The Golden Flower by Shangri-La is one of two Shangri-La-owned hotels in Xi’An.
It is one of the original 4- or 5-star hotels in Xi’An which means that it’s an older hotel, built in 1985, and apparently refurbished in 2006. We booked this hotel after booking our stay at the Shangri-La Chengdu, based on the reputation of the Shangri-La brand.
Unfortunately, the Golden Flower didn’t live up to our Shangri-La expectations like we had hoped.
Location, location, location
The location is not as great as we hoped – it’s in an older part of town (no fault of the hotel). We did not explore out from the hotel grounds. Out the window, it appears that there is some modern construction across the major overpass right in front of the hotel. I suspect that road was built after the hotel, but time moves on, and this road is not shown in the pretty website photos.
The rooms were nice. Still not quite luxury-grade as expected, but nice.
The pool was just a pool. Nothing special, interesting, or cool about it. It was a lot like a pool you might see at a Motel 6 in the middle of Nevada. Very functional, but no frills. I would say for a luxury hotel, it was in need of a major remodel and overhaul.
The staff was very nice and very helpful, however, it appears that the hotel is not fully staffed to the level of other hotels as expected. In many luxury hotels in China, you walk into a Downton Abbey line-up of guest services, bellhops, and concierge folks to welcome you and to help you. We saw this briefly when we wandered into the lobby of the new Westin near the Wild Goose Pagoda. Lots of staff in suits ready to welcome. This was not true at the Golden Flower. There was a greeter and a concierge at his post, but no great greeting of importance or welcome which is one of the best parts of hotels in China.
The Golden Flower is not a bad hotel by any means, but it does not deserve to have a Shangri-La brand associated with it, or at least you should not expect the level of luxury you might find at other Shangri-La hotels. If we were to go back to Xi’An, we would opt for the other Shangri-La or the new Westin hotel which is adjacent to the Great Wild Goose Pagoda and a new modern shopping district.