The Ultimate Gay Travel Guide
The Gay Passport is your complete Gay Travel Guide. Looking to Drink, Play or Sleep we have reviews to help. Award-winning & Updated 2021.
From true 5 star luxury to backpacker hostels Shanghai has it all. There are accommodation options for all budgets. Because hotels tend to be relatively cheap for world city standards, many travelers opt to stay in nicer hotels that would be outside their budget in another country: a standard room in a high-end hotel will run you about ¥1000 (approximately $160) a night. Look for luxury hotels around The Bund, boutique stays in the French Concession, or incredible skyline views in Pudong.
However, if you are wanting to socialize and party on a budget, a backpacker hostel is probably the best choice. They also tend to have more English-speaking staff, and will be able to point you towards a good time. A dorm bed will usually cost about ¥70-¥90 ($10-£15), and there are a few great hostels not too far from the gay Shanghai hubs: Rock & Wood International Youth Hostel is a quiet and laid-back option a mere 15-20 minute walk from the grouping of gay bars and clubs in Changning.
Alternatively, there are quite a few budget options near The Bund, which is ideal if you want to stay close to the tourist spots. Bear in mind that while there is a friendly and varied backpacker crowd, hostels in China tend to be a more chill affair than some of the party hostels seen in Europe and Southeast Asia. Still, they are a great place to meet travelers with whom you can go out and enjoy the nightlife.
As a general rule, you should not struggle to find gay-friendly accommodation in Shanghai. Most places welcome same-sex couples when booking double rooms, but opt for international chains if you want to be sure.
Many gay visitors choose to stay in the French Concession area as it offers a good compromise between tourist activities and gay Shanghai nightlife.
♥ Original, luxurious, and fun design across the entire hotel
♥ Brand New Hotel – Opened 2018
♥ The WET outdoor swimming pool deck is one of the best places in Shanghai for a #poolside photoshoot
W hotels are a long-established gay favorite brand throughout the world, and this brand-new addition to their portfolio is the W Asian flagship. The great location, exceptional design, attentive staff, and top-tier facilities combine to make this one of the very best luxury options in Shanghai for gay travelers.
As usual, you can expect impeccable contemporary design, blending modern lines, classic Chinese motifs, and quirky, unexpected details. Meanwhile, the hotel’s excellent position on the North Bund offers fantastic views of futuristic Pudong skyscrapers from almost every room. While these are impressive during the day, they become mesmerizing at night when the skyline comes to life.
There are four restaurants, including both international and Chinese options, and three excellent bars. As well as the usual poolside bar, you have a choice between a 1920’s speakeasy-themed vibe in Liquid at YEN and the ultra-hip cocktail stylings of in-house mixologist Dylan Lam in WOOBAR.
♥ Some of the best views in Shanghai in every room
♥ One of the best restaurants in the city on your doorstep
♥ Excellent spa and wellness facilities for relaxation including that infinity pool
The Park Hyatt Shanghai is one of the highest hotels in the world, occupying 15 of the uppermost levels of the Shanghai World Financial Center. This position at the very center of Shanghai’s busy business district guarantees exceptional views from every single room, something which the room layouts are carefully designed to highlight. Even the standard rooms are extremely roomy and airy, with huge wall-to-wall windows and simple, elegant decor that lets the view do the talking.
As usual with Park Hyatt hotels, the extras are also world-class. There are five restaurants, including the Living Room, a lovely lounge designed to feel like a deluxe living room, and 100 Century Avenue, one of the best East-West fusion restaurants in Shanghai. Three bars bring the Shanghai nightlife into the hotel, including regular events and DJ sessions.
But it’s the spa facilities that really stand out here. Water’s Edge spa is based on traditional Chinese wellness practices, offering luxurious facilities and treatments in an incredible setting. The infinity pool overlooking The Bund is a particular treat.
♥ Beautiful and relaxing outdoor swimming pool.
♥ Exceptional attention to detail and high quality of all the facilities from the spa to the restaurants
♥ Seriously comfortable tasteful and soothing decor
The PuLi Hotel is a sophisticated boutique “urban resort”, delivering luxury with a bespoke feel. It is excellently located next to Jing’an Park and Nanjing West Road, with the main gay nightlife spots in Changing district a short 10-minute drive away.
The decor is understated and modern, with distinctly Chinese elements and natural light streaming in through floor-to-ceiling windows. The rooms come with all the details and conveniences you can expect from a five-star hotel, including great views, stocked mini bar, Bose sound system, Nespresso machine, and heavenly beds.
However, a few extra touches make it stand out from the crowd, from the 24-hour butler service to the Michelin-star restaurant and the spa, which is one of the best in the city. All of these elements combine to place The PuLi among the top-scoring 5-star hotels on Booking.com in Shanghai.
♥ Eco-friendly sustainable ethical and luxurious? Sign us up.
♥ Small and intimate
♥ The sunken in-room bathtubs are a treat
When it comes to boutique hotels, URBN really does stand out. This 2018 TripAdvisor Traveller’s Choice Award winner is located in a redeveloped factory warehouse, impeccably blending eco-consciousness and luxury. It prides itself in being China’s first carbon-neutral hotel and is dedicated to sustainability in everything it does, from the seafood served in its restaurant to the recycled and locally sourced materials in its design.
The “boutique” feeling is really highlighted by the hotel’s size, with only 26 rooms in total. The smaller scale means everything is perfectly tended to and the staff is always on hand to help out. It is also tucked away in a discreet area behind Nanjing Road, meaning you are close to all the action but also isolated from all the noise and chaos.
The rooms are spacious and comfortable, with the in-room bathtub being a particularly fun touch. It is missing some of the usual facilities of a luxury hotel, such as a bar, spa, swimming pool, or gym, but it’s a top choice for visitors who don’t tend to use those facilities much anyways.
♥ Right next to a Metro station
♥ Clean comfortable decently sized rooms
An excellent hostel in the city center of Shanghai, close to the river and a 10-minute drive to the Bund. There is a metro station just across the street, connecting to the circular Line 4, with stations on Lines 12, 13, also conveniently nearby. The gay bars can be reached in 15 to 20 minutes by taxi.
The hotel is very nicely decorated in a modern yet rustic style, and has both private and dorm rooms available. Dorms come in 4, 6, and 8 beds, and can either be mixed or gender-separate. The staff is knowledgeable, English-speaking, and happy to help you make the most of your stay. The bar and common area are welcoming and laid-back, and there is a laundry service available.
♥ The rooftop terrace is a great place for hanging out on a nice day
♥ Private quadruple rooms are ideal for small groups of friends
♥ A great common area for meeting people
Shanghai Le Tour Traveler’s Rest Youth Hostel is a perfect hostel for backpackers and budget travelers. It is housed in an old factory and retains a lot of classic Shanghai charm, with exposed brick walls, concrete floors, and graffiti by travelers from all over the globe as far as the eye can see. There is a lovely terrace space where you can eat, drink, and meet new people, and large common areas with games and ample seating.
The rooms are spacious enough, with several size options for private rooms, including some good quadruple options that are perfect if you are traveling with friends. The dorm rooms are on the smaller size (6 people) and separated by gender.
The location in Jingan district is great for food, bars, and shopping, with easy transport links to the rest of the city. The hostel is tucked away in a hidden alleyway, meaning you are away from the noises of the main street (but it can be difficult to find).
♥ Super-convenient location for partying
♥ Unique design based on old-fashioned Art Deco luxury
♥ Located in the trendiest and most beautiful area of Shanghai
This hotel is located in the beautiful Concession area of Shanghai, just where it meets Changing district – which just so happens to be home to most of Shanghai’s gay bars and venues. This makes the Radisson Collection Hotel Xing Guo an ideal option if you are looking to make the most of Shanghai’s gay nightlife, with some of the most popular gay bars in the city a short 15-minute walk away.
The decor is grand and old-fashioned, themed to match the Art Deco surroundings of the French Concession. This may not appeal to lovers of contemporary design, but will delight anyone who enjoys the feel of a traditional luxury hotel with all the comforts of a modern one.
A lovely green park surrounds the hotel, giving an impression of remote serenity in the very heart of chaotic Shanghai. Beyond, the leafy avenues of the Concession make for some lovely daytime walks, while at night the area becomes Shanghai’s center of trendy, young, upmarket nightlife.
♥ Lovely decor with delicate florals and luxury materials
♥ Courtyard rooms offer a rare sensation of peace and quiet in the middle of the city
♥ Seriously comfortable tasteful and soothing decor
This hotel is one of the best places to stay in the French Concession, sitting along leafy and pleasant Hengshan Road. This location makes it both an extremely convenient place to stay – the city’s liveliest and coolest nightlife spots are all close by, not to mention the gay bars just under a 10-minute drive away – and an incredibly relaxing one.
The exterior of the building is already quite striking, but the interior decor is the main highlight. The theme is an updated take on the blend of Chinese and Art Deco influences that define the French Concession. The courtyard rooms are particularly desirable, as they face the large central courtyard of the building and, as a result, are extremely peaceful and quiet.
There is an excellent spa and three restaurants, including one serving authentic Cantonese cuisine and a rooftop terrace option with incredible views. The pool is indoors but large and heated, making for a lovely dip at any time of the year.
♥ Well-located near plenty of shops bars restaurants and transport links
♥ Very good buffet breakfast to start your day right
♥ Helpful and friendly staff
This Marriott hotel is located in Xujiahui, a popular shopping and entertainment district of Shanghai. Most of the city’s gay bars are a 25-minute walk away or a 10-minute drive, and there are also excellent public transport links to the rest of the city.
It is a very good mid-range option for visitors looking to enjoy the food and bar scene of Shanghai. The decor is at times slightly outdated, but the rooms are extremely comfortable with large windows and excellent beds.
The breakfast is particularly well-rated, with a generous and high-quality selection of Western and Asian dishes. Their cafe even has a to-go section, in case you can’t wait to get started with your day in Shanghai. It’s worth spending a little bit of extra cash to gain access to the executive lounge, which has great service and a good selection of drinks and snacks.
♥ Party Central Location
♥ Spacious and comfortable rooms
♥ Good value for money
The Crowne Plaza is one of the closest hotels to the cluster of gay bars in Changing, making it perfect for guys who want to stay close to the nightlife. Most of Shanghai’s gay bars are less than ten minutes away, with Lucca 390 being a mere 3-minute walk. Nearby, Jiaotong University metro station connects to the city’s main landmarks.
The hotel itself is on the dated side, with a more business-focused feel to it. However, the rooms are large, comfortable, and clean. The staff are helpful and well-trained to deal with international customers, which is always a convenience of an established global chain like Crowne Plaza. There is a good fitness center and a spa, as well as an indoor swimming pool.
Overall, this is a good option if you want reliable service and comfort while staying next to the Shanghai gay scene and you’ll be thankful for that 5-minute walk back from the bar while everyone else tries to find taxis.