Part boutique hotel, part spa, the PuLi opened in 2009 as Shanghai's first 'urban retreat'. Although nestled right next to the Jingan Temple metro station and the hustle-bustle of Nanjing Xi Lu, a Zen-like calm pervades the streamlined, neutral interior. Housed in the lobby is the aptly named Long Bar - a 32m swathe of dark-lacquered wood boasting a correspondingly lengthy list of wines by the glass - and the Library, a cosy spot to curl up with a book from the well-stocked shelves.
Thai spa brand Anantara offers tea-based beauty treatments exclusive to the PuLi alongside a fittingly endless-looking infinity pool. The spa theme continues in all 229 rooms, with dove-grey shikumen style walls and traditional Chinese 'honeycomb' screens making the most of the space. Rooms overlooking nearby Jingan Park are pricier, but worth it for the complete nirvana experience, while nice touches like the GSM mobile phones - which allow you to use your own SIM card.
Although the PuLi is billed as ‘boutique’ the largest suites are as comfortable and decadent as any top class five-star hotel – you could happily live in one for days, with any sense of cabin fever quelled by the calming Jingan Park view you can get lying in the bath.