Banyan Tree Tianjin Riverside: a review

Old Jan 18, 19, 8:55 am
  #1  
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Banyan Tree Tianjin Riverside: a review

Banyan Tree Tianjin Riverside

Map| 1 Review | 100% Recommended

Banyan Tree Tianjin Riverside

No. 34 Haihe East Road Hebei District Tianjin, CN 300010

Banyan Tree Tianjin Riverside: a review (40 Photos)

Banyan Tree Tianjin Riverside

We had an impromptu trip to Tianjin and, due to Accor only having Ibis hotels and the Banyan Tree (the Pullman is due to open later this year), I decided to splurge a bit of money on the x4 bonus points promotion. I was the first Accor Plus member to stay at the hotel, and likely the first Le Club member, too. Due to this, there were some small issues, but they were all ironed out pretty quickly.

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Location

The hotel, as indicated in the name, is located at the river side. It is within walking distance to the Tianjin Eye and the Italian Street. The metro station on Line 2 is within walking distance, but it is a 1km walk (a pleasant walk). The hotel’s metro station is one stop away from Tianjin Railway Station and about seven stops away from Tianjin West Railway Station (with one interchange). Tianjin South Railway Station is so far away from the city centre that I don’t even want to look at the metro map to see how far away it is. I believe the international airport is about a half hour drive away from Tianjin International Airport.

Check In

Prior to arrival, I had emailed the hotel to inform them that my partner and I would be arriving separately and was told separate check in was not a problem. The check in was efficient. I was immediately presented with a hot towel and a cup of sweet tea, which was very welcomed after lugging my bags the 1km walk from the metro station.

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  • The lobby bar, next to reception

 

I was told that I had received an upgrade to a suite and presented with my welcome drink vouchers. The executive assistant manager came out and introduced herself to me, and one of the bellboys helped me with my bags to the room.

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Room

Our room was located on the 16th floor, the highest one in the hotel. I received a multiple category upgrade, but I cannot remember what room type I booked because I never received a booking confirmation email from Accor. But it was a two or three-category upgrade to a Premier Suite, which was about double the price of the room I originally booked. The suite is massive, with a living/dining area, a study, a guest bathroom, a large main bathroom and a bedroom.

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The living/dining area features a wall-mounted TV (no access to inputs) with a sofa, two chairs and a coffee table. There is a dining table for four people. The minibar area features a number of glasses, minibar fridge, loose leaf tea and tea bags and a small wine fridge.

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The study area features a large working desk, with two chairs. This desk also holds the information and room service booklets.

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The bedroom features a very comfortable bed. Accessible bedside power points are difficult to come by; I had to move the bedside unit out from the wall and unplug a light on one side. The other side had a plug a little bit along the wall, but close enough that the charging cable could reach it if the device was on the bedside unit. The TV is located on top of a dresser, giving access to the inputs on the back.

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The guest bathroom is located near the entrance and has a toilet and sink.

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The main bathroom has a toilet and shower, each in separate cubicles, a very large bath tub, a long bench with two sinks and the closet and bag storage area. The usual bathrobes are provided, as are kimono style ones (one size M and one size L). The slippers provided were also one larger and one smaller pair. There are a large number of towels in the bathroom and they are very soft and fluffy. The soap, shampoo etc are provided as follows:

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The room had a ‘city view’, which just means a view of the apartment buildings directly behind the hotel. We did have a partial (very partial) view of the river and the Tianjin Eye.

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The welcome gift was delivered at the same time as my room service lunch (more info on that later). Unfortunately, we did not have a chance to sample the Italian Moscato, but I’m sure it would have been very nice.

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There was no pillow menu that we could find, but the pillows provided were very comfortable. There is an “in room bath experience” menu, which costs between CNY 388-980 for a bath experience with accompanying snacks or wine, or both.

On arrival, there was a letter on the desk stating there was some nearby construction going on, but we did not really notice this. What we did notice was the work occurring on the hotel’s roof late at night. On the first night, it was a little noise, but not enough to disturb our sleep. On the second night, there was considerable noise occurring what seemed directly above and slightly behind our room. We called the reception and they said that the hotel was conducting maintenance on the chimney from the restaurant and that the work would be completed around 12:30 – 1:00am. This was accurate and the work finished just after 12 midnight. I can understand not working on the chimney during restaurant operating hours, but having this kind of noise occurring after 10pm was a bit inconvenient.

There are, initially, four 600ml bottles of water provided in the room, but the housekeepers are not shy about adding extra waters during standard and turn down services. Turn down service provided some cookies. There is also a ‘snacks menu’ available to order between 9pm-3am.

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Welcome Drinks

The welcome drinks can be redeemed at the lobby bar. As at the Angsana Xi’an, the list of drinks was just limited to soft drink, juice, tea and coffee. Considering a room at this hotel is at least CNY 1300 per night, you would think they could spare a glass of wine or bottle of beer. The interesting thing is the drink voucher said something along the lines of “Redeemable for anything, except vintages, champagne and spirits.” I might mention this to the hotel in the feedback I will likely receive.

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Dining, Service and Le Club/Accor Plus Recognition

Due to hotel not having a lounge, platinum-inclusive breakfast was provided in the restaurant. I completely forgot to take photos, I’m afraid. To be honest, my partner and I were a bit disappointed with the breakfast for such a high standard hotel. On the first morning, we had breakfast at 9:30am and many hot items were empty and took a long time to replenish. The pastries had obviously been sitting out since opening and were very dry. The fresh juice station was good. Tea and coffee was offered and delivered, but top ups were never offered. When breakfast finished at 10:30am, no member of staff came by to let us know breakfast was finishing; the chefs just pounced on clearing the buffet. On the second morning, we ate breakfast at 8am and had a much better experience.

For lunch on the date of arrival at the hotel, I ordered a Caesar salad with chicken delivered to the room. On the menu, the salad was listed as CNY 80 by itself and CNY 95 “with chicken.” When the food came and I signed the bill, I had been charged CNY 175, plus taxes. I immediately sent an email to the Banyan Tree Host team and the executive assistant manager who I had met earlier, asking for clarification on the cost of the salad. Within half an hour, a food and beverage team member was knocking on my door, apologising profusely, and presented me with a corrected bill to sign. Considering I raised the issue by email, this was very pleasing. However, I was very well known to everyone for the rest of the stay, all greeting me by name, even managers who I had never met before I interacted with them. This may have been due to the Le Club status, but also likely due to the room service issue that occurred within two hours of my arrival at the hotel.

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I had dinner in the restaurant downstairs and ordered the lamb, with a glass of red wine. I enquired about the Accor Plus participation and dining discount. The restaurant manager returned, stating that there was no discount, but she would be pleased to offer a complimentary bottle of the wine to ‘welcome me,’ which I was surprised at and accepted. When my lamb was served, the manager informed me that she had double checked the “A Plus” (as it is known in China) and said I was entitled to a 15% discount, apologising that she was not aware of it, and that I was the first A Plus member to stay at the hotel. As I had already been given a free bottle of wine, I did not ask for the additional 10% discount that I was entitled to, but I will give this feedback to the hotel later on.

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I wanted to buy a USB-C to HDMI adaptor so I could watch my laptop downloaded movies on the TV. I asked one of the gentlemen downstairs if he had any recommendations for a shopping mall I could go to. He suggested a shopping mall but asked me to wait while he had a chat to his manager. The Front Office Manager came over and clarified what I was looking to buy. He then called the hotel’s IT manager and asked if he knew of any shops I could buy such a thing from. He then called the shops that the IT manager recommended, ordered me a taxi, wrote down the shop name and “I want to buy a USB-C to HDMI adaptor” in Chinese on a hotel card for me, and told the taxi driver where I wanted to go. The FOM also offered the services of the IT manager to help me get everything sorted in the room, but I declined this service as plugging in a HDMI cable and changing the inputs isn’t that difficult. The service provided by the FOM at this hotel, as well as the service we received when we stayed at the Angsana Xi’an is giving me the impression that service at these brands will far exceed that of Accor brands, with perhaps the exception of the highest tier of Accor’s portfolio.

 

Gym

We did not use the facilities, but I did have a walk around the gym. The gym was very warm and the equipment seemed a bit dated. Half of the treadmills and some other equipment were out of order.

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Check Out

Check out was done quickly. Due to recent issues at the Sofitel Harbin with being hit with a DCC charge, I told the manager on duty that if the machine asks if I want to may in Chinese RMB or Australian dollars, that I would like to pay in RMB. This was done for me without issue.

Overall

Accor’s offerings in Tianjin are very slim, with only some Ibis hotels and the Banyan Tree available. There is a Pullman opening later in the year, I believe. I highly recommend this hotel. The service we received was fantastic, though the issue with the room service on the date of arrival possibly resulted in a “Stop screwing up” memo going out, because I had managers I had never seen before greeting me by name in passing. The location is good. The complimentary upgrade far exceeded my expectations and the room was well appointed, very clean and comfortable. I would definitely return to this hotel.

Banyan Tree Tianjin Riverside: a review

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Maelstrom is offline  
Old Jan 18, 19, 9:42 am
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Excellent review, thanks
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Old Jan 18, 19, 12:18 pm
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Superb review, as usual Maelstrom
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Old Jan 18, 19, 1:40 pm
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WOW, as always when dreaming on so beautiful hotels and reviews 👍
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Dav77 is offline  
Old Jan 18, 19, 7:13 pm
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For some reason, the photo of the welcome drinks menu did not make it into the original review, so I have amended the section about the welcome drinks and added the photo.

Thanks the comments, folks!
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Old Jan 19, 19, 7:47 am
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Went to Tianjin last November. Banyan Tree was not participate in LCAH at that time. So went to St Regis instead
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Old Jan 28, 19, 7:46 am
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Thanks for posting. Tianjin is an unusually nice Chinese city, imo.
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