The Banyan Tree Shanghai has a way to go before its service and atmosphere matches the price it charges. My family stayed at the hotel on the 23rd of Dec for one night as a pre-Christmas urban break. We choose the romantic package which included breakfast and Spa for 2. As with many new Hotels on Mainland China the hardware in there although over the period of 24hrs lack of attention to detail and pedestrian service standards leave you feeling with a sub standard experience.
The rooms were large and well designed – the large window and couch facing the river and Lujiazui skyline are unbeatable, as is the oversized bath. The bed was comfortable and pillows great. It is when you leave the room that the hotel fails to deliver in terms of providing a pampering resort atmosphere.
When purchasing a package one does not expect to have to fight to receive the services outlined. A rollaway was on offer and requested before check-in although had to be arranged again on arrival. Children’s meals were stated at being 50% of prices although this was not recognised and ended up being an unpleasant conversation on the morning of day 2. The spa lacks experience, and you are lead through the motions of a spa experience in an almost robotic checklist fashion. The therapists would pass a test in terms of technique although you can get a better massage experience for 100 RMB in standalone massage houses in Shanghai. There was a lack of discretion in the delivery of the service. On entering the spa you are taken down 2 flights of stairs as the temperature drops - a feeling of being taken into a dungeon not a 5 star spa service. The therapist executed the service in a factory like manner – insensitive to experience of the receiver. It was not bad - just ordinary. After the massage we had hoped to have a steam bath – although it did not work – there was no checking by the staff if the steam had actually came on – just a cold room with water coming out of an outlet in the wall…after this the staff provided fruit and tea, tea was cold and fruit sat in a plastic cup with plastic wrap over it, while invited to relax post spa the staff hovered over you as you are asked to complete a satisfaction survey. Far from relaxing. We did not dine at the restaurants, as they simply did not feel inviting. Staff also did not seem interested in welcoming you into the restaurants or inquiring and making suggestions - nothing. (I ended up driving for 30 mins to buy take-out and bring back to the room – there are no facilities around the hotel – lucky I had a car and know Shanghai well enough to find good food).
The breakfast was small and quality good – apart from croissants which were the small frozen and heat variety. My wife also helped herself to Soy Milk only to find it was cows milk – mislabelling. What made this extraordinary was that after pointing this out to waiting staff she was told she was incorrect – it is soy milk (read – you are a liar and don’t know what you are talking about). She persisted and eventually we were provided with real soymilk…
In terms of the 50% issue with Children’s food, this was sorted out by Management efficiently and with the aim of not making an issue – this was appreciated. I was however not surprised to hear from the accent that this manager was from Singapore and well versed in hospitality and providing clients with hassle free problem solving. If only all the staff had this level of professionalism.
The pool area was great - a large lap pool with 3 separate hot, warm, and cold plunge pools. The staff in the pool / gym area were friendly and welcoming and attentive.
One last point, when checking out the family sat on the lobby couches – the table in front of the couch was covered in dust…the children were drawing pictures with their fingers.
If you visit the Banyan tree for the rooms, view, pool you will not be disappointed although the experience in the rest of the hotel was disappointing. Given the choice of urban resorts in Shanghai I would stick with the Puli Hotel until the Banyan tree passes through their learning curve of attention to detail and providing a unique consistent experience. At the end of the day the hardware is expected to be great although it is the service and atmosphere created by the staff that makes or breaks the experience. All the best to Banyan Tree Shanghai in eventually getting this right.
Rooms on the bund side will have a better view of Pudong skyline
See more room tips
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dear Valued Guest,
Report response as inappropriate
Thank you for taking the time to share your comments following your recent stay with us. We thank you for your constructive feedback and we are sorry if we have in some areas, been short in delivering to your expectations. We are poised to make further improvements as we progress through the initial months following our recent opening.
I am pleased to know that Michael Yang, our Assistant Chief Banyan Tree Host has delighted you with his professional service. I have shared your comments with our team to make sure we will meet at all times our guest’s expectations.
Please let me know when you next plan to visit Shanghai and I will personally make sure your next stay will be a perfect one.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.