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“authentic experience” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Banyan Tree Ringha

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Banyan Tree Ringha
5.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Hong Po Village, Jian Yang Town, Shangri-La County, Shangri-La County 674400, China   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #4 of 121 Hotels in Shangri-La County
4.5 of 5 stars 184 Reviews
hong kong
Top Contributor
298 reviews 298 reviews
292 hotel reviews
Reviews in 224 cities Reviews in 224 cities
579 helpful votes 579 helpful votes
“authentic experience”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 5, 2006

we stayed here for two nights, 1st all the location: if you are city folks, please stay home, this is a hotel for people that want to see why Zhongdian is called Shangri-la, ie beautiful rivers, mountains, yaks, horses, pigs, etc. culture: Tibetan Buddhism, friendly locals

this place really feels like it is out in the middle of nowhere but that's the charm of this place, I had very spoilt city friends that loved this place and other less spoilt city friends that hated this place so do your research first

I liked the location (10 minutes hike to a 800 year temple), great views, was impressed with the way the Banyan Tree farmhouses completely blend in with the local village houses, decent food at the restaurant, cups & cups of ginger tea, very easy walk down by the river (nice kayaking spot in the summer), convenient location to see how the villagers live their day to day lives, far from "downtown"--which is nothing much to see, except for old town "gucheng" that's worth spending 1/2 a day in & also far from Songzanlin Si

for the price I paid though, the rooms were not that clean, my bedsheets had strands of hair (lots of them, & not the ones that grow on your head) on them

my friends and I are planning to come back next June, & at this point I'm inclined to stay at Songtsam Hotel instead. (but Songtsam is undergoing renovations so will have to see)

p.s. another complain I have is that I wrote the hotel 3 emails (to 3 different addresses) to ask if they still had a farm rat problem (something I read about in tripadvsior.com by another member), I only heard back from the HK sales office after I came back from the trip, turned out that they had a computer glitch and never got my emails, I was offered a free lunch which I turned down, I still like the Banyan Tree hotel chain and may check out their other properties (I loved Bintan & Phuket) but like I said, if Songtsam is opened by June, I prefer not to come back here.

  • Liked — the way it blended in the local village
  • Disliked — not clean
  • Tips/Secrets — definitely check out the surroundings & get out of the hotel !
  • Stayed November 2006, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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184 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (21)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
UK
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed October 30, 2006

We stayed at the Banyan Tree Ringha for 4 nights during August.

Having done our research, we were not expecting the Banyan Tree Phuket. We were expecting Tibetan remoteness, harshness and altitude sickness - that is what attracted us (we are used to extremes of climate and environment). That said, we were also expecting a certain level of comfort/professionalism because this is a Banyan Tree resort, and because we were paying a room rate that reflects the rates not dissimilar to other Banyan Tree properties.

There is nothing however, on the Banyan Tree website to prepare guests for the difficulties we encountered (quite the opposite - you'd never guess that you were not heading to something akin to Banyan Tree Phuket from the website), and which, from the dismissive replies we have received from the hotel, are part of the fabric of this resort.

In short:

- While we understand and think it wonderful that the Banyan Tree support the local population (a big draw to us), we found it extremely difficult and frustrating to have very few people around us that could understand us. We would have expected someone on duty at all times in all areas (reception, restaurant etc) who had a good understanding of English to help the guests. It's not really good enough to ask us to be patient and speak slower (in the hotel literature and welcome papers) - we need to be able to communicate our needs and questions (such as what are we eating?) - what if it were an emergency? All the staff were exceptionally friendly and as helpful as they could be. They just couldn't understand/speak English enough to be truly so.

2. The facilities were not as we expected they would be at a 5* resort, nor as advertised. The food choices were limited. The only real local flavour came in the form of the hotpot which we enjoyed on one night. We were there for 4 though, with no other choice than the main restaurant which served mainly western food (we really wanted local food). The advertised (on the web as well as in the rooms) bar with Tibetan snacks did not exist. Even the staff did not know that. It's only after we asked about it on our last day (having searched high and low), pointing to the room information on which it was advertised, and enquiries were made among the staff, that everyone seemed to find out it only opens in winter?! That limited choice could have been really boring - we are grateful however, to the chef for making us our special request on the last night - the resort gained back some "brownie points" for having done that!

3.The resort is in an isolated location - one of its key attractions. Shopping is not at your doorstep. Why then are basic supplies not available. For example, I unexpectedly needed an amenity that in my experience of hotels of this class - and not solely ones that are in remote locations - are typically stocked to assist their guests, typically at no cost. The resort however, does not do so. I am grateful to the receptionist (sadly I did not get her name) who arranged to purchase what I needed for me and her local shop (I paid). Not sure what I would have done had she not done that. The minibar is also very poorly stocked (Blue Nun wine??)...

4.Our guide on the drive/trek we did was very not to our liking/not what we expected. Among other things, he seemed very disinterested in everything other than the prospect of a tip (he fell asleep on the drive and tried to discourage us from wanting to go everywhere advertised), he could not answer any of our questions (he wasn't the knowledgeable guide advertised) and his personal habits made me hugely uncomfortable (and to be honest, a little sick). He called it "Tibetan toilet break". It consisted of stopping the car and urinating just behind it (within earshot), and stopping to urinate/defecate on the trek. I have to say I did not expect to have to go through that - and be offered lunch from him after that! I expected a much more professional and educational drive/trek for the price being charged.

There are a lot of great things going for the resort and a lot of things it does really well. We loved the fact that it is so integrated into the local society. We loved the ginger tea, the room, the spa and the location. The staff were great as I say above. But it was not truly a 5* experience reflective of the price charged (or our other Banyan Tree experiences) for reasons which cannot be blamed on its location/its rustic nature. The hotel has responded to our concerns doing just that.

We left feeling not wholly satisfied and remain so, having had nothing but defensive replies from the hotel implying we were expecting too much. Sadly then, if that is how the hotel intends to continue, we are unable to truly recommend it. - a great pity as it is in a great location

One last tip - if you do go, don't do as we chose to do (to support the locals) and catch a taxi from the airport. Better I'm afraid, to book the hotel car. Our local taxi driver stopped in the town and started gesturing and talking at us - as we couldn't understand, we called the hotel. It turned out the driver wanted money...4 times the proper fare to take us to the hotel!!! Thanks goodness for mobile phones...and a hotel who negotiated for us!

  • Stayed August 2006
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Singapore
1 review
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed October 24, 2006

My husband and I have just returned from a scheduled 3night stay at the Banyan Tree Ringha. The lodges are truely magnificent and the location is wonderful but the RAT PLAGUE is certainly not our thing. We were kept awake 2nights by constant scratching and scurrying in our room and had to shake RAT DROPPINGS from our clothes each morning after being over-run by rats all night. Management were very apologetic and advised they have tried all sorts of things to keep the rats at bay but post harvest they are particularly bad (when we were visiting). We were moved into their sister hotel, the dire 2star Angsana, in the nearest town and couldn't wait to fly out first thing the next morning. Would not recommend anyone stay unless you are happy to share your luxury accommodation with a noisy family of vermin!

  • Liked — Open fire in the middle of the room was great
  • Disliked — The rat plague that is a year round problem especially bad post harvest
  • Tips/Secrets — Do not go to this hotel
  • Stayed October 2006, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hong Kong
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 9, 2006

This is not your typical Banyan tree experience. If you're expecting swimming pools, golf courses, tennis courts and the like, this is not the place for you. Don't take your manolos and those evening dresses girls; trade them in for a nice, warm fleece jacket and practical hiking boots. Banyan Tree Ringha is located in an amazingly serene, calm and remote area of Yunnan. You live in a rustic Tibetan farmhouse, secluded from the rest of the world. You're forever surrounded by lakes, valleys, pigs, goats and yaks. They're sooo adorable you might be able to resist the tempation to chase after them. (I of course did chase after them, with 3 of my other dear friends) Its only when you get back to your lodge that you realise you might just have fallen prey to high altitude sickness. Fear not, there's endless (complimentary, may i say) cups of ginger tea for your pleasure and the tour guides are always equipped with oxygen bottles just in case. The hotel staff are wonderful and friendly, always here 24/7 to attend to your needs, even if it means listening to you talk about complete nonsense for hours on end. (the lack of oxygen makes you weird and dumb, trust me) I had a GREAT TIME and would go back to Ringha in a heartbeat. Need I say more? Look at the pictures................

  • Stayed April 2006
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 19, 2006

We stayed at the newly opened Banyan Tree Ringha for six days in November.
Located at the end of a peaceful valley, the position of the hotel is delightful, with yaks and small black pigs (very cute) meandering past. The colourful dressed friendly locals are an added bonus.
The Tibetan style farm houses used in the structure of the buildings give an almost Alpine feel. The road to the hotel is a bumpy twenty minute ride, and unfortunately the building of the staff dormitories is a bit of an eyesore on the landscape.
The hotel does still have several teething problems that need to be urgently addressed if they are to rely on the five star billing.
During the six days we were there we received no clean linen or towels, hard to justify when the room rate was approaching $400 per night. Despite the fact the my partner was ill with a fever in bed for two days, the bed contined to be made up damp.
When cleaning the room, staff took out the easy option and brushed any dust or rubbish under the beautiful Tibetan rugs.
The food was basic and after six days terribly monotonous, and we were dissapointed on several occasions that the buffet breakfast was withdrwan because of the small number of guests.
We did make our comments known to the manager but have subsequently not heard anything from the Banyan Tree Group.

  • Stayed November 2005
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 24
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Banyan Tree Ringha

Address: Hong Po Village, Jian Yang Town, Shangri-La County, Shangri-La County 674400, China
Location: China > Yunnan > Shangri-La County
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 121 Hotels in Shangri-La County
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Banyan Tree Ringha 5*
Number of rooms: 32
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
One of the most secluded hideaways in the world, Shangrila is a remote paradise hidden in a Tibetan valley. Surrounded by snow capped mountains, Banyan Tree Ringha is nestled within this fabled valley, offering awe-inspiring views and experiences within a tranquil retreat. Leave the modern world behind and step into a land of great beauty and peacefulness. At the Banyan Tree Ringha, the feeling of exotic isolation converges with all the comforts of a pampering resort stay. Discover all that Ringha has to offer with the "Spirit of Shangrila" program. Designed as an all-inclusive package, the program covers the best tours and treks in the area. With transport, meals and accommodation taken care of, as well as a local guide to show you around, all you have to do is to relax, enjoy, and take in the beautiful surroundings. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Banyan Tree Ringha Hotel Shangri-La County
Banyan Tree Ringha Shangri-La County, China - Yunnan

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