Horizon club package was of a great value, the service and attentiveness of the Club staff was amazing. The location and view from the lounge is excellent and really makes a nice start to the evening for any couple. The location of the hotel is perfect, a short walk to shopping and a short walk to the night area passing some fantastic bridges and scenery.
Excellent hotel, service and premises are super. The Horizon Club rooms are great. The Horizon package is great value and providing breakfast, dinner and drinks with an amazing view of the river. The gym is well equipped and the swimming pool is olympic size and water is at the right temperature. The hotel even provide swimming lessons free of charge by an experience and friend staff Overall, the hotel staff does whatever possible to make our stay enjoyable and memorable. In addition, the hotel is centrally located and less than 5 min walk from the river walk and major shopping area We definitely highly recommend the Shangri-La at Ningbo
This will be the story that everyone working at this Shangri-La will be talking about, as this hotels turns around towards becoming the best of the best hotels in Ningbo. I took my family to the Shangri-La Hotel in Ningbo for first time from May 2nd to the 3rd during the Chinese May Labor Holiday. It was to say the least a disaster. The circumstances of my first stay was just too bad to the point that I called out the General Manager Eddy Tao on the experience on this forum. There was just underperforming service, poor organization, poor room presentation, dangerous food health & safety issues, and most disturbingly having a smoking room when requesting a non-smoking room when having a senior lung cancer survivor. I previously wrote a review expressing my frustrations about the experience we had, and was quite angry with the entire team at Shangri-La. I was really mad to the point that I brought in comparisons to how my stay at a sold-out InterContinental Ningbo out-performed against the nowhere near full Shangri-La hotel. It was the first time I stayed at any Shangri-La brand, it left myself a sorrowful impression of it. A couple of days later I was reached out by Resident Manager Rosanna Hao via a phone call to inquire about our experience there. In a 60 minute phone call, we dived into the exact details of my review. Discussing about the food’s health and safety, to the overall service quality. We also discussed on the reasons why Shangri-La , and the reason was due to the sudden demand of customers and the lack of inexperienced staff members. The entire management team was disturbed by my long essay about how bad the experience was. It was so shocking to the point that they were left stunned by review, and I believe it fixed in a reality check for the hotel management to re-examine the organizational structure and service integrity of the hotel. To Ms. Hao’s credit, she offered us either a refund or a free night stay. I didn’t want them to refund me as I believed in second chances, so I offered to next time pay for my stay, but then request an upgrade to the Horizon Club Room so that I can compare it to the Club InterContinental Experience. To my shock and total disbelief, she offered me the Horizon Club Room for free. This is above and beyond customer service, but the real true Shangri-La experience is yet to be written in the next few paragraphs. We set the second stay dates at June 13th to the 14th, a specific time date where I could properly re-examine this hotel identical to the holiday rush, which is the during Dragon Boat Festival Holiday. Myself and my family set a list of 17 expectations in 3 different categories: Essential/Basic, Priority and Optional. Initially, I was not going to make this list known to the Shangri-La management, but after care consideration in courtesy, I just the list sent to Ms. Hao who pledged that the hotel will deliver all 17 of them. I also surprised her by saying on check-in day that I arrived a day earlier than I said, to revisit the InterContinental Hotel to understand which brand stands out as the best hotel in Ningbo more. Is it InterContinental or Shangri-La? We were still at the InterContinental Hotel, we were checking out and had a conversation with their Front Office Manager about our stay. We discussed with that Front Office Manager about our first Shangri-La stay, and he confirmed that some of the details we raised were not qualified as norms to perform as a 5-Star Hotel. He was rather shocked that a fellow luxurious hotel performed this badly. The next details significantly shocked me to an impressive extent. The manager revealed to me that Shangri-La called InterContinental, and told me that a “VIP” group was coming from InterContinental to Shangri-La, and wanted to know a rough estimated time or arrival from InterContinental. It came to my mind at that point that me and my family were not going to be treated like ordinary guests. The club check-in experience is safe to say, beats InterContinental without the extra VIP treatment we were subject to, based on witnessing another Horizon’s guest check-in experience in the lounge. I would like to thank the female lounge staff member who escorted me on a tour to the meeting spaces. Since we were there for Afternoon Tea service, comparing it to the InterContinental, InterContinental wins the Afternoon Tea service based on options. We got on a taxi, said goodbye to the incredible InterContinental staff and proceeded to head to Shangri-La. Ms. Hao told me in advance to come directly to the Horizon Club Lounge for check-in, which was part of the plan. As the car drove into the lobby of the hotel, I came out of the car and saw two well-dressed uniformed men inside the revolving doors. Soon as they saw me and my family, they approached me and asked whether we are the Leung Family. My mother confirmed we are the Leung Family, and then the two gentlemen greeted us. One gentlemen came up to me and handed his business card. Ms. Hao told me she assigned Shangri-La Front Office Manager Simon Bi to look after us during the stay. It turns out to be him and a Club Lounge staff member. Simon assigned a concierge member to bring our baggage items up with a cart. Simon at that point informed me that Rossana (off-duty), is waiting for us at the lounge to greet us. We were escorted up the elevator to the lounge, and was greeted by the entire on-scene club lounge staff. Simon introduced us to Rossana, from there we handed in our identifications for check-in. I started the stopwatch to time the check-in duration. The check-in team got it done in 4 minutes and 2 seconds. Double the time of how long it took to check-in the first time. My family and I spoke to Rosanna, recapping what was addressed in that 60 minute phone. She assured us that this stay will be better. After our conversation, Rosanna retired to her residence and handed the responsibilities of taking care of us to Simon. After having some Tea, Simon invited us back to the lounge for the evening happy hour. He escorted us to the room along with Guest Relations Manager Luffy She and the concierge cart handler. Simon informed us of a difference between the our two rooms’ bathroom. My room (3212) has an Electric Toilet, but the other doesn’t (3211). Simon then dismissed himself back to his regular duties at the Front Desk. We settled in well. My room’s view was spectacular, as it shows a great view of the 3 river intersection in Ningbo. There was no major wear and tear, no noticeable signs or hygiene issues, nor any problems with the rooms. Unfortunately, getting two different rooms based on the toilet was slightly unfair. I don’t think it will be a recurring problem, as each toilet is being redeveloped in each room on at a time. Here’s a red flag for the marketing team: I recently stayed at the Hotel Indigo in Shanghai Hongqiao which was a 40 SQM room, this hotel advertised the Twin Horizon Club Room as 45 SQM. My two rooms measured based on preliminary measurements, were 36 SQM which is possible. It feels smaller than I compared to Indigo. It’s still a great room with no price changes needed, just a minor advertising change that’s needed. The mini-fridge in 3212 was not cold at the time of our stay, even adjusting it and waiting still didn’t help. The TV was hard to control, and there was no menu which was a missed optional expectation. Besides that, we appreciate Rosanna’s Horizon Standard Welcome Letter and the snacks. Linking this back to the competition between Shangri-La’s ultimate rival, InterContinental’s Club Room certainly got the upper hand. Feel free to see my review about it through this account. Let’s talk about the Happy Hour. It is safe to say that the Happy Hour could be one of the best I ever had based on what I see in the small buffet and the service. Here we meet the kindest foreign staff member of any hotel in China I have ever met: Guest Relations Manager for the Club Lounge Artur Ananyev. The Russian Manager met us and had us seated. Artur introduced us to the Happy Hour buffet by him. I didn’t had a chance to eat much of anything there, we were planning to have dinner at a local restaurant. Little did we know came a massive surprise: Manager Bi and She came out to introduce us to Club Lounge Head Chef Martin Mo from Guangdong Province. He introduced us to his signature dish: Cantonese Chicken and Pork Rib Soup. That sounds familiar… I had this dish somewhere, but I didn’t know where. My father then told Chef Mo that we had this exact dish on our visit to the Crowne Plaza Hotel in the Guangzhou City Center. Chef Mo out of nowhere told us he worked there until 2020. That was a complete coincidence. Mo worked at the Baiyuelou Chinese Restaurant in Crowne Plaza. He was the one who worked on the dishes like the Steamed Meatballs which were the best. Suddenly, my father became a huge fan of Chef Mo’s work, so he took a picture with Chef Mo. The soup was if not better than the one we had in Mo’s former workplace. He perhaps elevated it to the point that Shangri-La gave him better ingredients to make better soup. We should note that Chef Mo gave us this as VIP treatment by the hotel, and wouldn’t be provided to a non-VIP specified Horizon Club Member. What really overwhelmed me was Chef Mo preparing an exclusive Sashimi Bowl to us. At the time, I thought management took it a step too far, so we told Mr. She to take it back and use the untouched sashimi for other use. I also asked Simon to keep the extra VIP treatments down a notch, as we would feel bad for having all of that for free. Simon took note of that delivered well since then. It is safe to say that the Shangri-La beats InterContinental based on food quality and quantity from the buffet alone. The Horizon Club Lounge is a lounge located on the 28th floor. It has its own buffet kitchen, a smaller snack and drink bar, many comfortable seating options, its own meeting space on another floor, its own executive bathroom area and an extravagant view of Ningbo. My only concern was that the amount of power outlets were lacking, which could have been a turnaround factor to getting work done in the lounge. Mr. She and the same female club staff member had difficulties plugging my phone line into the socket. If we were to compare the lounge to the Club InterContinental Lounge, the Horizon Club Lounge wins by default. At the time of our first stay, the Club InterContinental Lounge in Ningbo was built out of a temporary business center. I was told they closed it on the second stay due to COVID-19 rising cases, but they is close to finishing their brand new lounge. Re-examining would be needed there to determine a real lounge winner. Breakfast to say the least was great. Mr. Bi proposed we have our favorite table reserved for us the next morning. Upon arrival, our table was reserved for us. I ordered and taken a couple of food items via buffet and À la carte. The buffet items like the croissants and fresh fruits were superb. At the time of our May Visit, there were no small wontons for offer at the Yi Cafe. It is a major staple that should be offered almost all the time in Chinese luxury hotels. The Front Office Manager at InterContinental laughed when I told him about it, and said that it should have been on the buffet menu. To the hotel’s ultimate redemption, Chef Mo cooked us that. I ordered some Eggs Benedict, which was made in an unorthodox way: Solid Hollandaise, Bologna Ham and White Toast. This would not be your ordinary Eggs Benedict. Still it tasted good, I can’t judge a proper Eggs Benedict dish. It should be noted that the Fresh Orange Juice was on the bitter side. Likely because of the orange season. Still, the juice was still drinkable. It is not appropriate to judge a buffet breakfast versus a Club Lounge breakfast. Club InterContinental doesn’t open for breakfast, so Shangri-La wins the Club Breakfast Competition. But the InterContinental’s Elements Buffet Restaurant still beats Yi Cafe’s Buffet in terms of breakfast. I told Rosanna Hao about meat contamination being witnessed in the Yi Cafe. I still see some in the Club Lounge for the mixture of chicken and pork sausages. I recommended separating the into half plates. This was one expectation on the essentials level that was missed. Some minor changes would be needed to hit that expectation. We are incredibly impressed by Mr. She, Artur’s and Chef Mo’s Breakfast service. Chef Mo on a VIP scale, served us a small zongzi and wrap to celebrate the Dragon Boat Festival. We would like to thank him for his services. That was his 10th day in the hotel’s service, so he is quite new. We recommend him a promotion one day to head of F&B or head chef of a bigger restaurant. After a long walk around the Laowaitan in the absolute hot summer, it was a good time to cool off in the Swimming Pool. This was the first time me and my father tried it. The pool was of a good size but twice smaller than the InterContinental Pool. The locker room was very complex, yet confusing at times. I have a video of me attempting to close the door of a private changing room, but the door could not be completely shut. I had to lean against the door whilst changing, which was a little worrisome. If you opted to change in the locker area, there wouldn’t be much seating to help hold your clothing items or seat yourself whilst changing. However, we do appreciate the shower experience, saunas and hot tubs. The hotel has a loud but incredibly fast swimming wear drying system. We would give InterContinental the win for the best swimming pool. We came back to that hotel, partially because of that. Our stay at Shangri-La came to an end, and the it was time to depart back to Shanghai. We checked-out at the Club Lounge. Artur helped us close off the stay. Artur then escorted us down to the lobby, where Mr. She and Bi joined us to say their goodbyes. Bi asked my parents about how the overall stay was. From there we got on the taxi and left. InterContinental did something similar to this when we left their hotel. I think it is fair to say that both hotels won for the best check-out. Now with both hotels experienced for the second time, which hotel should be named the best hotel in Ningbo? In terms of the location, there is no doubt that Shangri-La is significantly well positioned in an area for leisure with its closer ties to the middle of the city. InterContinental is more of a business hotel because of its ties to the middle of the business district. However, there would still be a lot of business travelers who would stay in Shangri-La and leisure travelers staying in InterContinental. Food & Beverage was definitely a win on Shangri-La’s end. However, the Fitness Facilities has InterContinental in the lead. InterContinental had the advantage of a modernized room. However, Shangri-La had an incredible view like no other. Service was an incredibly difficult factor to judge in between the two hotels for me. Me and the family were overwhelmed by both ends of each hotel. Shangri-La chose to approach the service with its old successful luxurious hotel traditions of Chinese hospitality with a Western twist. InterContinental chose to approach the service with modernized international hotel norms that helps the definition of luxury speak for itself. We felt welcomed, happy and relaxed by the service of both hotels. The conclusion of which hotel stands out the best in the city of Ningbo is simple: None. The competition between Shangri-La and InterContinental came to a tie for my second trip to Ningbo in 2021. It should be noted that Shangri-La failed to facilitate us properly in the first trip of 2021. InterContinental simply out-performed Shangri-La during a massive travel boom. But then Shangri-La outperformed itself on my second stay even without the us being labeled as the VIP group. What matters now is that the hotel has improved significantly after 1 month and a half. With this free stay, I was deeply impressed with how much care was placed into the preparation of this stay. Shangri-La wanted to prove to me that they are the best, and that they would strive to improve themselves every step of the way. Even with the incredible competition they knew that they were facing against my favorite brand and one of the world’s leading luxury hotel company. There will certainly be another visit to Shangri-La Ningbo at some point, to judge the full extent of the hotel in a different approach to my own methodology. But for now, I will give the hotel 5 out 5 TripAdvisor stars. However, due to the shortcomings mentioned in this stay, it would have been rated 4.5. Now I know I didn’t have to spend 5 hours to write this, but with this being provided for free, I simply couldn’t take this stay for granted without giving this special review. On behalf of the Leung Family, we would like to thank the following for our special stay: Resident Manager Rosanna Hao: For her arrangements and communication with us prior to our stay. Front Office Manager Simon Bi: For his constant services and multiple check ups with us throughout the duration of this stay. Guests Relations Manager Artur Ananyev: For taking care of us and serving us in the Club Lounge. Deputy Front Office Manager Luffy She: For also taking care of us and serving us in the Club Lounge. Club Lounge Head Chef Martin Mo: For making all of these special dishes, and helping us arrange a culinary dining experience in the lounge. The Entire Horizon Club Staff and Concierge Staff Members: For their respective roles in our stay. General Manager Eddy Tao: For noticing my first review and validating what needed to be improved on our first stay. If you can relay the review and give our appreciation to everyone mentioned above, we would be extremely grateful for it. We look forward to our next visit to Shangri-La Ningbo! Stanley Leung…
Shangri-La Hotel were our home for many years. It was a remarkable anniversary evening we spent at Lobster Bar and Shangri-La Hotel. Thank you for the wonderful room and table preparation! So romantic! Wanted to express our appreciation to Mr. Arthur and Horizon Club team - Christine ,Luffy and Guest relations team . Special thanks to Mr.Simon and his team at Lobster Bar for the kind and professional service . To Mr. Joshua and Miss Monica for the organization and coordination . We felt home again! Sincerely, Di&Val
Luffy is so great, very helpful and handsome, he introduce many scenic spot about ningbo and make my stay wonderful. Also it is very difficult to buy ticks via passport but luffy help me to fix the problem.