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“Lovely hotel, but service needs improving”

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Banyan Tree Lijiang
Ranked #3 of 954 Hotels in Lijiang
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed November 5, 2011

This hotel is nicely designed, and in lovely setting, but needs to work on its service, and also its extra fees.

The food in the restaurant is nothing special, better to eat outside. And we found that when we hired a guide from outside (one we'd found through TripAdvisor), we got much better service from him, and also a better price (Banyan Tree's transportation costs are sky-high).

The location isn't the greatest for access to the old town of Lijiang, but in the morning you can enjoy a view of the mountains.

If we come to Lijiang again, we'd probably stay old town Lijiang or Shuhe.

  • Stayed: October 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank jeremy s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed November 4, 2011

My wife and I stayed four nights at the 160-room Banyan Tree Resort Lijiang which is designed like a gated community comprising single-storey villas and smaller units in the guise of 2-storey terrace houses. All units boast views of the picturesque snow-capped Yulong Xueshan ("Jade Dragon Snow Mountain").

An inexperienced staff gave incorrect information about spa services and pricing when showing us to our 2-storey Spa Suite (aka "Villa"). The complimentary WiFi was not working but everything else was in order, from the fruit basket to comfortable bedroom slippers, bottled water and bath amenities.

The upstairs bedroom with spacious balcony and en suite bathroom seems small in comparison with the cavernous downstairs which has a large lounge adjoining the dining area, a pantry with cooking facilities (including microwave oven, induction hob and crockery) beneath the staircase, a small courtyard with weatherproof wicker furniture, a spa room equipped with twin massage tables and en suite bathroom, and a large outdoor jacuzzi at the back. In front, the walled garden is pleasingly landscaped and features a table and four chairs, also of weatherproof wicker.

The Spa is very good, with the most sleep-inducing massage tables we have experienced.

Public areas like the Reception, bar and dining facilities are cleverly constructed with glass walls that accentuate the indoor aesthetics with beautiful outdoor views. The Mei Yue Cafe offers daily buffet breakfast with a wide choice of dishes to suit international and local tastes. We also enjoyed our dinners at the Cantonese-style Bai Yun restaurant. Prices were surprisingly reasonable; we paid much more for meals at local eateries outside.

The WiFi was fixed during our second day at the resort. Thereafter, everything proceeded smoothly.

What would have made it perfect? Heated toilet seats, precise temperature control for the hot water supply and larger TVs; the shower thermostat operates on a logarithmic scale and the two existing 32" Sony Bravia TVs in the upstairs bedroom and in the downstairs lounge, respectively, look undersized compared to the generous dimensions of the Spa Suite.

Out of curiosity, we visited the newer Pullman Lijiang Resort & Spa which has 130 rooms, more than half of which are villas. Our conclusion: choose the latter for a Bali-like villa experience and stay at the Banyan Tree Resort Lijiang for the view.

  • Stayed: October 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank biketrekker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 28, 2011

As an American living in Shanghai, it's important to get out of the city for fresh air and to regain your sanity. This is the place! Lijiang is absolutely beautiful and the Banyan Tree doesn't disappoint. We splurged and went with a Garden view villa, which also had a jacuzzi. The "house" is just lovely, beautiful finishes, lovely furniture and a really comfortable bed which had a view of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain The outdoor space is large and really well designed. The staff was really nice and very helpful. The weather was a bit cold but we enjoyed it and didn't have a problem with Mosquitos, which can always be a problem when in nature or in in the city. We chose two tours with a private tour guide because we like flexibility. They were a little pricey but totally worth it. There are so many beautiful places to see. We saw the Ligiang impression show, which was actually quite moving and then took the cable car up to Yak Meadow for a little hike (it's quite high up, so it's a bit harder to breathe) but unbelievably beautiful. The Banyan Tree is about 12 minutes drive to the ancient city which is crowded and touristy but really fun and totally worth visiting, you won't believe how clear the water is running through the canals. The old city of Shehu is just a 10 minute walk from the Banyan Tree and is great for trying local foods and the goods of the local Naxi people. I recommend this hotel and experience for people who want to experience nature in a luxe way. When traveling in China things won't always be like they are in the West so it's best to come with an open mind and some patience and you will find this is an unforgettable place with much to offer.

Room Tip: Go for the garden villa with mountain view, spacious and really lovely.
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  • Stayed: October 2011, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank LAgirltravels
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 17, 2011

Had been stayed in Banyan tree Lijiang for a night in Easter time.

the hotel of course, as a world class hotel its a truly nice decorated and located just next to the Jade snow mountain. The staff is professional and helpful.
we stayed in the most basic one but its spacious enough, bed is big and the room is full of nice aroma .
its a nice hotel but if you ask me any special thing i can remember ....erhh,... no actually............

plus, world class hotel of cuz have to pay world class price..........

but theres a good thing, its near shuhe old town with walkable distance, and i like that little town :)

  • Stayed: April 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank seeyan0724
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 11, 2011

We stayed within one week twice in this resort for four nights. First time we took a garden suite, the second time a deluxe pool villa.
Both rooms are beautiful decorated and equipped. The deluxe pool villa has a lot more room and privacy than the garden suite. We needed after a long drive to and from lugu lake a place to relax. For this the pool villa is perfect.

The dining - in the chinese restaurant - is excellent. Service is very friendly in the whole resort.

The hotel is quite far from the old town of lijiang, you need transportation. The better choice is the old town of Shule (maybe even the better choice), which is in walking distance from the hotel.

Room Tip: Deluxe pool villa to relax a whole day
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  • Stayed: August 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank G_Asherton
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 7, 2011

This was not my first Banyan Tree experience having stayed in Phuket, Hangzhou and Bangkok....and every time I hope it gets better next time...but never again!

After all the hype of Banyan Tree Lijiang and the anticipation we had I could not have been more disappointed. The drive to Banyan Tree Lijiang after a long day of touring was really pleasant and this created even more excitement amongst my family...upon check in after our driver left and we were then left to negotiate check-in with reception staff denying we had a booking. After getting out the laptop out of the luggage to show the pre-paid confirmation it was then found in their system. Checkin took some time which as a constant China traveller you expect but not from banyan tree and not for the price.

Having stayed in Lijiang old town the night before we were really expecting something special in our accommodation, however the only thing rewarding was the view of Yu Long Snow Mountain. The room had mosquito's which whilst understandable as we are staying in the country one would have though this would have been taken care of.

Whilst there was a major car event taking over the whole resort, this is understandable but some pre-warning would have been appreciated as if you were not BMW staff you didn't matter.

The food and beverage was very disappointing in both food quality and service. Living and working in China and being from the hotel industry you expect some challenges but this was outrageous. The staff were wonderfully enthusiastic however seemingly simply lacked any training or leadership. often it was up to me to have to gather things for my family. At dinner the meals were ordered were wrong but we we had waited too long and were too tired to argue...so we just ate it.

Breakfast - it seems if you are not first at the buffet you will spend the entire time asking staff when more food will come out onto the buffet. Again the service staff were very friendly and it was entirely not their fault but there was NO leadership in the team. The food prices are expensive, which is fine as this was Banyan Tree and was expected but what was not expected was the extremely poor quality and disorganized service!

In terms of room design it is the little things and whilst there were many enjoyable aspects such as the large bathroom and balcony...it is crazy to think that you can pay so much money to have to lie in bed with a pillow over your face to shield yourself form the blinking red light of the fire detector located directly above the bed...so I had two nights of poor sleep!!! Every room must have a fire detector of course but does it need a flashing red light directly above the pillows. It was also apparent we were not the first as there packing tape draping from it obviously put there by a prior guest but unfortunately for us it lacked an staying power.

The only shining light in the experience was the three hour spa treatment!

Room Tip: Try Crowne Plaza Lijiang
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  • Stayed: September 2011, traveled with family
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5  Thank Glen H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BTGroup, General Manager at Banyan Tree Lijiang, responded to this reviewResponded October 10, 2011

Dear Glen H


Thank you for sharing your stay and your experience at our property in Lijiang. It is always our intention to provide a pleasant and memorable experience to all our guests. Unfortunately experience of certain nature makes us fall short of expectation.


Your comments and feedback are important as it is feedback such as yours that we continuously strive to improve our service delivery and standards.


I sincerely hope this isolated case in the lapse of service will not mar your overall impression of Banyan Tree Lijiang.

We do look forward to welcome you to our other properties too in the not too distant future.


Warm Regards

Richard Neo
General Manager
Banyan Tree Lijiang

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 5, 2011

As we approached vivid blue lights pierced the sky coming from the hotel's direction. We found out it was a Naxii performance for the local "party officials". Performed outdoors across and over the lake in the grounds, it was spectacular. We sat spellbound in the restaurant and watched the last 15 minutes.
Check-in was conducted by very pleasant and helpful staff who spoke good English. Taken to our villa by buggy as the hotel is composed of one and two-storey villas over a large site, with small streams running through it, we were greeted by a lovely suite with bedroom, lounge, patio and private garden. It was such a change after look-alike hotel rooms in the large 5 star chain hotels. There were beautiful fixtures and fittings thoughfully and carefully laid out. (even a MaJong set and a Chinese-tea set were provided) It was a place to sit and relax without needing to be in a busy hotel lobby or lounge.
Excellent library and lounge facilities next to a shop selling quality goods.
During our stay, just prior to the Chinese national holiday, the hotel seemed strangely devoid of guests-we saw but few others during our three day stay. The hotel layout may contribute to this feeling. On some occasions it was necessary to walk to and from the villa (once in the rain), as buggies were not always available.
One slight disadvantage was that it is some way out of the town, if you like towns; on the other hand it was out in the countryside amongst the mountains and very peaceful (not that we saw them much because of the weather!). Rather than going to Lijiang, visit the local village of Shuhe-a ten minute walk away and just as pretty.
Restaurant service was very slow at times-particularly on one occasion when we were the only customers.....Food was only average.
Overall, it could be nearly perfect, just not quite there yet though.
PS.We planned to watch the next (and last) performance of the Naxii show on our last night from the restaurant-it was cancelled due to heavy rain.

Room Tip: Try to get one where the garden faces the mountains.
See more room tips
  • Stayed: September 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank Liathach2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Banyan Tree Lijiang

Address: Yuerong Road, Shuhe, Gucheng District, Lijiang 67410, China
Phone Number:
Location: China > Yunnan > Lijiang
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#2 Spa Hotel in Lijiang
#2 Family Hotel in Lijiang
#3 Luxury Hotel in Lijiang
#6 Romantic Hotel in Lijiang
#26 Best Value Hotel in Lijiang
Price Range: $195 - $396 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Banyan Tree Lijiang 5*
Number of rooms: 124
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Discover the historic charm, rich culture and sweeping landscapes of Lijiang, declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997. Located in the highlands of Yunnan province, the resort is adjacent to the Na'xi minority old town of Shuhe and only a 10 minute drive from the ancient Silk Road town of Baisha. Situated close to the base of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, it is surrounded by high peaks and hidden valleys, making it a photographers dream. Many unique experiences are ready to be enjoyed as you explore the back streets of the ancient towns, traverse the mountainous landscape to Tiger Leaping Gorge, Wen Hai lake, or take a cycle trek through the foothills to remote Yi villages. For a more leisurely experience, indulge in one of the many luxurious treatments available at the world renowned Banyan Tree Spa. With clear blue skies for nine months of the year, enjoy a breath of fresh air and escape to the tranquility of Banyan Tree Lijiang. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Banyan Tree Lijiang Hotel Lijiang
Banyan Tree Hotel Lijiang
Lijiang Banyan Tree Hotel

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