Make the most of your time in Shanghai by staying at the glittering nightlife and social nucleus of the city: the Bund. While all the hotels along that strip overlook the Huangpu River and the nighttime cruises, a few stand out for having something a little more special. These are the top 5 we recommend.

W Hotel - The Bund

The newest (and swankiest) kid on the block is the W Hotel, a mash-up of breathtaking views, futuristic amenities, and glamorous designs that incorporate aspects of historic and contemporary Shanghai. Rooms, for instance, feature xiaolongbao (soup dumpling) and chopstick pillows as a tip of the hat to the city's culinary culture.

All 374 guestrooms of China's third W-branded property look out onto the Huangpu River and the glittering Pudong skyline. Other draws include the Instagram-perfect outdoor pool and lounge. If you're coming, be sure to book early, as rooms for its opening week went fast.

Broadway Mansions Hotel Shanghai

Sitting pretty on the Suzhou Creek and a short walk away from the Bund, Broadway Mansions Hotel Shanghai overlooks the trifecta of sights that define the Bund, minus the crowds: Huangpu River, Lujiazui, and Pudong. It's famous - and justifiably so - for its sweeping riverside views.

A 5-star hotel, Broadway was originally built in the 1930s and now boasts more than 80 years of history. During its heyday, it held the crown of Shanghai's highest restaurant. Nowadays, choose from 253 guest rooms, along with restaurants, bars, and banquet halls. It is also walking distance to many other tourist attractions.

The Waterhouse at South Bund

If designs rank highly on your list of ideal hotels, then The Waterhouse hits the spot. Award-winning Chinese architectural firm NHDRO has created a landmark that merges old and new, sleekness and comfort. It re-purposes a three-story building that previously served as army headquarters for the Japanese in the 1930s, keeping the original concrete building intact while giving it a modern makeover.

Offering only 19 rooms, this boutique hotel can be found near the historic Old Town of Shanghai and adjacent to The Cool Docks, a new riverside area with restaurants, bars, and more. From inside, enjoy the seemingly limitless horizon of the Pudong skyline.

Banyan Tree Shanghai on the Bund

For a full-on urban retreat, put Banyan Tree Shanghai on the Bund at the top of your list. Just north of the Huangpu River, this resort hotel lays claim to floor-to-ceiling riverside or cityscape views in each of its 118 rooms: those ending in 10-18 face the neoclassical side of the Bund, while the rest look onto Pudong.

Its trump card, though, is unarguably TOPS. The popular wrap-around rooftop bar is Shanghai's first (and only) to have unobstructed 180-degree views of the city. Couple that with a strong cocktail and tapas game, and you have all the reasons in the world to check out Banyan Tree.

Hotel Indigo Shanghai on the Bund

Hip and posh, this South Bund boutique hotel fuses Shanghai's history with modern twists like no other, starting with the restored rickshaw that makes up the centerpiece of the lobby. Not to be outdone, its guest rooms use reclaimed wood from Chinese merchant ships and shikumen bricks.

When it opened in 2010, Hotel Indigo marked the InterContinential Hotel Group's first foray into Asia. For dinner and a view, splurge on CHAR, the steakhouse and bar whose piece de resistance is the ultra-premium Blackmore's wagyu beef from Australia and their signature cocktails, the CHAR-tini and CHAR Mojito.