Yangshuo Mountain Retreat, Yangshuo, Guangxi, China

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Dining Room
Dining Room
not pleasant view
not pleasant view
view from hallway
view from hallway
On the front of the hotel
On the front of the hotel
sunset beside the river
sunset beside the river
View from my balcony
View from my balcony
looking out to the balcony
looking out to the balcony
reception
reception
main hallway
main hallway
Arriving area/ Parking Lot
Arriving area/ Parking Lot
welcome kit
welcome kit
Yulong River scene
Yulong River scene
Why stay anywhere else?
Why stay anywhere else?
View from our room
View from our room
short walk from YMR
short walk from YMR
View from our balcony
View from our balcony
bathroom window
bathroom window
Karst Mountain scenery outside the retreat
Karst Mountain scenery outside the retreat
Yangshuo Mountain Retreat
Yangshuo Mountain Retreat
carpet in main starway
carpet in main starway
Yangshuo Mountain Retreat, Yangshuo China street/mailing addressAddress: Wang Gong Shan Jiao, Feng Lou Cun Wei, Gao Tian
4.174605
Average: 4.2 (63 votes)
Ranked #10 out of 43 in Yangshuo
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Reviews

01/12/2009
5

I stayed at Yangshuo Mountain Retreat for two nights, after taking the Li River cruise from Guilin. The Retreat is a 15-minute taxi ride from the Yangshuo dock. I highly recommend the Retreat. My room had a picture-perfect view of the Yulong River and karst mountains from the balcony. Ask for Room 205. Generally, the Retreat's facilities are simple but cozy. Having a room with a view significantly adds to the experience. I rented a mountain bike for a day and rode along the river to nearby villages. Also, it is a pleasant ride to Big Banyan Tree, Moon Hill, and even Yangshuo. Make sure that your bike has a lock. The staff of the Retreat are professional, friendly, and helpful. Little Fish does a great job in creating a family atmosphere. The menu at the casual restaurant is extensive and satisfying. An option is dining at outside tables with river views. It's a one-hour taxi ride to the airport. (Suggestion: Bring a small gift for Angel's new baby.)

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01/11/2009
5

We just returned from Yangshuo and we could not have had a more enriching, relaxing sojourn in this beautiful village. The scenery was truly breathtaking - from our balcony, we had the perfect postcard view of karst peaks, the river, the beautiful garden. Our room was elegant if simple. The beds were comfortable, the blankets warm, and the staff absolutely warm and welcoming. While there is wireless available and a television in a separate public area, this is the perfect getaway. For our family, it was wonderful to be together, to play cards, to talk, to enjoy being together in a truly incredible place. Yangshuo Mountain Retreat is unique and beautiful place - if only there were more places like this in the world. Where getting away from it all truly means finding oneself.

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01/01/2009
2

I made reserverations directly using their website which portrays a luxurious and beautiful resort. Upon arriving my mother and I were exhausted and ready to relax in an air-conditioned room. However, once excorted to our "river view" room we found it to be a view of the bushes. Not to mention, the floor and bedding was dirty and the bathroom was far from comfortable with luke warm water.

I also found the pricing to be ridiculously high for what it was. We were paying American prices for the room and food, whereas I know for a fact that prices in other touristy places such as Guilin or Ningbo can be much more reasonable.

Overall we were very disappointed in our choice to stay at YMR. I would highly recommend doing more research before deciding on this "retreat." I found the website to be very deceptive and over priced.

The upside was the beautiful karst peaks and amazing sunsets. YMR does have a very nice location neslted in the countryside as opposed to the hustle and bustle of a city. For that I do give it a +.

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12/06/2008
5

Not far from Yangshuo, which is the landing place after a delightful cruise from Huilin, on the river Li.

Worth going to the Mountain retreat (taxis are easy to find and cheap). The setting is delightful, the owner is Amercan, I believe, which in this case means excellent organization, cleanliness, respect of the environment, hiring people from nearby villages, perfect internet connection, etc.

The setting is great, so is the welcome; rooms are fairly simple but with required amenities.

We only had breakfast ther but it was very good.

(around 35 euros a night, if I recall)

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12/04/2008
5

We went to China over Thanksgiving and the experience we had at Yangshuo Mountain retreat was unbelievable. From the warm welcome, to the spectacular setting, great food, and overall feel, we had an experience like no other. Our family was traveling with another family and we all agreed that our expectations were exceeded. I accomplished what I set out to do- see and feel the real China as well as experience some beautiful scenary.

The other positive reviews all describe my feedback well. We were in room 202 and the picture on the website is almost exactly the view we had. Our friends loved their third floor room with three beds and another outstanding view. The bathroom was very different from what we have experienced elsewhere and while it was a little bit of adjustment, we considered it part of the authenticity of the experience. We originally had planned a Li River cruise as the focal point of this part of our trip; after floating down the Yulong on rafts, we decided we wanted to stay closer to our YMR base to take full advantage of the overall experience at the retreat.

One thing I would add in addition to other reviews is that the setting provided somewhat of a large bed and breakfast feel, which I liked. The comfortable, casual environment enabled us to interact with interesting people from all over the world. For those in our party who preferred some alone time, there were many wonderful places to read or just sit and take in the breathtaking scenary. A traveler can have as much or as little interaction as they chose which, again, enhances the overall experience.

I'm certain I'll be back as 3 days was not long enough...

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12/02/2008
5

We spent 2 weeks in China and this was the highlight of our trip. We loved staying here! We were in room 207 and had a fantastic view of the river, the bamboo rafts, and the hot air balloons. We had been staying in 5-star hotels the entire trip and this was refreshing to get away into the countryside and I felt very much at home here. A prior reviewer knocked this retreat pretty badly; I found this retreat charming and a unique experience. The food was the best that we had in China--it was not greasy! I am primarily vegetarian and there was plenty on the menu for me and very well-prepared, fresh, and clean. (I highly recommend the apple milk shake! Yum!) The staff was wonderful to us---they were very accomodating and helpful. We enjoyed interacting with them---they are like a small family and were very personable. We met the owner and his wife; he is very hands-on, very aware, and very active in making sure that the guests are enjoying their stay. If there is a problem/complaint, he is sure to remedy it personally if it is legitimate/reasonable. We rented bikes---they were expensive gear-shifting Treks that the owner had recently purchased. We were recognized out on the trails as being from YMR because everyone else was riding archaic bikes. All of our taxis were arranged for us into town; they even made us a sack lunch on our day of departure to the airport in 5 minutes' notice. Our experience was great!

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11/27/2008
4

We have just returned from the YMR where we had a great time and are already wondering how we can arrange our next visit! The views from the hotel are incredible, the ambience was good and we found all the staff members to be very friendly and helpful. A definite highlight was the bike ride to the Dragon Bridge - we hired the bikes from the hotel - it was a day we will never forget. Recommend a room with a view.

Thanks YMR for a lovely holiday.

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11/24/2008
5

So getting straight to the point why should you choose to stay at this hotel?

For us, we chose the hotel because we wanted a quiet relaxing time (particularly needed after Beijing!), to stay somewhere beautiful and hopefully find a place that had a welcoming and individual character.

Frankly YMR delivered on all counts and more. The staff were incredibly helpful, the food (both western and eastern) was wonderful and we could not have asked for more. Our main misgiving is that we should have booked a longer stay here - well next time we will.

If you are reading this review and the other reviews posted I think you will get an understanding of why you should pick this hotel. Clearly lots of people love this hotel and a few have some misgivings about their stay here.

If it is important to you that you have a generic five star hotel that provides Moulton Brown toiletry products and Cable TV in every room with a 24/7 Concierge service then sure this might not be the place for you. There are loads of those hotels in every city and all the rooms are pretty much to the same standard - so go ahead and book one of those and read no further.

If on the other hand you value friendly staff, a wonderful relaxing location and a guest house or hotel with an individual character that serves some wonderful food and has the most amazing views then you should absolutely book this place and try to stay longer than our short three night visit (it will be worth it).

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11/22/2008
2

Before choosing the Yangshuo Mountain Retreat I read all the reviews on TripAdvisor twice. Overall the reviews seemed positive, but there were a few negative reviews that focused on the poorly decorated rooms and the unhelpful staff. Despite some misgivings I went ahead and booked the YMR hoping that the scenery would offset any disappointment in the hotel and staff. I was wrong. Although the owner of the YMR had rebutted the negative reviews on TripAdvisor, I found that the complaints from previous patrons were legitimate. I hope to give a fair review of the positives and negatives of this establishment.

First with the positives...

1. The scenery at the YMR was amazing and I don't believe any other hotel could offer better views of the karsts or the Yulong River. My husband and I had the same deluxe river view room as shown on the website. It was amazing to lay in bed and watch the rafts go by, and in the morning watch the hot air balloons over the karsts.

2. The hotel restaurant had an extensive menu for a small hotel and overall the food was very good. There were plenty of vegetarian options. The waitresses provided good service. We took all our meals at the picnic tables along the Yulong River-a very pleasant place to relax after a long day of sightseeing.

3. I had arranged with YMR to have airport pick-up and the taxi driver was waiting for us at the Guilin Airport without incident.

Now the negatives...

1. Prior to my arrival I wrote the YMR with a request to arrange touring for our 3 day stay. I wrote with several specific questions about sites to see and approximate prices and received a one sentence email informing me that all touring could be arranged after my arrival. I wrote a second time explaining that with such a short stay I wanted to have tours pre-arranged and needed approximate cost estimates and finally received a more detailed email. The prices seemed high to me and again I was informed that all tours could be arranged on my arrival. Not feeling comfortable leaving these arrangements to the last minute, I booked a local tour guide, Jessie Lu, based on TripAdvisor recommendations. She was truly wonderful and without her our stay at the YMR would have been very disappointing. Her daily tours were far cheaper and covered a much more extensive itinerary than those offered by the YMR. I should note that on check-in the staff never even offered their services to arrange tours. I guess the assumption was that if you wanted assistance you needed to ask-no help was forthcoming.

2. Upon arrival at YMR our taxi driver took us to the front desk and began talking to the staff in Chinese. This conversation continued for a long time without any of the front desk staff acknowledging our presence. Finally I produced a copy of my reservation and was abruptly handed a key. No friendly introduction or warm welcome to the hotel. (I should note that a nice lady did approach us with glasses of water, but did not speak to us.) This left a very bad initial impression on me as my experience with the hotels in Beijing and Shanghai was to be greeted warmly and offered immediate assistance. After being given a room key a lady did assist us with our bags and gave us a brief tour of our room, but I don't believe she spoke much English as she mostly gestured to things.

3. After checking into the YMR I went back to the front desk and asked if the staff could assist me in acquiring an IP card so that I could phone home and check on my infant daughter. A call was placed and I was informed that an IP card was going to be purchased in town and brought to the hotel and I would pay for it when it arrived. That evening, after the light show, I went to the front desk to get the IP card. The staff member informed me there was no IP card and didn't appear to know anything about the arrangements that had been made. In fact, she seemed annoyed with me! She said it wouldn't be possible to do anything about getting the card that night as all the stores in town would now be closed. No apology was offered for failing to follow through with the earlier promise to have the card available that evening. The next morning I went down to the desk and asked if the card had arrived. A different staff member was on duty and she informed me there was no card. However, she placed a phone call and discovered that a card had been purchased but would only be delivered to the hotel when a patron called for a taxi and she didn't know when that would be. Needless to say I was very frustrated. At this point I asked if she could place a phone call to my tour guide, Jessie Lu, so I could ask her to pick up an IP card before meeting us that morning. (The only hotel phone is the front desk phone,) Jessie Lu was very gracious and arrived an hour later with an IP phone card that I was able to use on her own personal cell phone. Jessie Lu provided the most outstanding service, but the YMR failed repeatedly to provide even the most basic assistance.

4. Our deluxe river view room was very disappointing. Although the website painted the rooms as being rustic, using local furniture, etc. the whole look of the room was shabby. I believe rustic decor can be done beautifully, but that was not the case at the YMR. The curtains were stained and barely covered the large windows, therefore not offering adequate nighttime privacy. The rattan love seat had stained, worn cushions and looked so dirty I never sat on it once. The hardwood floors were in good condition, but I was put off by "dust bunnies" on the floor. The grout on the bathroom tile appeared moldy and suffice it to say I never went barefoot in either the room or the bathroom. Not having a separate shower stall was very inconvenient especially when you had to let the shower run for 10 minutes before the water was hot enough to bathe. The only toiletries provided were a soap and shampoo dispenser mounted on the bathroom wall. This was about as charming as a public restroom. Although I had envisioned a quiet country retreat, this was the noisiest hotel room of our entire stay in China. We were unable to fall asleep until 10:30 p.m. each night because of all the noise from the lobby and the hallway. This was not great as we started touring by 7:00 a.m. each morning.

Although the scenery was fantastic, I would not recommend this hotel to any friends because the unfriendly, unhelpful staff and unpleasant room detracted too much from the overall experience. If I had not had Jessie Lu to arrange such fantastic tours and provide assistance with unforeseen needs, my stay at the YMR would have completely ruined my trip to Yangshuo. I believe there are several excellent hotels in the countryside around Yangshuo town that provide much better accommodations and service.

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11/18/2008
4

My wife and I stayed five nights with our two four year old twins. The hotel was great with one exception. We were met upon our arrival with a delicious pot of ginger tea which we enjoyed with the view of the river from an outside table. We were then surprised to learn that our pre-paid guaranteed reservation had a problem. Our deluxe river view room was not available. The manager made it right however, by moving us next door to the Dragon River Retreat for one night at no charge. We moved back the next day to the Yangshuo Mountain Retreat. There was a little confusion among all the people involved as no one was really informed of the arrangements. It wasn't a problem though and the YMR kept their word. We returned to the Dragon River Retreat every morning for a superior breakfast. We found the staff there to be extremely friendly and the hotel to be nice, clean and very kid friendly with lots of room for them to play.

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11/04/2008
4

My husband and I stayed here with our 7-year-old daughter in September of 2007. We stayed for 4 nights and paid the equivalent of $55 CDN a night for a triple room with bathroom and AC. Our room was on the second floor at the front of the retreat and overlooked the river and the karsts. Amazing. The beds were hard and the rooms basic but the food was incredible and the staff were really friendly and professional. We had a fantastic stay!

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10/19/2008
4

We stayed here for 2 nights at the end of September. My wife and I received good service from all the hotel staff. It makes a big difference that the staff learnt to speak English to assist the non-Mandarin speaking clientele. Rooms are clean and comfortable. Air conditioning is sufficient, but on a very very hot day, it could struggle.

The location of the place is right by the Yu Long river, and you could have your breakfast by the river bank and watch locals in rafts or doing some fishing. The downside is that if you need to go into town, you'd need to call for a taxi and each 10 minute ride costs about 20 yuan.

All in all, we had a good stay, and a memorable one too.

CK & Ai We, London

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10/11/2008
3

The retreat is nicely located and there is a gorgeous view. The staff is very friendly and helpfull.

The rooms with a balcony are nice and have a nice view from the balcony but some are noisy. We slept in 5 different rooms during a week stay. We moved out of our first room as the room was not what we expected and it was very busy in the hotel. The receptionist had to move us few time. The first room was directly above the kitchen with mountain view and had a terrible kitchen smell. The second room was directly next to the parking space and was smelly and very noisy. The 3rd room was with a balcony and was nice and we were glad we could stay ther for a few nights. The 4th room was with mountain view and just a room. The 5th room was with a balcony and nice view but noisy. In themean time our children had a river view room with no balcony but a very nice room.

That the hotel was out of the city was not the problem but going into the city was difficult, I believe also because of the chinese national day and thus a lot of people on the roads. There was also an advertisement to have dinner in their sister hotel near moon hill but there was no taxi available that week to take us there. We had a wonderful stay as you stay outside of the rooms anyway but be cautious of which room you get.

Arthur van Berlo, Netherlands

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10/07/2008
4

Apart from the hard beds, basic accommodation, no tv, no fridge, this place was pure pleasure. My favourite place in China. This was my paradise. We stayed in room 203 which had no room above it which was a bonus as with wooden floors I can imagine it could be noisy. The views from the balcony were amazing, I spent 2 hours every day having breakfast and just sitting by the river and looking at the mountains. The food was excellent, breakfast was equally varied for this small hotel. Most guests just sat by the river and read. We had a massage in our room arranged by the hotel which was cheaply priced and fabulous. We also booked a private tai chi lesson through the hotel which was professional and reasonably priced. This hotel is by no means central, a 15 minute drive to central West Street which costs approximately £3. That's the whole point of this hotel, tranquility and peace. The river runs in front of the hotel and you can swim and then just relax. Through the day the bamboo rafts drift down the river with tourists looking at the beautiful scenery. The staff were helpful and I would recommend this hotel to anyone. It is basic but the scenery is breathtaking and the staff ensure whatever you need is provided.

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10/05/2008
2

Before coming to Yangshou we booked another Hotel in the town. But after extensive research on TripAdvisor we cancelled the other reservation and booked Yangshou Mountain Retreat. Big mistake! TripAdvisor reviews were misleading! We are experienced but not spoiled travelers and disagree with all the positive postings because there is nothing about this hotel worth raving about.

I just wanted to mention that the only hotel that required full prepayment in Yangshuo is the Mountain Retreat and now we understand why!

Yes the scenery is gorgeous! Food is good and the waitresses are nice, friendly and helpful.

But drying linens and other people personal clothes in front of hotel is making view little unpleasant, it should be placed behind the building. The enterance to the hotel is a little frightening as all you see is a dirt parking lot, bushes, laundry lines, and piles of sand and rocks.. looks like a construction site.

1. The rooms are less than basic; we didn’t have anything besides console table, one night stand and two beds. There was not a single chair to put our clothes on. For a one night stay this may be enough, but if you staying more for longer than that – much more is needed. The bathroom has a huge window into the room – if you’re not alone you can forget about privacy.

2. Linens and pillows are all different fabrics. I wasn’t sure if it’s clean, because of they grey color.

3. The brochure in the room said that we can rent bicycles for half a day (3 hours)!!!! But at the front desk they said that they do not do any anymore and you have to take one for the full day- 50 Yuan. When I brought my book downstairs – they said that it was published many years ago and those things no longer apply- why is it in the room then? Riding a bike in 90F outside is suicidal, the only time you can do it is early in the morning- so they’re just trying to get more money out of you.

4. The hotel requires some work. Please see my pictures. It’s okay, but not what I was expecting to see and not the way that it is described. The next hotel we stayed in was in a much poorer country and has excellent service and accommodations for a very small price so no one can say that it’s not doable.

5. Furniture outside is falling apart. Most of the chair legs buckle.. and in need of repair.

6. The people at the front desk are very unfriendly and have certainly not been trained on how to provide the best service to the guests. I felt like I was bothering them every time I asked for something.

7. Location – the biggest disappointment. Complete isolation. And a very expensive taxi ride. (I heard that some hotels are providing free shuttle to the city). You’re basically forced to eat at their restaurant because you’re stuck at the hotel and can’t take a cab into the city every time you want to eat. No refrigerator in the room means that you’re also forced to buy cold water from them all the time. There is nothing to do at night. You can watch the communal tv, I suppose, but the AC was never on downstairs and it was extremely hot.

8. It would be nice to have at least an alarm clock in room. People are traveling from other parts of the world and it just a necessity.

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10/04/2008
5

I absolutely loved my stay at the Yangshuo mountain retreat. I stayed there for 6 nights in late September. I booked a Deluxe double room with river views and balcony through the hotels website. The booking process was easy and troule free. You need to provide credit card details and they charge your card at the time of booking.

I booked an airport transfer and when I arrived in Guilin the driver was waiting with a sign for me - even though my flight was delayed. The transfer cost 250Y. On arrival I was handed a cold washer from the fridge and a glass of water - both very nice in the hot humid weather. Check in was quick and easy and I was shown to my room which was lovely. Be sure to get a room with river views and a balcony - I spent hours out on the balcony watching all the rafts float down the river. The photos on the hotel website accurately portrayed the room I stayed in. The room was fresh and roomy. The air con was efficient and much needed during my stay. They provided mosquito lights for inside and coils for outside.

As others have noted in their reviews the bathroom is not ideal and at times had a strong odour from the drain. The shower is right next tot he toilet and not in a separate cubicle. There is a shower curtain which stops the toilet getting wet, but the floors remain wet for quite a while after a shower which I didn't like.

The restaurant provided excellent food and a wide variety of both western and local food. As with most chinese places the local food was far superior to the western. Althought the western breakfasts were excellent. All the food tastes even better because of the wnderful surrounds sitting by the river. The waitressing staff are all lovely and very helpful. They were particularly sweet when I got very sunburnt and brought me ice for it and also when I had gastro and wanted plain bread or rice.

For some, I can see that it would be a disadvantage being so far from town and the 30Y each way seemed very expensive. After spending weeks in cities, I was more than happy to spend quite a bit of time at the retreat and after days out exploring, I didn't go back into town for dinner so this wasn't a problem for me.

I didnt use the hotel to arrange any activities so can't comment on this.

Overall, a fantastic place to relax and recharge which I would highly recommend.

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10/02/2008
5
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10/02/2008
2

We recently stayed in Yangshuo and were not at all impressed. The scenery is gorgeous, it's hard to deny that. But the retreat is described as this little piece of heaven which it is not!

The biggest drawback of this hotel is the distance from the city! That would be the number one reason that i wouldn't go back there. No where do you see that the only way to get to the city is to take a taxi (which has to be called) and it costs you 30 Yuan each way. So basically 60 roundtrip. In Beijing you can go much further on a mere 14 or 15 Yuan so this is a rip off!

The staff is lackluster. Our favorites were easily the waitresses who seemed enthusiastic and friendly. The reception staff was less than helpful. When we ran into major difficulties and had to find another way to get to our next destination, we spent a considerable amount of time on the phone (int he reception) and at no point did ANYONE offer to help! When we asked we got nothing in return. People who speak the language and know the city.. and do not try to help.. at least try!

The rooms that they say are designed using Feng Shui.. well, they're just meagerly furnished, that's all. No phone, tv, clock, etc. So on nights that you're not in the city because it's too far away, well you're stuck in your room watching the bare walls.

Oh and my favorite.. was when we first arrived and there was laundry spread out all over the place. We're talking underwear on bushes, is that appropriate?

We stayed at 3 different hotels on our trip- this was hands down the least favorite.

My suggestion would be to find a hotel in the city. There were a few that looked really nice, and it'll save you a whole lot of trouble. At least you could just walk out and over to a store to buy something or to eat dinner and wouldn't be confined to the retreat.

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08/23/2008
4

The setting is pristine, the views unparalleled and the staff eager and ready to please. We traveled with my 72 year old mom and my 12 year old daughter to this beautiful mountain retreat. The rooms are comfortable and some have excellent views of the river. There is A/C and hot water and a good mix of western and Chinese foods - a real bonus when traveling with kids and other picky eaters! The staff are very helpful in arranging activities - we took a bike ride to Dragon Bridge and then a bamboo raft ride back, which was delightful. We also went balooning - not to be missed! and to the light show in Yangshao, another highlight of our entire trip to China. This is one place to which I would definitely return!

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08/18/2008
5

We were very impressed with the Retreat. We divided our stay between the Li River Retreat and the Yangshuo Mountain Retreat, and both were excellent. We enjoyed the access to swimming and boating at YMR, and the serenity of LRR.

However, the service at YMR was a cut above. I especially need to remark on the perserverence and generosity of Chun Li in obtaining coveted train tickets out on the exact train we needed. In addition to being indefatigible and sunny, she really went beyond the call of duty in tracking down the best tickets.

Thanks Chun Li, Annie, Chris, Little Fish and the rest of the staff at the Retreat!

Nick

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08/16/2008
5

The hotel was excellent at booking local activities and cooking local food. Sadly, while staying at this wonderful hotel I became very ill and required hospitalization. Luckily, the hotel is full of fluent English speakers and they got me to a hospital ASAP. Many Chinese hospitals don't feed you, so they sent me food. Bing-bing, one of the waitresses even came to visit me. They arranged a medical translator for me and even gave my friends lodging once our stay ended, so that they wouldn't have to leave me.

The Yangshuo Mountain Retreat family truly is a family, and their kindness will always be remembered. I fully recommend this place! And definitely do the rock-climbing if you go!!!

Daniel (大力)

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07/26/2008
5

I was so glad that I stayed at this place and not in town. I had expected Yangshuo town to be a tranquil backpacker place, but it is rather packed and loud. Staying at the Mountain Retreat was just the perfect base to explore the area. I rented one of their bikes and went up the river to Yulong Bridge (the bridge is unimpressive, but the bike ride through the rice paddies beautiful), half the way back on a bamboo raft, biked to Moon Hill (the big street is full of trucks and diesel fumes), went on a hot air balloon ride (800 Yuan), saw the Liu Sanjie performance... was great. In the hotel itself I had an upper floor superior room for 450 Yuan, which was worth it. Just sitting there on the balcony and watching the endless parade of bamboo rafts go by was priceless. The staff there is super-nice and helped to arrange all side trips. The food was good. I liked the attitude of the place, to buy from local farmers, support close communities, use sustainable methods to run the hotel. The bathroom is OK, with a curtain between the toilet and the shower, which is just splashing into the middle of the room (no separate tub)... but it was fine for me. I would highly recommend this place to anyone!

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07/13/2008
5

From my fist contacts with the YSMR through its website,I found that these people were going out of their way to make your stay in their hotel a maximum pleasure experience. And it was. The setting is unique. We rented bikes from the YSMR, received excellent detailed written touring instructions, reservations and transport was arranged to the lightsshow, and a private excurtion was aranged to the Longji rice terraces. The room was good with very cold airconditioning (it was very hot outside). The food was good, the people were so sweet and helpful and reliable. Again highly recommended!

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06/23/2008
5

We stayed at the Yangshuo Mountain Retreat for three nights in late May 2008. The views from the hotel of the Yulong River are absolutely breathtaking -- makes you feel that you are looking at a scene from 500 years ago, with the peaks and the fields in the background and bamboo rafts gliding by all day.

We had the hotel book a hot air balloon flight over Yangshuo, and it was the highlight of our whole trip to China -- stupendous scenery, and the balloon outfit they used was absolutely professional and confidence-inspiring. They took us way up in the sky, above the peaks, and then brought us down into the valleys twice during the hourlong flight -- we got to sail along 50 feet above people working in the rice paddies -- pure magic. In the photo I took in-flight, the hotel is located at center left, where the river bends close to the road.

The hotel is basic but comfortable, and the food is worthwhile. This is truly a unique location in the world -- see it while Yangshuo is still an out-of-the-way locale, before it gets ruined by giant chain hotels.

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06/04/2008
4

My husband and I recently stayed here in May and would highly recommend it. At about $50 US dollars, this is bargin. The retreat is nestled among the karst peaks and the river is right in front of you. It's about a 15 minute car ride from downtown Yangshuo.The retreat has a rustic, cabin feel to it. I agree with other reviewers that the bathrooms could be better, but they were clean and tolerable.

The only disappointing thing about the retreat was the bikes they had for rent. We had called ahead of time to make sure they had good bikes, and they had ensured us that they had the good ones. However, we ended up with older mountain bikes with unfortable seats. You'll need to rent bikes in downtown if you want to do some more serious biking.

We ate at the restaurant one evening and enjoyed the food there. They have a mix of Chinese and Western items on their menu. The hot and sour soup was excellent if you like spicy food.

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06/03/2008
5

We spent a lovely 4 nights at the Retreat following our son's wedding in Beijing. It was a lovely place to decompress! The mountains are breathtaking and we so enjoyed our view. The staff is very personable and a big help in making whatever plans you want. The bicycle riding looked a little too scarey for me, with the skinny roads and trucks, but walking was fine and taxis are cheap. The food at the hotel was reasonable and generally good, although we missed the fresh brewed coffee when the pot quite working! The pineapple chicken dish is fantastic and they had a nice brunch one morning. Some of the dishes were quite large and could be shared, although we didn't usually find that out until we got them.

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05/30/2008
5

This is a gem in the karst mountains of China. We took the Li River Cruise down to Yangshou and stayed one night here before hooking back up with the Li River Cruise tour the next day back to Guilin. This place is a great mountain resort on a beautiful river in the middle of the karst mountains. The scenery is breathtaking. I wish we could have stayed longer. The hotel is very nice run by a great staff. If you stay here, you must eat here. The food is outstanding. The rooms are nice and efficient with balcony views of the river and the mountains in the background. This is a great place to unwind. The bathrooms are clean, but the mosquitos can be obnoxious at times. The hotel provides a bug zapper and mosquito coils and as long as you make sure the doors are closed and the A/C is on, you shouldn't have a problem. This was our only concern and it really was not a problem.

The hotel also offers a lot of outdoor activites for you to explore the surrounding mountains, caves and the Li River. We highly recommend the cormorant fishing, the nightly light show in Yangshou and possibly a balloon ride over the mountains.

We travelled to six cities in China and found this to be our favourite. Most people just take the Li River Cruise which is very nice, but if you can stay in Yangshou for at least a night, you will be well rewarded.

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05/15/2008
5

I spent 3 days at the YMR and could have spent several weeks! I had been in China for two months volunteering, mostly in cities, and wanted to spend my last few days in a restful and more rural part of China. I also wanted to be in a place where I could get the real Chinese experience. I was not disappointed. Although there are western conveniences such as the staff speaks English and there are western items on the menu, it does not take away from the Chinese feel.

First, the location is breathtaking....it is just perfect. Right in the mountains with a river in front that you can go on raft rides. Early in the morning it is so peaceful to sit outside and drink coffee and gaze at the mountains. It is off the beaten path, quite a ways from the town, which I wanted. Yet I was able to get into town pretty easily by taking the raft down the river and then a bus into town. You can also walk or ride a bike.

The rooms are clean and comfortable. The only thing to note is that if you are looking for frills or luxury, you might be disappointed. The rooms are simple, just the basics. There is no tv, no separate shower in the bathroom, just a shower head right in the middle of the bathroom with curtains. This did not bother me but might bother some people. For me the room was just perfect, I just wanted it to be clean, and the simplicity is very fitting for the setting, and makes for a true 'get away from it all' type of experience.

Cleanliness - I noticed the cleanliness rating was low, but I didn't find any problem, in fact thought it was extremely clean.

The food is excellent - combination of western and Chinese; everything was great. The restaurant itself is so relaxing - you can hang out there if you like, stop in the afternoon just for a cool drink or tea, etc. Very comfortable and informal, yet very nice. Also just perfectly decorated for the setting.

Staff - the staff are fabulous, very helpful and friendly. Whatever I needed, they took care of it. I also did several activities arranged through YMR (hot air ballooning, scenic boat ride, etc) and all were great and went off without a hitch. They arrange transportation and everything so you don't have to worry about it.

I was traveling on my own, and this was a perfect place for a single traveler, I met many wonderful people through the activities, so never actually felt alone.

Overall my experience was great. In my mind, it's perfect, just what a wanted - a true mountain retreat.

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05/15/2008
4

We really enjoyed our stay here, the staff were delightful and the setting was fantastic. I agree with some of the other reviews that the bathrooms were a little smelly, they seemed clean, I think it was just the drains that were the problem. And I'm not keen on not having a shower cubicle as once you've showered the floor is soaked so it's not nice if you have to keep going in and out.

The food was ok, we had much better food in town to be honest, and we did try their 5 star recommendations. But that may be unfair as we obviously didn't try everything, and maybe they were having a bad day.

The setting is fantastic and there are lovely walks and cycle tracks from there. It is quite a long way from town but it's really not too difficult or expensive to get there.

It was my husbands birthday while we were there and the staff gave him a beautiful bouquet of flowers which was very thoughtful and very much appreciated, so thank you!

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05/06/2008
5

After a hell boat trip from Guilin (dont do it, better scenery in Yangshuo), this place was heaven. Beautiful rooms - we had a family room looking over river. Large, clean, comfortable, with balcony. Super helpful staff (all speak English) and amazing food. Except breakfast/coffee. Days of hikes and boat trips in surrounding areas. Their maps are not great - but if you leave plenty of time to get lost, always a fisherman or rickshaw driver to hail for a ride home (cost us 20 RMB for a much needed boat rescue at 7 pm with a 3 year old - ended up being a highlight of the trip).

Retreat can organise english drivers, etc. Go to Fuli.

Did I mention dont do boat trip from Guilin??!!! Can take boat from retreat to XingPing and many other shorter trips.

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05/02/2008
5

We have a great memory staying in the Mountain Retreat and we will absolutely go back again!

We stayed at this hotel from 4.26 to 5.2 and it was a fantastic, peaceful and enjoyable journey, I would say it is one of the best trip in all of our journey in China. The staffs are with great hospitality as they make the Retreat their home. If you are looking for luxurious stay, don't stay at the Retreat and if you already decided to stay there - please don't complaint about the standard. We have a relatively small room for four of us, 2 young kids, but the surroundings and friendliness of the staffs compensated all the shortcoming of the setting. It is all about your attitude of how you appreciate of others - the people, the nature and the history of the place. I don't understand how others bad reviews are made of?

The tranquil, peaceful and simplicity of the surrounding are perhaps the most valuable assets of the hotel. We biked from the hotel to YULONG Bridge, this is a must DO route! A short break at The Holland Hotel is a good choice. However, do carefully choose the right Bamboo rafting as they becomes too commercial nowadays. Hopefully, the environment would be protected and not overly developed like in GUILIN.

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04/07/2008
4

I cannot understand the complaints about cleanliness. My room was clean and attractive. The hotel was extremely cold and we didn't feel like eating there. However the location was beautiful, this would be a great place to stay in summer. The hire bikes were in poor condition and nobody was available to give us directions so we got horribly lost, but that was part of the adventure.

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03/25/2008
3

The YMR's location is fantastic. I can't imagine a more beautiful spot in Yangshuo to spend a few days. The river runs right in front of the hotel. The rooms are basic, and I'd highly recommend staying booking a river-facing view with balcony, as it's a fantastic place to relax and watch the river go by.

The retreat makes a very concerted effort to reduce their effect on the environment. They use lots of recycled wood, buy local and organic items, and do a load of other things which are very admirable. The one tough part for us was the bathroom, as it was a bit on the smelly side. I agree with a former poster, if you're wary about bathrooms, this might not be the place for you.

With that said, the staff is fantastic, and if you're there for a stay or even a meal, be sure to try the apple crumble, it's one of the best I've ever had both in and outside of China.

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03/16/2008
4

I was surprised to read several recent negative reviews of the Mountain Retreat. We really enjoyed our two-night stay. The food was fabulous, catering to both Chinese and Western palates. We found the rooms, although basic, to be completely clean. (Yes, the bathrooms are small and it takes a while to get hot water.)

We thought that it was a real plus being out of town, as the hotel was very tranquil and we couldn't imagine finding better food elsewhere.

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03/14/2008
3

We stayed at this hotel for 5 nights in July.

The rooms are very basic and the standard very low. The rooms weren't clean. The restaurant wasn't clean as well. They didn't change the tablecloths.

But our overall experience was great. The staff was helpfull and friendly. We loved the beautiful surroundings. We rented bikes for several days and saw the small villages and beautiful nature. In the evening there is nothing to do, but the hotel can always arrange a cab to drive you into Yanghou for about 20 RMB.

So don't expect comfort, but great outdoor experiences because of the beautiful surroundings. Despite the turn down things, it was still an unforgettable stay. Therefore I'll give the hotel only one star for the rooms, three stars for the service and five stars for the surroundings. We thought the chinese food in the restaurant was great - I don't understand the bad reviews.

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03/08/2008
2

The only good thing about this place is the view. Unfortunately, We couldn`t enjoy the view due to bad weather. Anyway,We were originally going to stay for 5 days but we changed our mind after spending 2 nights there. The room was dirty . The food wasn`t good at all. The shower and the toilet are at the same place(there is no shower curtain or cabinet).....

As we live in Shanghai, we know the prices in this country well. Mountain Retreat is one of the most expensive ones in this place. It is definelty not worth the money.

2nd day of our stay in Yanghuo town we checked into another hotel for half the price. It was much better and cleaner!

If you are not visiting China during Chinese national holidays, You do NOT need to book a hotel room in advance. There are lots of options in this town. I suggest you to see the room first and then make up your mind.

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02/29/2008
4

We loved this property. Peaceful and away from the bustle of Yangshuo town.

Picturesque setting right on the river and amongst karst mountains. We stayed in a family room and had a great view overlooking the Yulong river.

Friendly english speaking staff who are very accommodating. Staff can arrange any tours on your behalf.

Wireless internet available at a small charge and free computer/internet access for guests. Reasonable and very affordable food at the restaurant with great service.

Bikes are available at a small fee for scenic rides by the river and for rides into town.

Great location for taking hikes in local country side. We walked to Moon Hill and then hiked up the mountain. There are plenty more spots close by.

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02/23/2008
5

Wonderful place, really friendly people and a great stay. We stayed for three nights and regardless of the problems in China due to the cold weather and therefore it being a very cold stay, we loved it! I would definitely go back again. Highly recommended.

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02/18/2008
5

We stayed at the Yangshuo Mountain Retreat over Chinese New Year and it was absolutely fantastic. The hotel had Lion Dancers for the 7th of February and we could experience real Chinese New Year just outside the hotel.

We have already traveled a lot in Asian countries and the staff of this hotel could definitely keep up with the friendliness of Thai people. They will do anything to make your stay as pleasant as possible. If you have a problem or want activities organized they are very efficient and reliable.

The location of this place is breathtaking. Situated right on the river with a beautiful garden area. We had a Family Triple room. It didn’t have a balcony but the views out of the windows were still amazing.

The restaurant and bar area is lovely– all with bamboo and traditional decoration. Very nice and a style we have not seen before. They have a fire place which added to the cosy atmosphere. The food was delicious and the restaurant service very friendly and reliable.

We first discovered this hotel with their website online. The website is worth a visit it tells you everything about the activities you can do in the region and they even have a weather forecast page. As mentioned before all the activities they have on their website they can arrange it for you or advise you on. Especially Angel knows a lot about the region. We went with her father to the fishing village were she was born and had a fantastic day – we even went into their house on the roof to see the view of the ming dynasty village. Something you certainly couldn’t book at a travel agency in town

The rooms are basic but have a nice flair as everything is wood or handicrafts. The bathroom is not the best but definitely not the worst we have seen on our travels around Asia. If you are very fussy with bathrooms than this is not the hotel to stay. The rooms and bathrooms are clean but it’s not 5 star standard. If you don’t expect a 5 star luxury hotel with TV etc. but an original, cosy, relaxing holiday with the most stunning views than this is the place for you!

In total we felt this hotel was the warmest and most personal accommodation we have experienced in a long time. Excellent Staff, very good food (Chinese and Western) and a brilliant atmosphere with lots of other (similar minded) Westerners staying at the hotel.

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02/16/2008
4

My fiance and I stayed at the Yangshuo Retreat while on a three week stay of China and it was wonderful to have a retreat from all the stress of travelling.

The hotel arranged for us a taxi transfer from our hotel in Guilin to the Retreat (a two hour trip) the price seemed reasonable and the driver was good and safe - which was remarkable in China - and the experience was very relaxing.

The location on the banks of the river is outstanding! We sat, read, drank and watched the rafts float by. We walked in the rice fields and learned how rice grows, is harvested and prepared. We watched the moon rise over the mountains and reflect in the river. We ate wonderful food - three meals a day. We loved it.

Later in the week we moved into town to be a bit closer to the action as we wanted to see the Light Show, which is fabulous by the way, but I wish we had stayed longer at the retreat.

We were lucky to get a room as it is so busy, and I hadn't booked, so they reluctantly gave me a room near the parking lot. (Only after warning me there might be noise - I am not that sensitive but it was nice to know that they would rather not sell the room than have me not happy.) The room was basic and in keeping with our experiences in China. Another reviewer is probably right when they say it was a very good hostel room.

But for the price and in that location.... it was fantastic!

We rode one of the rafts down river - which was a little daunting - as we negotiated with someone and then it seemed no-one wanted to take us. (Check the right price with the hotel before you leave.) So it was not quite as relaxing or romantic as I had hoped.

Great memories of our stay in Yangshuo!

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01/30/2008
5

We stayed at the mountain retreat in January and think that the review below must have been written about a different retreat! We had an excellent time in this beautiful location even though it was a little cold. As others have said, our room was also basic but it was clean and had a great authentic feel to it. The staff are brilliant and the food is amazing. They have an excellent website with lots of info on the weather,activities and their restaurant amongst other things which helped us make our decision. Whilst we were there the road had just been completed, the first few days we had to take a tuk tuk to the main road but after it was completed the taxis could drive right to the hotel on the new cemented road. It is 15 minutes by taxi from Yangshuo (about 9km) so you can't really walk it but for the amazing views and relaxing atmosphere we would definitely recommend it!

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01/25/2008
1

This place is a complete dump. Our room was full of ants which they said was because we left the lights on. They lied when we checked in and said there was only one room available. When the ant issue emerged they suddenly had 2 other rooms empty. The bathrooms are gross.If you're a backpacker I guess it's OK but otherwise stay in town and visit the area from there. ( it's a bike ride away ) The food was good and I would recommend stopping for a beer or a meal.

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01/21/2008
4

After reading the hotel's website we were under the impression it was only 2-3km from town and we were able to walk or get cabs here easily if we wanted to go into town. On arriving we were suprised that this retreat is around 8km from Yangshou and is only accessable if you hire a car organised by the retreat and then get a tok-tok a couple of km's.

We were only at the retreat for 2 nights and most of the time we were out and about exploring Yangshou. The retreat has beautiful views and an amazing feel to it, and is definately suited if you wanted to get away from the world for a while. But if you want a mix of relaxing and going out I would recommend staying at the Paradesa which is on West Street in the heart of Yangshou.

The room itself was old and rustic, with very hard and uncomfortable beds. The bathroom was very basic and the hot water sometimes took 10 mins to come through the drains. The heating did not work so we hadto move to another room.

The restaurant downstairs served great and inexpensive food (the french toast was amazing). Staff were very helpful and Angel is truley a wonder (they have a pamflet in the room showing some history on all the staff and her storey is sad, but uplifting).

Overall, it depends on what you are after, but this hotel has a nice feel and is great for a retreat.

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01/07/2008
3

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.

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01/06/2008
4

The Yangshuo Mountain retreat was a lovely place to stay. It is not in Yangshuo town which makes it nice and quiet. The staff are exceptionally helpful. They arranged transportation and guides and had great suggestions for things to do in the area. The restaurant serves delicious local and Western cuisine.

One of the nicest things about the hotel are the other guests. Many of the guest while we visited were Westerners working in China. Many were staying for more than one week. In the evenings guests would get together in the lounge area and chat. This sort of interaction does not tend to happen in most hotels.

One should bear in mind that the retreat is more like an upscale backpackers than a hotel. If luxury is what you are looking for, look elsewhere. If you want to try something cozy and rewarding than look no further.

A look at their website is well worth it to see if this appeals to you.

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12/01/2007
2

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.

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11/11/2007
5

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.

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11/07/2007
5

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...

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10/31/2007
4

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!.

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10/31/2007
5

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.

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