HI - Shanghai - Le Tour Shanghai YH Hostel (not to be confused with the associated Shanghai Le Tour Traveller's) is a traditional-style hostel located close to metro stations. The initial impression is that it's rundown, but that's not really the case when you move inside. The dcor is YHA and homey with several connected common areas. It's strictly nonsmoking inside and there is good Wi-Fi throughout the building. As it's a bit further out of town than most hostels, it is often quieter and especially worth thinking of when other hostels are busy.
The hostel is located right under an elevated metro line -- so to some, it will feel noisy -- and about a five-minute walk from a metro stop. By the metro and on the corner of Bailin Lu, it is not difficult to find. It's certainly further from town than most hostels, but using the metro it's not too much of a problem. It is across the street from small food stalls and shops, small restaurants, and modern convenience stores. On the other side of the tracks is a massive modern shopping complex with stunning architecture (you are likely to be stunned one way or the other!), catering to an ever-growing Chinese upper class.
Rooms and Bathrooms
The dorms are spacious, and, like most of the hostel floors, are carpeted (and badly stained). Each dorm person is provided with an enormous-locking locker. The bunks are solid, as are the mattresses (this is China!) and each has a shelf and light, and there are several power points. All the rooms are air conditioned. The modern bathrooms are kept very clean and have both western WCs and squattie potties, while the showers are quite adequate.
There is a large, cosy common area with multiple sub-areas or alcoves, each with varying types of sofas and chairs or tables and chairs all with good Wi-Fi reception and minimal dropouts. The front common area, where quiet background music is played, contains a small bar with just a small range of drinks and slightly expensive food. In the larger common area, one section has free TV/DVD; in another there are three free, internet-connected PCs. Magazines (though they are mostly in Chinese), a book exchange, and hot water are useful extras. There's even a mini gym -- there's only three pieces of equipment but hopefully it's enough to keep the addicted at peace with themselves! There are plenty of flyers for other YHA hostels and useful maps and tourist info for Shanghai and the hinterland. Out via the small back patio is a small kitchen, with just microwaves (as good as it gets in Chinese hostels) and a fridge, and a laundry (though the dryer is expensive).
This is a good hostel, with quietly helpful staff. Unfortunately it's a bit far from the main tourist attractions, but is not too difficult to get to them. As the metro is just ten metres away -- that is ten metres sideways and ten metres above -- it can seem a bit noisy at first, but we found that we soon ignored the rattlers (anyway, they do do not run through the night). The hostel is a bit lacking in social atmosphere during the day but there is always lively chatting in the evenings. Le Tour does not have the problem of excess of long-term residents that affects many other Shanghai hostels. We don't consider this the best hostel in Shanghai, but it's most definitely not the worst.