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“Comfortable Hotel but Management Needs Improvement”

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Guilinyi Royal Palace
Ranked #5 of 613 Hotels in Guilin
Certificate of Excellence
Dallas, Texas
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Comfortable Hotel but Management Needs Improvement”
Reviewed June 16, 2012

We're a family of 5 (2 adults and 3 kids under 12). We booked the hotel through Expedia.com. We traveled in May, and stayed at the hotel for 3 nights, total of two rooms. On the description, it says there's complimentary airport pickup, but we were charged 200 RMB for it. We booked the Li River Cruise tours (CITS Tour Company) through the hotel, we were charged for 4 adults and 1 child. (480 RMB x4 + 300 RMB x1) The first hint that I knew we were tricked was when we were on the cruise, the tour guide counted us as 2 adults and 3 children. Later on the trip, we talked to a local gal who also joined this tour (booked through her hotel), she told us that she paid only 350 RMB for the tour. She told us that she found out other people have paid 315 RMB. I highly suspect the hotel has a sweet deal going on with the tour company.

Anyway, the assistant hotel manager tried to get us to sign on to more tours for the next day of our trip, going to the Longji Rice Terrace. We were touring China on our own, and at every city (Beijing, Xian, Shanghai and Guilin), we booked a private car with a driver to take us to sightseeing places. If we had wanted to join a big tour bus, we would have done that from the beginning of the trip. Anyway, we booked the hotel car with the driver prior, and the manager would not let us take the car to go to Longji Rice Terrace, saying that their hotel cars NEVER go to far places, and would only allow us to go within the city. He simply wanted us to book the CITS tour through his hotel, so he could just earn the commission. We had been to other city before Guilin, and we knew from experience that when we booked the car and driver, the price difference between the daily rental for inside city limits and out city limits is around 100 RMB difference. But the manager told us that he would not let us go to Longji Rice Terrace with their hotel car. We even offered to pay for the gas, and 100 RMB extra on top of what we had already paid for the daily rental, that he gave us ridiculous looks and would not budge for the longest time. Only after we told him that he could go ahead and charged us 1400 RMB total for what we would have to pay for five of us to go on the tour with the tour company that he relented. His attitude was very bad, he kept telling us that there was no way he could let his hotel car go this far. Anyway, we ended up paying 100 RMB in addition to the daily rental fee of 500 RMB. While we went on the trip to Longji Rice Terrace, we chatted with the driver. The driver revealed that he drove out to Longji about 7-8 times a month, and out to Yangshuo about 7-8 times a month. The other days of the month, he would take the hotel guests on the city tours. So, the manager outright lie to us about their hotel car does not take hotel guests out of the city limits.

The hotel is situated inside a botanical garden. Its atmosphere is serene and beautiful. The hotel rooms are like apartments. So, when you go to your room, you have to go in quickly, otherwise you would invite some insects or mosquitoes to your room. We were given two rooms right next to each other. The rooms were comfortable, and the showers were fine. The beds were firm and clean. Everything about this hotel's amenities are great except for the assistant manager, whom I think should be fired.

We booked the hotel through Expedia, and got them for US$130, included breakfast buffet. Unfortunately, when we went to eat breakfast, there was no breakfast buffet in sight. We had the choice of either ordering the American breakfast or the Chinese breakfast. And since we only booked 2 rooms, they only gave us breakfast coupons for 4 breakfast per day. And for our youngest to eat, we would have to pay 65 RMB extra. While we were there, the restaurant manager was very apologetic that they did not have breakfast buffet. He said that since they only have 50 rooms, and many of their guests do not eat breakfast at the hotel, it was only cost effective to eliminate the breakfast buffet. Currently, Expedia.com still sell hotel rooms with breakfast buffet at Guilinyi Royal Palace, that is totally false advertising. We felt very much let down, since we had stayed in Beijing, and Xian prior to coming to Guilin, and the hotels we stayed at had very elaborated breakfast buffets. One good thing that the restaurant manager did was made some french fries for my kids off the breakfast menu, since they were not used to eating Chinese foods, nor did they like eggs and ham.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
6 Thank Lfamilytrip
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
guilininn, Guest Relations Manager at Guilinyi Royal Palace, responded to this review, May 11, 2014
Dear tripadvisor,thank you for your review and we staff will improve our service and do it better when next time you are in Guilin.Thank you!Best wishes!
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Ireland
Level Contributor
37 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
Reviewed May 31, 2012

If you are looking for something different that does not cost the earth this hotel is amazing. We walked in and felt like we did not want to go anywhere else but just enjoy the room and view. The hotel is located in a park and the grounds are amazing. It is great to walk and amble about. The rooms are spotless and staff are pleasant - especially the cleaning staff.

I can not recommend this place highly enough- please ask for a room with a view. It is so worth it. we spend many an evening having a drink and just looking at the view.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Room Tip: Ask for a room with a balcony.
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  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank DoneDublin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
guilininn, Guest Relations Manager at Guilinyi Royal Palace, responded to this review, June 5, 2012
Dear guests,thank you so much for you praise. We will do it better !Welcome back you next time in Guilin.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
vancouver
Level Contributor
328 reviews
129 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 154 helpful votes
Reviewed May 28, 2012

Unfortunately, we only used this hotel for 1 night on our way to Yangshu.After experiencing this atmospheric place, we highly recommend it.There is a free airport pick-up, which is a big plus, if you don't have any other arrangement,plus, as a previous customer pointed out, it is in the Botanical Garden and not many people know about it, in addition to the fact that it only opened in October 2011.If you are looking for a cozy place to stay which is not a high-rise non-charachteristic building, stay here. Mac, was very helpful in our correspondence prior to our arrival.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank monvan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
guilininn, Director of Sales at Guilinyi Royal Palace, responded to this review, May 30, 2012
Thank you for your reviews, good service is a part of FIVE STAR HOTEL. Hotel management will keep it forever.

Mac Lewis
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Oslo
Level Contributor
65 reviews
56 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed April 27, 2012

+
Great location
Modern and stylish
Nice amenities
Airport pick up included
-
Not so quiet early in the morning
Front desk manager rude at times

Price 590 CNY / night for a superior room. Breakfast not included. Bought on agoda.com

To be clear, as there is some confusion on Trip Advisor about this hotel, it is located south of Guilin centre, in the botanical garden. It is therefore isolated from the main roads and relatively calm. Relatively because the rail track is still very close and at 5am trains are making their presence noticed by sounding their horns. This was not every morning though.

Since it is located in the garden, the entrance is 5-10 mins walk away. However the hotel will be happy to drive you out in order to get a cab, or even sometimes get the cab in the park for you. A cab down town takes about 10-15 minutes and costs about 10 CNY. For info, it takes about 1 hour to the airport, depending on traffic.

Overall this is then a great hotel! It is quite new, but with Chinese design and well appointed. We had a superior room, which was quite large, with a very comfortable bed and a bathroom with shower, separate bathtub and Japanese toilet.

We never had time for breakfast but I remember prices being reasonable (about 50-70 CNY). We went on excursion almost everyday. The hotel, which obviously takes a large commission every time, organized them. We tried to get the prices down several times, but the front office manager got offended then. Don’t be fooled though, I’m sure those excursions can be bought for cheaper in an official tourism office, provided they speak English there. Nonetheless we organized custom made excursions from day 2, and since we were 4 it was affordable to rent a car for the day.

The hotel has a swimming pool but it was not open yet when we were there. I guess the tourist season starts a bit later in Guilin. There is also a tea salon, where a tea ceremony is organized every evening, with a harpist. Nice touch.

I would definitely go back to that place, it was very nice indeed!

And of course the Guilin area is magnificent!

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank jamesbond_ppk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
guilininn, Guest Relations Manager at Guilinyi Royal Palace, responded to this review, May 3, 2012
Thanks a lot for your review! Outdoor swimming pool will be open soon in this month. Welcome back next time in Guilin.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
36 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed April 12, 2012

We booked this hotel last minute before arriving into Guilin 2 days later. Hotel is designed in a traditional Chinese style with ponds surrounding the accommodation with big koi carp. It is definitely somewhere people should come if they want to relax. However, as it is fairly new not a lot of taxi drivers know about this place as a previous reviewer had mentioned- luckily our taxi from the airport had been to the hotel once before.

It is set within the botanical gardens but it is not in the city centre which can be quite annoying as we had to keep getting taxi's into town but for 15 yuan you cant argue.

The reception was small yet tidy. On arrival staff looked nervous and the English spoken by the staff wasnt what I would expect for a 5* hotel.

They had a section of the desk which had a sign 'Business Centre' with a board in chinese for tours around Guilin. Now I'm chinese but Mandarin isnt my mother tongue - I can speak but to a certain extent and my reading is I admit rather appalling since I grew up abroad. Now I could just about make out what it was and my Partner who is English well wouldnt have had a clue what it was nor would I expect other international travellers who may just only read English- which leads me to think- is this hotel aimed at CHinese travellers only? surely not as we saw a few international travellers.

Anyhow, my partner makes his interests clear in these tours the reception are quick to phone for a lady who comes over- her english isnt fantastic either but she gets the jist of what we want to do and is only too happy to take our money. After going on several tours we wanted to do a one last tour which this particular lady said we could book today or the next it didnt matter- little did we know but she did know was that the following day the prices would increase! The cheek! When i confronted her (in chinese) that had she known they were to be increased we would have paid the day before but as we were tired from our trip previous day we retired to our room. She replied in chinese well yes it increases every April on the 1st. - Honestly! some people.

Now i did mention my reading and speaking may not be so good but I never said my listening wasnt. You see I went into a bit of an anger stage in English to her telling her that what she had knowingly done was just cheeky- as i was confirming to my partner if he still wanted to go I heard her 'whisper' to her colleague 'how dare she throw such an attitude' from which I was completely gobsmacked that she even had the guts to say something like that knowingly that I could perhaps understand what was being said! For that I must say the service awarded from this hotel went straight down the pan!

One last thing they just demand money for the security deposit- they dont actually tell you what its for unless you ask them!

Overall- nice hotel to sleep in, tastefully decorated, in a serene area however not in the city - poorly spoken english with a lack of confidence in staff and in particular one rude lady organising the tours.

Would I come back? No.

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Wai83
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
guilininn, Guest Relations Manager at Guilinyi Royal Palace, responded to this review, May 11, 2014
Dear tripadvisor,thank you for your review and we staff will improve our service and do it better when next time you are in Guilin.Thank you!Best wishes!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Germany/UK
Level Contributor
168 reviews
69 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 89 helpful votes
Reviewed April 10, 2012

We booked this hotel on the basis of the excellent recommendations (even if there were relatively few of them). In some ways the glowing reviews are fully justified: the park and the buildings are very attractive, the rooms are tastefully furnished. Some of the staff (bell-boy, breakfast room manager, security guard) are extremely friendly and helpful. There are some other good points too. The hotel is a bit out of town but they have an electric car to take you to and from the park gate and from there it's quite easy to get a taxi.

The hotel is relatively new and the impression is that they are still learning. The check-in took a long time because they couldn't get the scanner to work (for our passports). No apology, no smile: we just had to wait. In the breakfast room they didn't want to let me sign the check although I had paid three nights room rate in advance and left a further deposit of 500 RMB. The staff do not speak much English. My Mandarin is nothing special but then I am not running a hotel.

The guest information in the room reflects this amateurism: despite stating that reception can help you with mail and currency exchange they have no stamps and do not exchange currencies. They do, however, have a one-page list of the cost of everything in the room, from the standard lamp (1000 RMB) to a "connector" (10 RMB). The implication is that you are a thief or a vandal but will not be allowed to get away with it.

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Ian2109
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
guilininn, Guest Relations Manager at Guilinyi Royal Palace, responded to this review, April 17, 2012
Thank you for your review for our hotel.Sincere appology for making you feel incovenient because of our faulty service. Our management takes much count of the problem what you said. We will enhance our staff training in business skill. As newly built, it'll takes time to get the approval for exchange currencies from the bank. Hope you next time come to Guilin everything will be better.Best wishes!
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Auckland Region, New Zealand
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed March 15, 2012

We came to refer to our room here as 'the little oasis of calm'. Fantastic room, well appointed - can't think of anything I wanted that wasn't there. Location is a little out of the way but well worth the effort (our maximum taxi fare to the hotel from town was 15 yuan). Our visit was at the end of winter - really chilly outside but room was nice and warm - I'd say the hotel would be 100x better in summer with use of pool! NOTE that the name of this hotel is "Guilin Inn" - not Guilinyi Royal Palace. Can be confusing as there are two similarly named hotels and with this hotel being new many taxi drivers may get lost (we had reference to a local who made sure we got there every time though). Staff were great - conceirges spoke fairly food English. I have only two negative things to say; firstly the breakfast food. First day was great with good breakfast buffet which I'm guessing is the standard for peak season but with few guests in March they were making breakfast to order - the problem being that restaurant staff didn't speak English so couldn't ask us what we wanted and we weren't able to tell them. I give the staff full marks for effort - we got porridge, eggs, bread, fruit etc but found that 9 days of more or less the same breakfast was a bit monotonous - they could have a picture menu to point at like most restaraunts. Secondly I found it annoying there was no wifi internet (they have free wired internet in rooms). I carry a smartphone as a reference and couldn't use it (mobile data via SIM card in China is expensive). Wifi would certainly help break the langauage problems in the restaurant with a translation app.

Summary: We were REALLY happy with this hotel. I had 9 days to come up with two bad things to say and they're not big problems. Easy for them to work on!

Room Tip: We had a king sized room which was spacious but looking around at other units we were probably in on...
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  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank flyrob2000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
guilininn, Guest Relations Manager at Guilinyi Royal Palace, responded to this review, April 18, 2012
Thanks for your precious review about Guilinyi Royal Palace. Now we've changed the sign 'guilin inn' into 'Guilinyi Royal Palace'. And the restaurant staff has improve their spoken English. We have WiFi in public area:Lobby Bar, Teahouse, Swimming Pool, Restaurant, romms ect. Now spring comes, you can smell the flowers, hear the birds singing, feel sunshine......We are looking foward to your next time staying with us. Best wishes!
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Additional Information about Guilinyi Royal Palace

Property: Guilinyi Royal Palace
Address: No.117 Huancheng West First Road, Xiangshan District, Guilin 541002, China
Location: China > Guangxi > Guilin
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 613 Hotels in Guilin
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:4 star — Guilinyi Royal Palace 4*
Number of rooms: 62
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Guilinyi Royal Palace is located in Guilin central park---the botanical garden, which covering an area of 120,000 square meters. It is well provided with pleasant environment both inside and outside. The inn imitates the architectural style of the royal garden of Tang Dynasty. It has 52 different-style rooms in total, among which rooms on the first floor are provided with beautiful gardens and others are designed with independent scenic balconies. Besides, this hotel has complete facilities including a Chinese restaurant, a function room, Tasting Tea House, Pond Bank Cate, Sunshine Swimming Pool, etc. It’s really a good place to go for tourism, leisure and regimen. Furthermore, it is close to 101 Amusement Park and TOO Commercial Plaza, the biggest recreational and commercial district in Guilin, about 5-minute drive from the railway station and the bus station as well as 30 minutes from Guilin Liangjiang Airport. It’s pretty convenient for dining, shopping, sightseeing and traffic. Request Id 6558803 ... more   less 
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