By Hart Hagerty
October 07, 2014
Best Budget Hotels in Shanghai
Credit: Courtesy of Pudi Boutique Hotel

Shanghai’s hotel scene shines brightly with the glitz and glam of uber luxurious names in the five-star circuit. The Park Hyatt, Peninsula, and the Puli will always remain supreme, but for budget-minded travelers, there are a growing number of wallet-friendly options. From boutique design hotels to quaint B&Bs, these affordable bunk-ups offer a lot of bang for your buck in different ways. Quintet and Magnolia rival each other as the two best bed and breakfasts in Shanghai. Both occupying 1930s French Concession lane houses, these hotels offer more than just cheap and cheerful stays; they serve a bit of history in a cozy setting. Those looking for more space to stretch out but don’t want to be pushed to the outskirts of the city can settle into one of the spacious rooms at Jin Jiang Hotel or Pudi Boutique hotel, which are both located in the heart the city. Believe it or not, the Bund does have one relatively affordable, hip hotel. Les Suites Orient is an under-the-radar, underrated oasis that provides a swanky Bund stay for nearly half the price of its ritzy neighbors.

Quintet B&B

Quintet is a quaint guesthouse in an 1930s home in the French Concession. With only six rooms spaced out over three-stories, this B&B has a truly intimate, welcoming feel. Besides a great breakfast, personal service and inviting surroundings like a rooftop terrace, another perk is the prime location in the heart of Shanghai’s very best neighborhood. Rooms start at RMB800.

Pudi Boutique

This designer boutique hotel is a hidden gem that’s just a short walk away from Xintiandi. Large rooms overlooking historic Fuxing Park cost just a fraction of what nearby hotels charge. Starting at RMB900/night, rooms are comfortable and spacious (50 sq m) and come with welcoming touches like fully equipped kitchenettes and inviting “sunshine corners.” For central location and generous room sizes, Pudi is a real bargain. The only downside might be the somewhat off-color decor with gaudy chandeliers and neon-lit fish tanks.

Jin Jiang Hotel

If you’re looking for a spacious, clean room in the historic heart of the city, then Jin Jiang is an affordable option. What you’re paying for here is a little extra legroom, a dash of history, and an unbeatable location. While it lacks modern bells and whistles, this charming old hotel on Maoming Road was built in the 20s and has since hosted international leaders from Ronald Reagan to Queen Elizabeth.

Les Suites Orient

Les Suites Orient is the more affordable option for an elegant stay on the Bund. Totally gorgeous and underrated, this Taiwanese hotel has only 168 rooms and is tastefully decorated with Asian art, books, and antiques, making it feel more like a boutique hotel. It offers beautiful rooms with high-tech amenities, top-notch service, gourmet breakfast, and lovely surrounds for less than half of what you’d pay elsewhere on the Bund. Rooms start at RMB1,200.

Magnolia B&B

Magnolia B&B is ideal for those seeking authenticity, charm and convenience. It occupies a 1927 lanehouse on Yanqing Road, which is bursting with local color and close to all of the action. Massages, markets, boutiques, malls, subways are all within a few blocks away. The friendly, English-speaking local staff members are eager to dish out personalized service and advice about exploring the city. Rooms start at RMB650. Book in advance.