Because of the pandemic, we couldn't travel out of China so we settled on Xishuangbanna. It does have a different feel to the rest of China, but still has the conveniences of China (such as Didi). The IC is located a bit outside of town, so there are very few delivery options- we often had to taxi in town to pick up food because the prices at the hotel were very, very expensive. There are no restaurants or stores nearby.
The hotel itself didn't feel like any IC I'd been to before; it felt a little older and not always well maintained (for example, the steam room in the fitness center didn't work; the TV channels in the room were very grainy, Wifi wasn't good and I had a lot of trouble connection to a VPN- this was not the case at the Crowne Plaza just across town). In-room coffee was just instant coffee packs- a hotel faux-pas in my book. But when I asked Snowy at the front desk, she scored us a Nespresso machine for our room. I really appreciated that!
I agree with other reviews which said "lower your expectations"- this isn't a new urban Intercontinental with all the amenities. But I felt the service was good; everyone was friendly and outgoing which isn't always the case in other parts of China. Eric Rao and Snowy stood out for their excellent service.
At check-in, there was a tour bus that came in when we did so there were long lines, I went to the back of the line for IHG elite members (I just have Platinum with IHG) and was told by staff to wait in the other line. This seems to happen a lot with IHG in China- the rewards line really doesn't make any difference, they take anyone first come, first served. Not a big deal, but then don't bother having the special line, right?
Check-in was slow (maybe 10 minutes per customer), but that's typical. Maybe it's just all the paperwork. Check-out was a breeze. I was pleased that the hotel gave us breakfast as IHG members. IHG's program is weak compared to others, but this property treated us well. We were denied a room upgrade, but the breakfast made up for it, in my opinion.
The rooms are large, as are the balconies. A table on the balcony would have been a nice touch, but there is a desk in the room. In general, I felt they could have more seating and tables around the property. When we picked up pizzas, we tried to find a place and the dining room was kind enough to let us use the outdoor tables. I found the staff to have a nice, can-do attitude when we made requests.
The kids club was great- lots of activities. They didn't allow parents to drop off kids, but it was still spacious enough to allow parents to relax while the kids played.
The outdoor pool was great, but very cold. It's so lush around it that there's little sun on the pool. That's great in the summer, but not so great in the winter. The outdoor kiddie pool was empty and their didn't appear to be any hot tub either.
Overall, this is a good property and the staff is great. We used points (20k/night) so I was happy with the value. Honesty, paying the room rate of RMB1200 seems a bit high to me, but in off-peak times, it might be more reasonable. Go in with reasonable expectations and you'll have a great stay in Banna.