Historical Traveller Reviews of Yangshuo Mountain Retreat Hotel
s not the Ritz
We stayed at this retreat for 6 nights in the fall. We were initially booked in a back room the size of a closet with barely no room to walk around. The bathroom was tiny, and the shower was practically on top of the toilet. The next day, after a couple of attempts, we were able to switch to a large room with river view. What a difference. The view was wonderful. The room was airy, spacious and bright, exactly like the pictures on their website. The bathroom, though larger, was still very "basic" with the shower in the center , and a drainage hole in the middle of the floor. Strangely, there was a huge glass window between the bedroom and the bathroom so for privacy it was necessary to pull the shower curtain over.
Unfortunately we had terrible weather. One day it poured literally sheets of rain and the electricity went out for almost 24 hours. The retreat seemed to have their own generator so the kitchen was able to have partial service. It was almost impossible to go out, plus taxis were reluctant to drive the rough road to and from the retreat -- so why would anyone want to go out. The staff was very nice and tried to be helpful. We got to know Angel quite well. She is the stronghold of the retreat. Friendly, smart and competent, she speaks English fluently and works the computer one handed like a whiz-- considering that she never had formal schooling in either. Her father later took us on a day tour through the back roads that yielded magnificent views of the Li river and the karst mountains. (He does not speak English though.)
All in all I would say this is a good place to stay if you are a bit adventurous and don't have five star Western hotel expectations -- and hope that the weather cooperates. There is no other place like it in the area for the view.
1.5 Star hotel at best
When booking this room, the reservation system or method of payment was not functional. In order to book the room, we had to have a lengthy string of emails with the front of house. I booked 2 months prior and booked the pick up at the airport. The night before my stay I received an email trying to confirm. If I did not own a blackberry that worked in China I would not have received this email. Who knows if I would have been picked up....
When i arrived the hotel, check in was confusing at best. We were shown our room and not much more was covered. They did take our passports for over 2 hours with no explanation which did not make us feel good.
We upgraded the room to a river view which was the best decision we made. The view was amazing and the bed was comfortable. There was no TV in the room and the bathroom was ruff. There was no tub for the shower. In the middle of the bathroom there is a drain and that is where you take your shower. So the toilet and the sink are at your feet when taking your shower. Not to mention the mildew. (see pictures)
The day trips that are arranged through the hotel front desk were wonderful although the hotel is 10 minute cab ride from anywhere. The bamboo raft to the fishing village is a must. Also the hot air balloon ride is affordable and breathtaking. Forget stopping at the Butterfly cave, not worth it. The mountain bikes that are offered are very well maintained. West Street is very touristy but has great food and lot of fun.
I booked this hotel because the reviews on Tripadvisor were so great. This hotel is right on the river bank in a spectacularly magnificent location. The scenery is amazing and it is the best place we visited in China. The hotel is not luxurious at all. The room I stayed in was very large, clean with standard bathroom and furnishings. The bed is very hard and the linens are not fine, but you are getting the most amazing location. We booked a large room overlooking the river with a balcony based on a Tripadvisor recommendation and that is definaitely the way to go. It is far from town down a bumpy dirt road and we arrived from the US so we were jet lagged. This meant that we took almost all our meals in the hotel. The food was adequate and not as fantastic as the menu stated. We did go into town for dinner one night and it was a lot of fun. The staff is unusually friendly and helpful. Angel and Little Fish work the desk and really helped us plan our activitities. Don't miss biking through the small towns and rice fields and take a bamboo raft down the river. Angel can arrange a tour with her father to the "Fishing Village" and it was a high point of our stay. If you go to China this is a must.
This is a fabulous place. The views are to die for and it's tranquil and relaxing. Sitting on our balcony, watching the sun go down over the mountains, quaffing a local beer - it was just wonderful.
The rooms are not 5 star but clean and comfy (with a pretty solid bed) and have everything you need. The balcony was a boon - do book one. The food is really nice. The staff are friendly and helpful and the very sweet receptionist speaks excellent English and sorted out tickets, taxis etc for us very efficiently.
We only stayed for 3 days but would have booked longer had we realised it would be so lovely. If you're doing a busy tour of China, this is just a great place to wind down, do some cycling/walking/rafting and soak up the atmosphere.
The only problem we had was getting there from the warf at Yangshuo. I would advise taking the address written in Chinese with you to show the taxi drivers...
The most beautiful location near Yangshuo, the best experience of this beautiful landscape. We have been there for 3 days (that was not enough), we loved the view to the river directly in front of the hotel. A peaceful atmosphere. The hotel is simple (really hard beds - no showercabin) but authentic, clean and enough space. Don´t expect luxury items and styling, but you will get the a warm welcome, lovely diner and a good breakfast. The most value of the resort is the location - you will never get something similar in China. Stay a while and relax from the trip through China.
Definitely a rustic style property in the most beautiful location.
Not able to have a river-view room, we were a bit disappointed with the bedroom we had at the back of the property, as the beds were the hardest we have ever experienced,however this did not deter us of having a wonderful time for the 2 nights we stayed. Food was good if you stayed with the Chinese rather than the western style cuisine. We were lucky to have a great day of touring to the old stone village and rafting the Li river which was so different to normal touristy things..thanks again to Angels good organisation. Location was a bit of a hassle being so far from West street, however we did enjoy the ability to sit by the river and relax!.
Stunning location, truly amazing!
We visited Yangshuo in September 07 and stayed at the Mountain retreat. The staff were to put it simply out of this world, We got personal treatment from the moment we arrived. Any request we had was dealt with immediately with no fuss.
The location of the hotel is the main attration, nestled in a valley between the karst mountains and the river, the views are stunning.
Rooms were clean and airy. Food was second to none, the best we had during our 3 week trip in China.
I would highly recommend the Yanshuo Mountain Retreat to anyone looking for a break away from the bustling cities of China, there is a true peace there, beautiful scenery and excellent food and service.
The retreat's idyllic setting beside a river, surrounded by singularly shaped limestone karsts, offers a lovely place to quietly enjoy the area's natural beauty. The location is isolated and the retreat is small -- perfect for someone seeking peace and quiet in a rustic environment. The retreat's restaurant offers excellent and reasonably priced cuisine. Bicycles are available to tour the neighboring area which includes some scenic tourist sites, such as Moon Hill and Assembling Dragon Cave. The staff is very friendly, especially Angel who was kind enough to show us many of the local sights and to book us tickets to the light and music show on the river in Yangshuo.
Our room was simple and featured lots of light-colored wood and a balcony with a view of the river and hills. We took care not to let mosquitos into the room. The shower in the bathroom is not segregated at all from the rest of the bathroom. My teenage daughter found the bathroom's tile floor to be "gross" due to some mildew. As a result, we had to leave the retreat early. This is to say that the retreat is not for everyone, especially not for a twenty-one-year-old used to large, full service hotels.
Assuming you fly into the Guilin Airport, the taxi drive to the retreat takes well over an hour. Even to get to the nearest town of Yangshuo, you must take a taxi. The retreat offers internet access for a fee. Our room rate of 400 yuan was a bargain.
Tranquil mountains reflected in tranquil waters
We have just returned from our trip to China. One of the highlights of our trip was our stay at the Yangshuo Mountain Retreat. Set right in the middle of the mountains it has to be the most stunning setting of any of our trips so far. We arrived very late on our first night having travelled for over 32 hours without much sleep. We were picked up at Guilin Airport by a taxi that had been arranged by the hotel. So tired we couldn't wait to get to bed. In the morning when we pulled back the curtains we couldn't believe the view - it was literally postcard stuff: Mountains, the river, rafts drifting by, the green grass of the hotel gardens, red blossoms, a fisherman near the weir. The staff were wonderful, friendly, efficient and Angel on the front desk really knew her stuff. The food was excellent. We ate Chinese all the time we were there and my partner who is a real foodie gave the meals top marks. I am vegetarian and enjoyed having such a great selection of meals from which to choose. The rooms are lovely. Very basic, clean and spacious. The bathrooms are also basic but clean. During the day we walked or cycled on the roads around the area. The hotel rents out bikes and we rode to Moon Hill one day and then climbed to the top of Moon Hill. Well worth doing. During one of our walks we came across the Giggling Tree which is a little hotel nearby. They also serve food and some mornings we sat in their front terrace, eating toasted sandwiches as their hens wandered around our feet. If you are looking for good food, peace and tranquility then the Mountain Retreat is for you. We were sad when leaving and would definitely stay there again.
An Awesome Find
We originally booked a superior river view room in town but when we arrived and saw that the room overlooked a very busy and noisy street we decided to move. We were lucky enough to find room at the resort. We stayed for four nights. The scenery is what makes this place fabulous. The view from our room was priceless! The staff are all friendly and willing to help. The food in the restaurant was good. If your are looking for peace and tranquility then this is the place for you. If you want the noise and action of West street then you won't be happy here. The rooms are basic and the bathrooms do need to be upgraded. We did not spend a great deal of time in our room. The air con worked well. My biggest complaint is the rocking chairs - first off there aren't enough of them and secondly the ones that are there are in need of repair. My husband ripped a brand new shirt on one as it had a nail sticking out of it. I never thought I could sit by a river in a rocking chair for an entire day but like I said the scenery is idyllic. The mountains in the background and rafts going peacefully down the river. We did not see the taxi to town as an issue - we went to the light show one night - AWESOME - and another night we went in to shop. West St. is the Kho San road of Yang Shou so if that's your style of travel don't go the the resort but if you want a nice quiet place to chill and take in the scenery then I would highly recommend this place.
Top Local Tips for Yangshuo
Great meal and the staff are better. We even had a origami heart made for us by one of the waitresses out of the smallest chinese bank notes. Treasured.
Yangshuo night show
The night show was amazing. The stage is a lake with over 1,000 actors. You can ask the front desk to arrange to buy tickets and for taxi service.
The Light Show/Rafting
Go to the Light Showdesigned by directorof the opening ceremony for Beijing Olympics.Take mosquito protection.Hire bike and cycle from Yangshuo on circular via Yulong river - you can get local maps- and take trip on bamboo rafts.If shopping in Yangshuo, do it before Guilin boat comes in.