LAST UPDATED: 18th September 2014 at 11:17am

As the visa rules for China have just changed - you can now spend up to 72 hours there without one - a brief stop-over in bustling Shanghai is a no-brainer. And the PuLi is the best place to stay.


It's a slate-grey oasis in the city, tucked next to three luxury malls and overlooking the beautiful Jing'an Temple. This five-star hotel boasts a 32m bar overlooking its own soothing water garden, and a lobby filled with traditional cabinets and stone carvings. However, the real star of the show is the Anantara spa, with its enormous (yet, happily, always deserted) pool. The jetlag can be a killer, so while away an afternoon here, before dining in the Jing'An restaurant, with its fusion of Asian and Western influences. Don't let the hotel's impeccable food and drink stop you being adventurous, though - the hole-in-the-wall noodle stands are where you'll get real local flavour, and you can walk it off along the Bund waterfront.

WOW FACTOR Late-evening drinks on the Garden Terrace - dappled in soft lights, it's a real romantic bolthole.

GO Deluxe King Rooms cost from £230; Virgin Atlantic return flights from Heathrow start at £479


LAST UPDATED: 17th November 2011 at 12:42pm

When you think of Shanghai, calm and tranquillity are unlikely to spring to mind, but step into the black-tiled lobby of The PuLi and that's exactly what you'll find. Head to the library with a good book, settle at the sunken Long Bar and order a Sichuan Spice cocktail, or indulge in a tea-themed treatment at the Anantara Spa. The 209 bedrooms and 20 suites combine traditional Asian charm with elegant contemporary design and offer amazing views of the city skyline. Chef Dane Clouston serves fusion cuisine at the Jing'An signature restaurant (the famous Shanghai hairy crab is a must if you're there in October), and access to the members-only Alfred Dunhill KEE Club is a perk you'll want to make the most of. This urban hideaway is an ideal base from which to explore the city or a serene stop before Go:ing on an adventure in China. WOW FACTOR: An evening soak in your bath with a floor-to-ceiling view of Shanghai's neon spectacle below. GO: Doubles from £442 (plus tax) B&B ( British Airways ( flies from £714 return.