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“AN ABSOLUTE RIPOFF AND NO CULTURE OF HOSPITALITY”

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Banyan Tree Lijiang
Ranked #5 of 940 Hotels in Lijiang
Certificate of Excellence
Australia
Level 6 Contributor
127 reviews
59 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 135 helpful votes
“AN ABSOLUTE RIPOFF AND NO CULTURE OF HOSPITALITY”
Reviewed September 26, 2013

This was the first stay for us three travellers who had prepaid two rooms at the Banyan Tree hotel Lijiang - it will certainly be our last stay at any Banyan Tree hotel.

First, the ripoff on accommodation. We had prepaid for a 'superior suite king' room. On arriving at the accommodation I found that it was accessible only by a steep flight of stairs. As I have a walking disability I could not use this room. Our party went back to reception and explained the problem and asked for alternative accommodation. We were told that the only alternative was a 'deluxe pool villa' which would cost us an additional AUS$313 per night!!!. We were also advised that this would be the same situation for the next night. As it was now near 6pm, looking for alternative accommodation was not an option also our accommodation was already pre-paid.

The next ripoff was when we went to the bar to recover from the shock of our additional $313 per night charge. After a round of G&T we were told that the drinks were complimentary. Some small compensation we assumed. However the next night when we went to the bar we were presented with a bill for our 'complimentary' drinks!! Come on!!

Next problem was when we had to take a 'trolly' to reach our villa - it was well beyond our walking capability. Every time we left or returned to our villa we had a 5 minute or more wait for transportation.

Next issue was on arrival at our villa. The coffee machine was not working nor was the refrigerator. The villa had obviously not been checked before our arrival.

Next problem was the lack of milk to make our coffee. Call to room service and milk arrives with a bill for AUS$7.00. Come on - after paying almost AUS$1,000 per night for a villa and they do not supply milk with the coffee machine.

As you would expect we were now totally pissed off the ripoffs and lack of any hospitality offered by Banyan Tree Lijiang. The outcome is that us four highly experienced world travelers will never again use the Banyan Tree chain.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank AUSSIETRAVELADVISER
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MThomas-AGM, General Manager at Banyan Tree Lijiang, responded to this review, October 7, 2013
Dear Aussitraveladviser,
We read your comments with regret. While thanking you for the time taken to make your comments please allow us to share certain facts relating to your stay.
The original booking was made through Kunming Comfort Travel and unfortunately, we had no information about your disability or any special requests. The period you stayed was a very busy period therefore, frankly, we could not find you another solution, other than offering you a two bedroom Jet Pool Villa. Once you agreed on our rate, we made arrangements to change the type of accommodation for you from the originally booked Superior Suite to the Two Bedroom Jet Pool with your fullest consent.
On your first night at the Resort, our staff at the Bar did offer you a round of drinks which we did not charge for and this was done, with good will to make your stay comfortable. We did not charge for the drinks for the first night and only when you came to the bar, for the drinks for the second night only.
On the second night, when you were charged for that night’s drinks, our Assistant Food and Beverage Manager, who was called to handle your dissatisfaction on being charged, decided to make amends and arranged a complimentary bottle of wine which was served during your dinner. This was done, again, with the best of intentions of ensuring that your stay was enjoyable.
The Assistant Food and Beverage Manager was at the restaurant to ensure that the dinner was to your fullest satisfaction and he did not receive any information from you that your Coffee Machine or the Mini Bar were not working. It is possible that from time to time certain equipment malfunction but our team attend to such incidents when and if such situations occur, promptly.
As for the Trollies that you mention, the Resort provides a Buggy Service and we do agree that it takes approximately 5 minutes for us to pick up guests. Having stayed at the Resort you would appreciate that from the time a call is placed to order a Buggy, it does take that amount of time due to the extensive landscaping and space.
Our Assistant Food and Beverage Manager was assigned to take care of your needs and while you were checking out, when he knew that you were going to Chongqing, he made calls to the hotel that you were staying, even though it was not part of our group, to request them to take care of you as special guests from us.
It is disappointing that we have not been successful in satisfying you in spite of whatever efforts that we had made.
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Rating summary
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  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (74)
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English first
Level 3 Contributor
19 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed September 15, 2013

As a banyan tree hotel fan, I had to choose this hotel as I wouldn't get the same satisfaction anywhere else. I'll miss the food, the hospitality, the location and of course the stunning rooms and hotel design. Banyan tree has always taken me back to zen which I love as I live in a fast paced city and I just want to be as close to nature and serenity as I possibly can whenever i take a break. Banyan tree lijiang you don't disappoint!

One thing I can say however, a little constructive criticism, is that we opted for a standard room this time due to budget constraints and our the main door was directly adjacent to our neighbors. This became a hassle every morning as we usually go for breakfast at 9:30 whereas our early bird neighbors go at 7:30. One word of caution, mainland Chinese people scream at the top of their lungs whenever they speak and have a habit of slamming doors several times before they leave their room. This got irritating every morning as we had to get up at 7:30 and stay up for about a half hour until our rowdy neighbors decided it was ok to leave their room finally. So a word of advice, if you are going to stay in a standard villa, opt of one who's door is far away from your neighbors. If I knew, I may have just forked out an extra 1000 yuan for an upgraded suite.

But all in all a fantastic hotel, including the food! ( I have seen may reviews here saying the food is not so good) but perhaps it's the Chinese dishes that's not to everyone's palette. But even their western food, which we tried too, was amazing. (Specifically their salmon risotto).

Well done Banyan tree. We will be seeing you again real soon!

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with BanyanTree.com

Helpful?
Thank icemanhk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MThomas-AGM, General Manager at Banyan Tree Lijiang, responded to this review, October 8, 2013
Dear Charleston,
Thank you very much for the time taken and your very encouraging and positive comments. I will share your comments with my associates who will be very grateful that their work has been appreciated.
Comments such as yours are always very encouraging as we know that you have taken time of your busy schedule to give us your very valuable feedback.
We sincerely hope that you would visit Banyan Tree Lijiang sometime in the future and enjoy our facilities and services once more.
Thank you again and kindest regards,
Michael
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed September 12, 2013

staff are friendly view was good food was good .i am arrived in the afternoon around 5 pm .the front offfice staff was check me in very detail .and bring me to intrudues where is the restraunt when the breakfsat than useing a buggie to bring me to the room which is good exprence .had dinner in mingyue restraunt .the bak kut Teh was the best ever bak kut teh i had in china .the bed was nice and comforetable .nice rose leaf on hte bed

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with BanyanTree.com

Helpful?
Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Michael T, General Manager at Banyan Tree Lijiang, responded to this review, June 22, 2014
Dear guest,

Thank you very much for your very positive observations that you have shared and for choosing Banyan Tree Lijiang.
We have taken note of your comments and shared them with our respective teams and while appreciating the positive experience that you have shared, we also seriously look and make initiate corrective action for any areas that we have failed to meet your expectations.
We thank you again for the time taken and truly appreciate your feedback.
Kind regards,

Michael Thomas
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Singapore, Singapore
2 reviews
Reviewed September 1, 2013

This is the first stay for myself and my wife at Banyan Tree. We love the beautiful set up of our room which was facing the Yue Long Snow Mountain. Service of your hotel crew is also excellent.
At the end of our stay on a Saturday, we tried the famous SPA of Banyan Tree. The massage was good but however we had a big disappointment when we were disturbed by loud drilling noise not long after the massage started. The staff explained it was due to the contractor doing some renovation work around the hotel although they asked them not to do so. Sounds like to me a typical management issue of the hotel between its facility department and the service team ... I think it spoils the reputation of the hotel which was name as SPA hotel ! It is a pity.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with this hotel

Helpful?
Thank Cliff L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MThomas-AGM, General Manager at Banyan Tree Lijiang, responded to this review, September 7, 2013
Dear Cliff,

Thank you for your time taken to post your comments on Trip Advisor.

As much as we are very pleased that you enjoyed your stay and the environment of the resort, we are very sorry that we disappointed you with the disturbance due to construction work at the Spa. We fully agree that this is not acceptable especially during a Spa treatment.

Please rest assured that we have taken your comments very positively made necessary amendments with our maintenance procedures.

If you do happen to visit us again, we will be delighted to provide you a complimentary Spa treatment in order to show our good will and appreciation of your objective comments.

Thank you again.

Michael
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bolingbrook, Illinois
Level 5 Contributor
55 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed August 27, 2013 via mobile

What a terrifice place. The rooms are great. We were lucky enough to have a spa suite. The views are great. The mountain was visible right outside our balcony. The service is great. They cannot do enough to please you. The old town is great. Not the hustle of the big city. A great place to enjoy China in a relaxing environment.

  • Stayed August 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Gunshycanuck
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Michael T, General Manager at Banyan Tree Lijiang, responded to this review, June 22, 2014
Dear Gunshycanuck,

Thank you very much for your very positive observations that you have shared and for choosing Banyan Tree Lijiang.
We have taken note of your comments and shared them with our respective teams and while appreciating the positive experience that you have shared, we also seriously look and make initiate corrective action for any areas that we have failed to meet your expectations.
We thank you again for the time taken and truly appreciate your feedback.
Kind regards,

Michael Thomas
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Illinois
Level 4 Contributor
27 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed August 23, 2013

Great rooms, beds, tea service in room, workout facility and spa. Outstanding views of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain. Service was excellent. However, the dining leaves a lot to be desired. Much better restaurants available around town. Breakfast buffet is also not up to the standard that is expected of this chain, especially in this location.

Room Tip: Ask for rooms on the north end of the property where the views of the mountain are uncluttered by ot...
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Well Traveled Golfer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MThomas-AGM, Manager at Banyan Tree Lijiang, responded to this review, September 7, 2013
Dear Guest,

We thank you for the time taken to post your comments on Banyan Tree Lijiang on Trip Advisor. As much as we are pleased that you were satisfied with "almost" all the facilities and services, we are disappointed that we let you down with the breakfast and restaurants.

We are making necessary and urgent changes to ensure that our Food and Beverage areas are improved to meet expectations of our valued guests.

We hope that you would visit us again in the future and would see that comments such as yours have been taken seriously and improvements made.

Thank you again and very best wishes.

Michael
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pusiano
Level 5 Contributor
71 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 128 helpful votes
Reviewed August 20, 2013

I booked the Banyan Tree expecting a beautifully landscaped resort in the countryside and outstanding service to relax after a three weeks long tour in China.
Although this is by far the most expensive resort in Lijiang, we were far from being impressed. Having travelled extensively across the world, my feedback is a benchmark of this hotel versus equivalent resorts from Four Seasons, Six Senses and the like...
First of all, the resort is twenty minutes away from Lijiang old city but no longer sits in the countryside. Extensive real estate and roadworks developments bring you on the very step of the resort entrance = no feel for nature or seclusion but just the inconvenient to be far from the old city. Rooms are well appointed but a bit worn out as far as furniture and various fitments are concerned. The real weakness though are the public areas and overall service. Restaurants and lobby are too small for the amount of guests and all feels very noisy and crammed for this category of hotel; each day we had to wait for a table at breakfast, service was rushed and the overall ambience typical of a mass three stars hotel. Food quality and variety for breakfast was mediocre too. Same story with reception: they try to be of help but are frequently overwhelmed by the amount of guests crammed in a small lobby = no privacy, no personal touch, cold and rushed attention to guests. Lastly cleaning is questionable both in rooms at at the restaurants: dirty windows, food left overs on the floor, not what you should see in a five start resort. We believe there is a number of boutique inns in much nicer locations around Lijiang that may have less stars but are certainly more authentic and possibly more personal and caring with customers. Final note: do not be mislead by the web site pictures: lots of waterfall decorations in the gardens but no public swimming pool. Should you wish to swim you must book a villa with private Jacuzzi or pool.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Marcovojage
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MThomas-AGM, General Manager at Banyan Tree Lijiang, responded to this review, August 22, 2013
Dear Marcovojage,
We have read your comments and disappointed that you did not enjoy the stay at Banyan Tree Lijiang.
The month of August is the busiest month of the year, and this year Lijiang as a whole has been exceptionally busy and crowded and we were fully booked most of the nights. This indeed is an unusual situation and we empathize your sentiments that breakfast period was much crowed and the restaurant was extremely busy.
We do not have a large hotel type lobby in line with our design respecting the local culture and history but we understand your sentiments that during your stay, due to the above mentioned Peak Season, the resort was busy with many guests. We would like to reiterate that the Month of August being the busiest month for Lijiang, every resort, and hotel and guest house was busy with more than expected volume of tourists.
We are indeed away from the hustle and bustle of the Lijiang old city but walking distance to Shuhe Old Town which everyone appreciates as we do not have the noise, the traffic jams and the related issues. We also agree that at present the developments and the road works are somewhat disturbing but the road works are nearing completion and thereafter, in a positive sense, there will be a well paved, well lit, safe, comfortable and faster access to the resort.
We are just in the process of renovation plans by the middle of next year and most of the original Villas would be refurbished, bringing them back to the original condition and to our well known Banyan Tree standards.
We regret that you were disappointed that we do not have a main Swimming Pool. We do not advertise nor mention such a facility except for our Private Pools Villas and Jet Pool Villas which are extremely popular. We do not have water falls but extensive green space and water features which are sincerely appreciated by our guests due to the serenity and that these features bring to the resort.
We are sorry that your stay this time was not up to your expectations. However, we would sincerely hope that you could give us another opportunity in the future so that you and your family could enjoy the true spirit of our resort and Lijiang!
Last but not least, thank you very much for sharing your comments and we will ensure that shortcomings such as Breakfast service and room cleanliness are promptly rectified and our expected high standards are maintained.

Michael Thomas
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Banyan Tree Lijiang

Property: Banyan Tree Lijiang
Address: Yuerong Road, Shuhe, Gucheng District, Lijiang 67410, China
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:
#3 Family Hotel in Lijiang
#3 Spa Hotel in Lijiang
#4 Luxury Hotel in Lijiang
#6 Romantic Hotel in Lijiang
#24 Best Value Hotel in Lijiang
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
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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