Where is it? In the heart of Shanghai's prime luxury shopping, entertainment and business district and a 10-minute drive to the city's famous Bund. The 55-room boutique hotel is conveniently located a few steps away from Nanjing West subway station. What's it like? A sleek blend of contemporary minimalism enlivened by bespoke artwork and furniture. The seven-storey 1920s art deco building's transformation into a chic hotel is thanks to 28-year-old Yenn Wong, owner of the award-winning Philippe Starck-designed Jia Hong Kong. Jia means 'home' in Putonghua and Wong has certainly achieved the impossible, creating a trendy but comfortable stay at prices that won't empty the wallet. It has all the attractions of a boutique hotel but without any of the scarily uber-cool staff or tiny rooms. What is so good about it? The rooms contain thoughtful touches such as fully equipped designer capsule kitchens and plentiful supplies of addictive Shanghai White Rabbit sweets, while splashes of colour and artwork add a personal touch. A close inspection of a striking red wall feature (above right) reveals an intricate miniature pattern of Mao Zedong's portrait and Little Red Book. Service is smooth, friendly, well-informed and multi-lingual. Nintendo and Wii games and Chinese board games are available for use and non-smoking rooms are optional. The business centre includes a conference room. Hotel-wide broadband and Wi-fi is free. Who should visit? Anyone who subscribes to Wallpaper* or Monocle magazines. Design- and style-conscious travellers weary of large anonymous hotels will be impressed. For travellers keen on privacy, the hotel's presence is not announced by flashing lights or garish signs and the card-only restricted entrance provides an exclusive club-like atmosphere. What is there to do? At night the lobby (above left) transforms from a tranquil reading area into an elegant cocktail bar. Ask one of the fashionable young staff to conjure up a taxi and head to nearby Xintiandi's car-free shikumen (stone) houses for concentrated shopping and dining or to the Bund for a glimpse of that fabulous view. What's on the menu? The hotel has a signature Italian restaurant. For guests not wanting to venture out, an extensive menu offers light and casual dining from numerous cafes and restaurants, delivered to your room. What's the bottom line? Room rates start at 2,000 yuan for a studio but check the website for special introductory deals. Included in the prices are breakfast, all-day soft drinks, afternoon cakes and evening beverages in the lobby. Local calls are free. Jia Shanghai, 931 Nanjing Road, Shanghai 200041, tel: 86 21 6217 9000; www.jiashanghai.com .