Temperatures are rising at a rapid rate in Shanghai these days and a refreshing escape is in order. If you're looking for us this summer, you'll find us pool side (a cocktail may or may not be in hand) at one of these amazing destinations in our fair city.
1. Ambassy Club (outdoor and indoor)
Slides, fountains and pool play-things galore, this former French Concession private club turns into a child-magnet come summertime. Even with all the youngsters, the relatively refined atmosphere and good location keeps us coming back. Drop in during the week for a quieter experience.
Opening Hours: Indoor (closed from 7/17-9/17), 6.30am-9pm (Mon-Fri), 8am-9pm (weekend); Outdoor, 11.30am-7pm (Mon), 9am-7pm (Tue-Fri), 8am-7pm (weekend)
Cost: RMB150 (indoor and outdoor)
See a listing for Ambassy Club.
Located in Lujiazui, this pool offers sweeping views of the Huangpu River and the Shanghai skyline. The 20-metre long, 160-sqm indoor swimming pool is located on the top floor and is kept at a constant temperature of 26-28°C year round. You'll love the natural light that streams through the glass ceiling overhead.
Opening Hours: 7am-11pm
Cost: Free for guests, RMB345 for one-time entry
See a listing for Grand Kempinksi Hotel Shanghai.
3. W Shanghai - The Bund (outdoor and indoor)
Coming soon! Price TBA.
See a listing for W Shanghai - The Bund.
4. Hyatt on the Bund (indoor)
A 25m swimming pool is a good start, but what to do afterwards? Following your invigorating swim (and/or hour spent floating on your back) visit the Yuan Spa’s built-in hair salon or juice bar. You deserve it, probably.
Opening Hours: Year-round, 6am-11pm
Cost: RMB290 + 15 percent service charge (inclusive of service charge and tax) for a day pass. Membership: RMB15,000/year.
See a listing for Hyatt on the Bund.
5. Jinshan Urban Beach (outdoor)
None of that phony fake-sand stuff here; if you want to dive into the sea, frolic in the waves and enjoy fresh seafood, take the trip out to this Shanghai suburb. You have to pay to get on the beach in the summer, but it’s free other times of the year.
Opening Hours: 8.30am-8.30pm (June 20-Sep 10)
Cost: RMB30 (weekdays), RMB50 (weekends)
See a listing for Jinshan Urban Beach.
6. JW Marriott Shanghai Tomorrow Square (outdoor and indoor)
Conveniently located in the center of the city, the outdoor pool is the perfect spot for a sophisticated snooze and tan.
Opening Hours: May-October (Outdoor), Year-round, 6am-11pm (Indoor)
Cost: RMB280/adult per entry. Free for hotel guests.
See a listing for JW Marriott Shanghai Tomorrow Square.
7. Mandarin City (outdoor)
With a swim-up bar that serves drinks and food, and featuring a relatively large water space, this is a hot spot for pool parties. Come early if you want to get a chair or even a space to drape your towel – it fills up quick. During parties, occasional drink deals are offered with the entrance fee.
Open: 11am-8pm (Mon), 7am-8pm (Tue, Wed, Fri-Sun), 1pm-8pm (Thur)
Cost: RMB100, RMB60 for kids.
See a listing for Mandarin City.
Located on the sixth floor of InterContinental Shanghai Puxi, the Health Club features both a gym and a swimming pool. The spacious indoor swimming pool with high rise ceilings is 200 square metres with a constant temperature of 26-28°C. The pool has a well-organized changing room, where you can store your personal items and change for the pool area. The pool is open to adults and children, and has the perfect environment for a day of leisure.
Open: Year-round, 6am-11pm
Cost: Free for in-house guests. Annual membership is priced at RMB20,000 a year, including gym and swimming pool access.
See a listing for InterContinental Shanghai Puxi
9. New Star (outdoor and indoor)
Not only do they offer hot tubs, cool baths, steam and dry saunas, showers, a restaurant and a lounge, but you can also get fit in their gym or go for an afternoon snooze in one of their cabanas. Not a bad deal, even if it isn’t located directly in the city center.
Opening Hours: 9am-6pm, now through early September
See a listing for New Star.
10. New World Shanghai Hotel (outdoor)
Coming in at 250 square meters, while pricier than some of the ground-level spots, this hotel pool is large, quiet and has a fantastic view. An ample number of lounge chairs and a decent-sized outdoor terrace promise a relaxing afternoon escape.
Opening Hours: 7am-9pm daily
Cost: RMB200 (Mon-Fri), RMB300 (weekend)
See a listing for New World Shanghai Hotel.
11. Brilliant City
Pool inside an apartment complex just north of Suzhou Creek. Their RMB25 entry is great for swimmers on a budget, though expect it to be crowded. Swimming cap required for entry.
Opening Hours: 9am-10pm through August 31
Cost: RMB25 before 5pm, RMB35 after 5pm
See a listing for Brilliant City Pool.
12. Purple Mountain Hotel (outdoor)
This round rooftop pool sees a number of parties every summer. When the atmosphere isn’t filled with pumpin’ beats and partiers, you’ll find this a good place to catch some sun as the skyscrapers don’t block the rays. There’s also a kiddie pool that’ll keep the rugrats busy.
Cost: Free for hotel guests, others TBD
See a listing for Purple Mountain Hotel.
13. Shanghai Grand Plaza (outdoor)
Cheap and convenient, if tiny and not as fancy as some of the other cool pools, it’s easy to reel in a group of friends to gather here. Make sure to bring everything at once – they won’t let you back in once you leave.
Opening Hours: 9am-9pm
Cost: RMB100 (weekdays), RMB150 (weekends)
See a listing for Shanghai Grand Plaza.
14. Shanghai Sun Island Golf & Spa Resort (outdoor and indoor)
Surf’s up dude! This massive pool makes waves with its “real imported sand” beaches and twisty slides. More of a luxury weekend getaway than a day trip, you can also go rock climbing, play on their 36-hole golf course, rent go-karts and ride horses.
Outdoor: Mid June-Oct, Indoor: Year-round
Opening Hours: 10am-9pm, year-round (indoor); 9am-5pm, mid-June-Oct (outdoor)
Cost: Free for guests. Non-members pay RMB125 to use the outdoor pool and RMB120 to use the indoor pool
See a listing for Shanghai Sun Island Golf & Spa Resort.
15. Shimao Riviera Garden Pool (outdoor and indoor)
Plenty of swimming space and a fair-sized stretch of beach; when we head here, we stay all day. A few volleyball courts are usually set up and there’s also a workout pool inside, but with a bar outside serving up cocktails and beer (albeit on the pricier side) you won’t find too many of us swimming in those lanes.
Opening Hours: Indoor pool open all-year round 7am-10pm, but currently closed for renovation until July 10, 7am-10pm; outdoor pool 10am-7pm, open until early September.
Cost: RMB200 for adults, RMB100 for children
See a listing for Shimao Riviera Garden Pool.
16. Sofitel Shanghai Sheshan Oriental (outdoor and indoor)
Dotted with islands and playgrounds, the outdoor swimming pool extends 4,400sqm and is bordered by a beach with real sand from Vietnam. The poolside bar offers choices of beer, champagne and cocktails and there is also an indoor heated swimming pool.
Opening Hours: 7am-9pm (indoor), 7am-7pm (outdoor)
Cost: Free for hotel and brunch guests, others RMB300. Call ahead of time at 3761 8888
See a listing for Sofitel Shanghai Sheshan Oriental.
17. Sunny Beach Bihaijinsha (outdoor)
The largest artificial beach in China with 650,000sqm of water and 80,000m of sand, its name – which means blue sea and golden sand – is particularly apt. There are water trikes, volleyball nets and surfboards for rent. Just like a real beach. Food is also welcome, so take along your picnic baskets.
Opening Hours: 8am-8pm until early September
Cost: RMB65 for adults, RMB30 for children
See a listing for Sunny Beach Bihaijinsha.
18. Yanlord Garden Lujiazui (outdoor and indoor)
On the opposite side of town you can find the twin pool of the Yanlord pair. It offers two decent-sized outdoor infinity pools plus a Jacuzzi with a small palm tree in the middle. Although it’s no beach, it has one of the greenest compounds in Shanghai. You won’t hear us complaining!
Opening Hours: 7am-10pm, year-round (indoor); Outdoor July-September times TBA
Cost: RMB10 (members only)
See a listing for Yanlord Garden Lujiazui.
19. Hongkou Swimming Pool (outdoor)
The huge 1,400 sqm pool can accommodate nearly 600 swimmers, but even with all that space, you might still get splashed. Luckily for those who prefer to “really swim,” ample lanes are provided. A few slides wind their way around as well.
Open: Daily, 1-9pm.
Cost: RMB35 in the daytime, RMB40 for night swimmers (both have 2-hour time limit).
See a listing for Hongkou Swimming Pool.
20. G-Luxe Hotel (outdoor)
Situated around 10 minutes away from Hongqiao Airport, G-Luxe Hotel has a decently-sized outdoor lakeside pool surrounded by a 480-square-meter sunbathing terrace with plenty of lounge chairs. Nearby hotel facilities include spas and restaurants.
Open: Daily, 8am-8pm
Cost: RMB60 per person
See a listing for G-Luxe Hotel.
Pool information has been updated. Original article by Erik Crouch.