I was so excited for my trip to Shanghai to begin. I have been doing new and adventurous things as part of my 50 things before I am 50 project so it is true, I flew to China for the weekend!
My group met Wednesday night at 10pm at LAX International Tom Bradley Terminal and the Sky Priority section for China Eastern Airlines had chairs, water and candy while we waited for our friends to gather. We were escorted through security and to the KAL Lounge. We enjoyed the spacious seats, free Wi-Fi and snacks while we chatted and waited for our turn to get on the Boeing 777. We boarded early Thursday morning and as we were crossing the dateline we would arrive Friday morning in Shanghai and return on Sunday to Los Angeles.
We were able to board early to take photos of the beautiful business class section. When I checked in I asked for a window seat and was given 12L, Stef Michaels, AdventureGirl, asked for an aisle and was in 11L. It turns out L is both a window and an aisle as it is a single seat. The configuration is 1 recliner, 2 in the middle and then 1 on the other side of the plane.
I absolutely loved my seat! It reclines fully to 180 degrees and I slept very well. I appreciated that at my seat was a bottle of water, comfortable headphones, slippers and an amenity bag with toothbrush, comb, eye mask, ear plugs and Clarins Hydra Quench Cream and Moisture replenishing lip balm. There was a large pillow and a warm white comforter to sleep under.
When we boarded we had champagne and after take-off, we had a choice of Chinese or Western entrees. I had chicken with rice which was delightful and then I went to sleep. In the morning, we had a choice of Chinese or Western breakfast entrees. I really enjoyed my omelette with pipping hot hash browns, fresh fruit, a tasty danish and granola with milk. It was very satisfying.
Being able to lie down during the fourteen hour flight makes a tremendous difference. I really slept well and had plenty of space. I loved flying China Eastern to Shanghai.
We sailed through immigration and were rapidly on our way to Shanghai. The MagLev train only takes eight minutes and we were met at the station by our transportation to the Waldorf Astoria Shanghai.
Our historic Bund tour by Christy from Abercromie and Kent led us inside banks and other buildings while we learned about the history of the area. The following day we explored the French Concession and Yu Gardens. One of my favorite parts was seeing the skyline and buildings of Pudong at night with its colorful electric light display.
On Saturday we toured the French Concession and had lunch at Citizen Sichuan. My group tried the bull frog and Enrique especially loved it. JJ and I joined in the dancing in the park while Jeana kindly filmed for me.
At the Tian Zi Fang art district and walking streets, we loved the flower covered walkways, the mango drinks with dry ice and people watching. I bought earrings and we saw artists at work. Jeana found beautiful embroidered shoes which she wore to dinner, Stef found purses to buy as souvenirs for friends, and JJ reveled in the sheer number of people around him. Yu Garden reminded me of the Summer Palace in Bejing and it was the place with the most crowds we saw during the Labor Day Holiday weekend.
I had not been in Shanghai in almost 15 years and it was a real treat to return with my intrepid traveling friends.
Where to stay in Shanghai?
Do you want a historic and luxury experience on the Bund in Shanghai? Stay at the Waldorf Astoria Shanghai and enjoy a Marble bathroom with both a tub and a shower, luxurious and thick towels, robes and comfortable slippers, a toto toilet from Japan, gorgeous linens and a room controlled by a master electric center which can set the lights, drapes and the alarm clock. I loved the red and green light by door which alerted the team for “Do not disturb,” or “Please make up my room.” There are no signs to fall on floor or the option for anyone to get confused and wake you up at the wrong time.
I enjoyed the entire property including the lap pool and the elliptical machines in the fitness center. My entire group used the fitness center several times and the up to date machines and weights were very appreciated.
I had an incredible night’s sleep on the renowned Waldorf Astoria Bed, featuring their custom-designed hotel mattress and box spring with pure cotton sateen linens and perfect pillows for a most serene sleep. The curtains kept the room completely dark which I appreciated so I was not awakened with the sunrise. I enjoyed my exceptional view but did not want to see it too early!
Eating at the Waldorf Astoria Shanghai:
We had breakfast three days at the Grand Brasserie and enjoyed Chinese and Western specialties. The buffet had everything you could imagine. Additionally, you can order eggs any style including Eggs Benedict Shanghai style and make-your-own omelette to Chinese doughnuts, Shanghai pancakes and waffles from the menu. There was a magnificent variety of fruit, cheese, meats, cereals, breads and noodles. The hot drinks and specialty coffees were both visually stunning as well as tasty and there were fruit juices of every color. We looked forward to starting out each day with the exceptional service, variety of tasty treats and warm atmosphere.
If you are looking for live music, Negronis, eight types of oysters, and a wonderful atmosphere in a bar that began in 1911, you will want to have drinks at the Long Bar. Upstairs there is the only historic ballroom with a view of the Bund which is perfect for a wedding or any party. You will love the incredible views.
At the hotel you can do everything from buy flowers downstairs to have an intimate authentic Chinese meal at Wei Jing Ge upstairs after a ride on an historic elevator. Your meal will feature Cantonese, Shanghainese and Huai Yang cooking. Our group loved the intimate venue and the exceptional service. Dining in the hotel was perfect for me because after the long flight and our day of touring, I was happy for only an elevator commute to my room.
The massage at the Waldorf Astoria was truly exceptional. I loved my incredible masseuse, Elaine, and the entire Spa. The treatment rooms are designed similarly to the hotel rooms which means a premiere luxury experience. From the moment you entire the spa, you will start to relax. Once you are in your room, you are invited to shower which I needed after my tour of Shanghai. There are robes, slippers and disposable underwear ready for you. I loved that there is a jewelry box in the anteroom of the treatment area. So many times at a spa, I am unsure where to leave my belongings, it is thoughtful to have an area to hang your clothes, leave your earrings and get prepared at the beginning and end of your treatment. The Ginger tea was lovely before and after my treatment and I loved the foot scrub which started by aromatherapy massage session. Elaine asked me several times if the music, temperature, lighting and pressure of the massage were right for me. She was a talented professional and I felt renewed for my evening out in Shanghai. I highly recommend a spa treatment to revive you at this spa with a 2017 Forbes 5-Star Rating!
Honestly, the entire trip deserves a 5-Star rating. I enjoyed it from the moment we met at LAX to the moment we had to say good-bye when we returned to America. I hope you enjoy my videos of our journey and I cannot wait to go back to China.