Holiday Inn Shanghai Pudong Kangqiao
INCLUDING Access to pool and gym
The 30 metre-long pool at the matter of factly named Holiday Inn Shanghai Pudong Kangqiao is just one design feature away from being merely another hotel pool in Pudong. Yet that design feature is a spectacular one. While not technically outside, the swimming pool, located on the 24th floor, juts out from the building with glass windows in the bottom, creating what the hotel dubs a ‘pool in the sky’ and a swimming experience that enables you to look down to the pavement below from within the water. It’s a little unerring watching pedestrians taking photos of you as you swim above their heads, but the hotel reportedly consulted aerospace designers and expert architects to ensure that the structure was safe, and it results in one of the most memorable swims in the city.
Holiday Inn Shanghai Pudong Kangqiao is at 1088 Xiuyan Lu, near Henghe Zhong Lu, Pudong.
Sofitel Shanghai Sheshan Oriental
ENTRY 300RMB for adults, 150RMB for kids
INCLUDING Access to indoor and outdoor pool, sauna, steam room and fitness centre It’s hard to overstate the luxe factor at this lovely pool. A total 4,400 square metres of crystal-blue swimming territory awaits you, with outside pools surrounded by a man-made sandy beach, rows of loungers, bars, palm trees and faux-Mediterranean architecture. It’s a little bit of a journey from the centre of town, but is walkable from Sheshan station on Line 9 and not being downtown only helps to add to its retreat vibes.
As you’d expect, everything inside is also rather wonderful, with shiny clean changing rooms, top-notch gym and general loveliness.
Sofitel Shanghai Sheshan Oriental is at 3388 Sichen Gong Lu, near Jiasong Nan Lu, Songjiang district.
Shimao Riviera Garden
ENTRY 200RMB for adults, 100RMB for kids
INCLUDING Access to indoor and outdoor pool, sauna and fitness centre
Part of a posh Pudong residential complex, the Shimao Riviera Garden pool is situated inside a clubhouse which is largely used by the occupants of seven towers’ worth of luxury service apartments. These surround the outdoor pool, and so along with the general footfall through the compound, it means there’s little to no privacy when swimming al fresco. However, the space itself is appealing; the sort of place a Miami resort pool party might groove in, with an enormous aquamarine pool (plus wave machine), faux-beach, deckchair area, and bar. Inside there’s also a smart and expansive pool, with a massive hot tub, sauna and steam room. Choose your visiting time wisely – given it’s part of a residential property, the pools fill up with kids come evenings and weekends.
Shimao Riviera Garden is at Building 5, 1-2 Weifang Xi Lu, near Pucheng Lu, Pudong.
Purple Mountain Hotel
ENTRY 150RMB Mon-Fri, 200RMB Sat-Sun
INCLUDING Access to outdoor pool and indoor gym facilities
The Purple Mountain Hotel might not be in the most glamorous part of town – stranded in a nondescript part of Pudong somewhere between Lujiazui and Century Park – but this means that it’s excellent rooftop pool often flies under most people’s radars when the sun comes out. There are two pools – one for adults and one for kids (the latter is half the depth of the former, at 1.5 metres) – and views across the eastern side of the city from the fifth floor terrace they sit on. As with many pools around town, swimming caps are compulsory, but it’s a minor annoyance for what is likely to be a largely undisturbed, uncrowded swim.
Purple Mountain Hotel is at 778 Dongfang Lu, near Zhangyang Lu, Pudong.
Grand Plaza Club House
ENTRY 100RMB Mon-Fri, 150RMB Sat-Sun
INCLUDING Access to pool, Jacuzzis and squash courts; and free towel
One of the most popular outdoor pools in the Former French Concession, the Grand Plaza Club House is situated inside the same compound on Julu Lu as Mexican restaurant Maya, thus is known by many as the ‘Maya pool’. It’s a small swimming area with not much surrounding floor space, and packs out quickly with sun-seekers – mostly groups of friends settling in for a day of drinking. Chilled and well-located (and open to non-residents all year round).
Grand Plaza Club House is at 568 Julu Lu, near Shaanxi Nan Lu, Jingan district.
ENTRY 108RMB (above 1.4m); 40RMB (between 0.9-1.4m); free (below 0.9m)
INCLUDING Access to entire bathhouse including outdoor pool (9am-6pm), indoor baths, showers and upstairs chill out area
The original branch of New Star is one of our favourite bathhouses in the city, but it may not seem like an obvious place to head to when temperatures outside are hitting the mid-30s with a hefty dose of humidity on top. Yet hidden out the back of the main bathing area is a great outdoor swimming area with a small section for kids, a medium-sized pool for adults and a handful of sun loungers on the side. It’s not the biggest outdoor pool in the city, but it’s rarely overly crowded.
New Star is at Lane 258, 1 Jinhui Nan Lu, near Hongquan Lu, Minhang district.
ENTRY Adult 100RMB, children 60RMB
INCLUDING Pool entry
Another pool located inside a housing complex, Mandarine City is popular with everyone – from families who live in the residence to Gubei daytrippers who get stuck into the pool bar, which serves both food and beer. It’s a large pool, though, so everyone manages to swim in harmony, and it probably helps that the site is a pleasant spot in itself – the adjacent tower blocks are shielded by a thick plantation of green trees. The trip to Hongqiao is certainly worth the while, and lots of people know it – it fills up fast.
Mandarine City is at 788 Hongxu Lu, near Huaguang Lu, Minhang district.