We were in Guilin/Yangshuo about a week ago. We stayed one night in Gulin and 2 nights at the Li River Retreat in Yangshuo. It is in a beautiful and tranquil spot of the river and is about a 25 minute walk from Yangshuo.
I suspected that the boat cruise from Guilin would not be the best for our tastes so we opted to rent a smaller boat out of Xingping that made a roundtrip from there to Yangdi, I was told this was the most dramatic part of the river and I don't doubt it. It was perfect for us, taking about 2 hours in the morning with about a 10 minute stop in a small and isolated fishing village. In the morning until about 11 AM we essentially had the river to ourselves.
JadeLeo who posts on this forum regularly helped to set this up for us and we thank him greatly for the help we got from him and his associate Jack while we were in the area.
I cannot say enough good things also about the ambience at the Li River Retreat. I don't regret for a moment that we weren't in the town center, everyone there was friendly and the food was great as well.
Have a great trip!