size and layout, from poky (215 square feet) to plush (580 square feet). We like No. 21 for its private walled terrace, walk-in shower, and deep concrete tub, and No. 33, which features a double-height window that frames river views. Rooms come with free Wi-Fi and minibar, plus an iPod dock and espresso machine—but there is no on-site gym or pool. The 60-seat Table No. 1 restaurant—the first independent venue for Michelin-starred British chef Jason Atherton—has emerged as one of the city's top tables, serving up mod-European dishes and a casual vibe. Don't miss the artfully rusted rooftop cocktail bar on a balmy night, nor your chance to take a spin around the neighborhood in the sidecar of the reproduction WWII-era Chang Jiang 750 cc motorbike that is often parked outside the hotel.—Amy Fabris-Shi
From the editors of Condé Nast Traveler:Singaporean design maestro Loh Lik Peng has skillfully captured the current zeitgeist of Shanghai by revamping a former army compound on the Huangpu River into an industrial but welcoming 19-room guesthouse with rough-hewn concrete walls and mid-century furniture. The architectsShanghai-based Neri & Hu Design and Research Officeplay on the communal lifestyle of Shanghai's traditional shikumen house lanes, blurring the divide between public and private spaces through the use of large windows and glass walls between guest rooms (draw the white curtains to prevent neighboring guests from peeking in). The restaurant, Table No. 1, with metal and knobby-wood communal tables, has an East-West menu: The table spaghetti is a delectable combo of angel-hair Chinese egg noodles with chopped olives and Chinese-style barbecue sauce. The service is choreographed by an energetic waitstaff who are as cool as the Chinese and Western clientele.2011 Hot List
Which room to book: The Bund Suite, on the top floor, has views of the barges chugging along the Huangpu River.Subscribe now to Condé Nast Traveler for just $1 an issue! ›
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