4.5
Very Good 1256 Reviews
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This Hotel meets our standards
Our editors have been here and it has met our standards

What We Love

  • Most rooms have private outdoor jet or plunge pools, well heated even during the snowiest Himalayan days
  • The exceptional setting in the shadow of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, which is believed by locals to hold magical powers
  • Naxi architectural details, like the upturned phoenix roof and high-walled courtyards, create an authentic, romantic ambience
  • The hotel’s drivers know exactly where to bring guests for the most photogenic vistas of Tiger Leaping Gorge and the surrounding Naxi villages, lakes and mountains

What To Know

  • Book two nights in a Two Bedroom Mountain View Duplex, a Two Bedroom Mountain View Jet Pool Villa, a Three Bedroom Mountain View Jet Pool Vill or a Three Bedroom Mountain View Pool Villa and receive RMB 1000 in hotel credits to spend on food and beverages, at the spa or on transportation. Valid for stays through December 31 2016. Book by December 30 2015
  • A 10 percent per night hotel service charge will be collected at the Jetsetter checkout
  • There are plans to add an indoor heated pool, a larger gym and a new Chinese restaurant with private dining rooms
  • The hotel is near the grim, congested, modern city of Lijiang
  • Travelers planning to explore higher into the Himalayas should acclimate here at the still-breathable altitude of 7,900 feet above sea level
  • In winter the Chinese expression tai leng lets the smiling but not always bilingual staff know you’re too cold

Amenities

  •  Babysitting
  •  Bar
  •  Free WiFi
  •  Gym
  •  Handicap-accessible
  •  Pool
  •  Restaurant
  •  Spa
Disclaimer: This content was accurate at the time the hotel was reviewed. Please check our partner sites when booking to verify that details are still correct.
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Overview

The Review

At the foot of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, in the grassy fields outside Lijiang in Yunnan Province, in the southwest of China, this 122-room compound is like a city unto itself. A high stone wall made of local pink stone and gray brick and fringed by bamboo stalks surrounds the collection of suites, villas and townhouses, the undulating roofs of which rise in the phoenix-tipped curves of Naxi architecture.

A series of interconnected courtyards and a network of canals lead to a central pavilion where an exquisite three-tier wooden pagoda, intricately carved under round Naxi tiles, is surrounded by weeping willows hung with bold red lanterns.

{“type”:”img-inline”,”src”:”/static/images/product/properties/1447/prop-38999-1312864686-full.jpg”,”width”:”275″,”caption”:”Set in China’s Yunnan province, the hotel is surrounded by Himalayan peaks.”}Tradition rules outdoors, but the interiors are more subtly Chinese: Clean lines and subdued tones are accented with bold red lacquer furnishings and plush Tibetan rugs. The powerful showers and plumped-up beds are a blessing, and I was glad I braved the winter chill to slide into the steaming water of my own private hot tub.

At dinner guests can mingle with local dignitaries at Bai Yun, a refined Chinese restaurant that serves healthy steamed dishes that appeal to travelers (like me) who are eager to avoid MSG and heavy sauces. The property’s second, more casual eatery, Ming Yue, serves the usual array of Italian and American fare and has an impressive breakfast spread. In the winter the Wen Hai bar becomes a central attraction thanks to a big fireplace with plenty of cozy couches.

My favorite meal was a private Naxi hot pot dinner in the central pagoda. My friends and I lounged on canopied daybeds while the restaurant team went to work. It was one of our trip’s most romantic memories, and the best food I ate during my stay here.

How to Get There

Banyan Tree Lijiang
Yuerong Road, Shuhe
Lijiang, 674100 China

Reviews

4.5 Very Good 1256 Reviews
Good but can be better
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

Banyan Tree Lijiang seems is the flagship hotel within China areas which we read from friends, however I would like to say, overall the hotel is good but can be better. Have stayed Angsana Tengchong previously, the sister brand hotel of Banyan Tree, but the service seems can’t be compare at all, especially for the receptionist and restaurants. My parents aren’t good enough at Mandarin speaking, we both understand the two hotels has not too much high level of English Speaking, during my time at Tengchong, the hotel staff who can speak English leave their contact, I mean the direct contact way to me which helped my family a lot, but in Banyan Tree Lijiang we just treated by ignoring…

Fabulous
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

Have stayed at a couple of other Banyan Tree resorts over the years so roughly knew what to expect and was not disappointed, in fact I'd say this is probably the best one I have been too, the Two Bedroom Mountain View Jetpool Villa we occupied for 6 nights was certainly the biggest villa we have had with them. The resort grounds are very well maintained, the views to the Mountain are stunning, and all in all its a very impressive place to stay.

The resort only has two restaurants onsite, one of which was closed in the evenings whilst we were there (low season?) and whilst in-room dining is of good quality, as others have said choices are very limited, although special mention should be made about the hotpot we had in our villa, that was fantastic.

Fortunately the restaurant that was open served very high quality food...the "Peking Duck" like dish was so good we ordered a second serving. Breakfast was the best buffet I've ever had in any hotel by a long margin; the only downside was that with smoking seemingly being a national sport, they allow people to smoke (or don't stop them when they do). Seeing people smoke right next to the buffet was not pleasant. Worse, however, was when one guest walked to the center of the restaurant, cleared his lungs, and then spat out phlegm...nobody else seemed to even notice...the lesson taken away being that this resort very much caters for locals.

Afternoon tea was served in their bar and we went there most days; again, exceptional quality.

Its location is very good, being a 10 minute stroll from Shuhe (beautiful), and 20 mins from Baisha (not that great) villages. Again, going out for a meal can be tricky if, like me, you don't think smoking and food mix, but I guess its all part of the adventure.

We arranged a couple of tours whilst there, one to the Mountain and another walking in Tiger Leaping Gorge. The Gorge, whilst stunning, was seriously scary in some areas...and the guide decided to walk a long way ahead without checking back to see if we were ok. With hindsight, would not have taken our children on that trek. You can purchase oxygen cans before going to the Mountain which we did but did not end up using them.

Service was generally very good, if not quite as fawning as you get in other places. English is not widely spoken but we managed without any major problems. There was a computer issue with our bill on checkout, quickly resolved but it definitely pays to check it before signing.

All in all, a great resort and a fabulous experience. I've given it 4 stars purely for the smoking issue, other than that its the best Banyan Tree I've been too.

Terrible room and service. Save your money and stay elsewhere.
Reviewed 2 months ago

It is disgraceful how the chain brands itself as a “luxury spa resort” given how lousy (mediocre at best) everything is about our stay during the Christmas holidays.

Villa/ Room:
- looks old and tired
- entire villa and room do not have adequate heating system. They gave a room heater that barely heats up the room and worse, it is noisy. They do have a bed heater but out of bed it’s cold.
- carpets are very very dirty, why bother placing so many carpets when you cannot ensure basic hygiene?
- toilet’s electrical plug does not work. I have to blow dry my hair in the kitchen every night. I have mentioned this 2-3 times to the staff and i am baffled as to how such a simple issue can’t be rectified throughout my stay (6 nights) to be fair 2 mechanics came at 2 different times, but after both times, it still doesn’t work
- room does not have electrical plug by the bed to charge my phone.. I have been using my portable charger every night….
- One of the bedroom lights (right above bed) not working. See photo.
- the bath tub push button that opens/ closes the drain does not work.. imagine having to press the entire time until the bath tub drains completely!
- Hot water for bath tub and wash basin takes quite a while to work. For bath tub is fine but for wash basin, by the time I’m done washing my face it’s still cold water. In winter.
- TV faces the main door, which can be adjusted to face the sofa. Fine. But the console that receives signal from remote control is still facing the door! I’m supposed to stretch my arm perpendicularly every time I need to change channel/ adjust volume??

House keeping:
- why do you not clear my tomato sauce on a plate after 3 nights even after the sauce solidified after a night? I get it if it’s food that looks like it will still be consumed but solidified tomato sauce??
- empty yoghurt cups and a coffee cup not cleared.
- there’s a stain on my blanket. And it looks like blood stain. See photo.
- amenities used not replaced. Didn’t keep track of what’s not replaced throughout the stay.
- hair and body wash pumps moved around not placed back in their original positions
- the hair brush given is in such a bad quality.. why does the hotel even bother giving them to guests? The entire rubber comes off after a few brushes. I left the spoilt brush by the wash basin and it wasn’t even cleared?

Breakfast:
- inadequate seats. Have to wait for tables to be cleared before being seated almost every morning.
- there is only 1 coffee machine..? Why….? It takes so long every morning just to get my coffee. Once, I had to ask for coffee 3 times before I gave up and when to make my own coffee.
- food quality hit and miss. Amongst those I tried porridge and noodles were nice but sausage, cold food section, fruits were terrible. Note that they are food I enjoy usually, but for e.g. grapes are so sour and old.
- No wifi connection in breakfast place

The following are the experience of my family members, and not directly mine but I feel compelled to also highlight:
- Conditioner and body lotion not refilled until instructed
- One side of the toilet door not working
- One side of the bed heater not working
- “new” cup at breakfast place had lipstick stain, which probably means it wasn’t washed
- Left a jewelry box behind and realised shortly (~15 mins) after checking out. Called to ask, and receptionist confirmed it’s already at the reception area as a staff had found it earlier. Then why not inform but waited till we called to mention?

Some okay-ish experience to highlight:
- view of the 玉龙雪山 is beautiful
- location is alright, being near to suhe and baisha old town, which I enjoyed more than Lijiang old town (main attraction in the city)
- enjoyed the high tea, with the seats and food and drink selection
- small Xmas gift and small banyan tree stuffed animals given were cute and made my nephew happy
- many staff were friendly and helpful. I feel that they try their best, e.g. when being told electrical plug does not work but maybe do not have adequate training and autonomy?

This hotel is disappointing. And given the price you’re paying, it is infuriating and unacceptable. I feel that the hotel is fixated on building its “relaxing resort” brand with all the essential oil, burning incense, etc. that the basics are ignored. Comfortable and clean villa/room first, please.

Paradise!
Reviewed 3 months ago

EXCEPTIONAL
Setting with Fabulous views of the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain. Watch sunrise from the hotel.

GREAT VARIETY
Breakfast spread was great with many different sections and most importantly the food was very tasty. 5 different kinds of fresh fruit juice, milkshakes and free-flowing Sparkling Wine was a bonus!

MASSIVE
Stayed in a 2-bedroom Villa with 2 bedrooms, living, dining, sitting and study rooms. Open the doors to a Courtyard with a heated pool and a view to die for, just below the Mountain range.

LOCATION
Walking distance to a characterful little village called Shuhe Town and a short taxi ride to Lijiang Old Town.

CONCLUSION
Probably the best hotel in Lijiang!

Beautiful campus and location
Reviewed 3 months ago

The hotel has a wonderful view of Snow Mountain and is located away from the crowds close to Shuhe. The grounds and rooms are extremely well maintained . We were warmly greeted on arrival and upgraded to a grand villa with a garden and Jacuzzi. Breakfast in the hotel was very extensive with both Chinese and Western buffet options. Dinner in the chic Chinese restaurant was mixed. The food and ambience were great, but the service on the first of two occasions was sorely lacking. Colin the F&B manager was most apologetic, but that was after we complained. The front desk staff were excellent, especially Lili Wu . Overall we were pleasantly surprised by the high quality of the rooms and the friendly staff and happily recommend this hotel.