Holiday Inn Shanghai Pudong Kangqiao
ENTRY 10,000RMB per year for a membership card
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
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. But this level of decadence doesn’t
come cheap; entry is 250RMB just for the pool. A far better
option is to get the brunch deal however; fork out 556RMB
for the brunch buffet, including free-flow Champagne and
drinks, and you can get all-day access to the pool as well,
dishing up plenty of tanning and indulgence.
Sofitel Shanghai Sheshan Oriental is at 3388 Sichen Gong Lu, near Jiasong Nan Lu, Songjiang
Shimao Riviera Garden
ENTRY 200RMB for adults, 100RMB
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
Purple Mountain Hotel
ENTRY 150RMB for adults, 80RMB for kids
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 788 Dongfang Lu, near Zhangyang Lu,
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 same
the 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.
INCLUDING Access to outdoor pool, 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.