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“Know what your getting into...” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Li An Lodge

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Li An Lodge
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3.5 of 5 Villa   |   Ping'an Chun, Heping Xiang, Longsheng County 541701, China   |  
Hotel amenities
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Los Angeles, California
2 reviews
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Know what your getting into...”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed September 28, 2012

Let me just start by saying a trip to the Ping'an Village is a must. The only true way to see it is to stay over night. The daytime is filled with tour bus after tour bus loaded with tourists, if you wait till later in the day or early morning it is much better.

The Li-An Lodge is quite possibly the nicest place to stay in the village. That said, it is a small village and there are not too many other options.

The hotel is nice, simple and semi-clean. Upon arrival you will be assigned a drawer to keep your shoes in and a pair of simple hotel slippers (nothing fancy, just the typical ones in a plastic bag).

I can't remember the name of our room, it was the last room on the right hand side on the second floor (the same level as the lounge). Our room was simple. I wasn't expecting much more and it would have been fine. The area is a very hard to reach village, so don't expect 3 or 4 star accommodations. That said, I still expect a certain amount of cleanliness, which is what this room was lacking. Cobwebs under the bed, mold on the wall, dirty light switches (which are above the bed), and stained curtains.

I could get past all that as long as the bathroom is clean, which it was far from. The hotel does not provide any kind of bottled water as they claim their water is drinkable, this may very well be true, but when the drinkable water comes from a dirty bathroom I am not going to trust it. The shower was over grown with mold, the floor dirty and towels left something to be desired.

Helpful tip: When there is a less then desirable shower I've gotten in the habit of tossing a hand towel on the floor of the shower and stand on that rather then let my feet touch the floor. Be careful to leave enough room for the drain so you don't end up standing in a pool of water in the dirty shower.

The first night I took a quick shower (on the towel) and it was fine. They toiletries are similar to ones you would find at a local gym, most men would be fine with it (my husband was) It is too harsh if you have any sort of color in your hair, use whatever you might have brought (I usually pack a small amount just in case or grab an extra if a hotel has a really great brand).

There are not to many options in the village for food, so the fact they provide breakfast, lunch and dinner is really helpful. The food is very simple, with a pre-set menu. Nothing fancy and not large portions.

We slept fine the first night, I was a little itchy but figured it was just old sheets (might be the same ones since they opened). The second night was a nightmare. I woke up in the middle of the night to find a 2 inch cockroach in the bathroom. I might have woken up the entire hotel with my scream (did I forget to mention the walls are very thin, you can hear conversations from rooms above or the people walking past the hotel outside). Suffice it to say, I did not sleep the rest of the night nor did I take a shower the next morning. Since I stayed up all night I found the source of the "itchy sheets" to be ants in the bed.

I do not reget going to Ping-An village. The area is beautiful, great for hiking. It was my husbands favorite place on our trip. I would probably stay again, but for only one night. Knowing what you are getting into might help, do not expect anything but a simple, rustic place.

my advice for Li-An Lodge: invest in bleach. get rid of the mold and cover up the holes on the bathroom floor where bugs are likely to come in from. I understand the area is a bit rustic, but one clean corporate hotel in the area will put you out of business. It would be sad to see that happen.

Room Tip: The views are well worth the additional cost. The top floor might be quieter then the second floor w...
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  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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249 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (66)
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Canterbury
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 22, 2012

A great location of course, but just shows how lovely it is to stay somewhere genuinely when thoughtful compared to so many of the supposed five star hotels around the world. We stayed in Celadon with a double aspect view over the terraces. Once the fog lifted and the day trippers (who were many and quite vocal) had left, we opened the windows and enjoyed the fantastic atmosphere of the valleys.
The only slight disappointment was that we thought there was no bar or living area and it took us a while to discover it on the second floor. A perfect bar and comfortable seating to exchange stories with other guests and the young lady running the place was attentive. She checked us in, advised us of walks, took us to our room, served all the meals and drinks and even put on the video show in the bar. She spoke great English and we couldn't fault her. This is a lodge not an hotel and all the better for it.
We noted that other reviews have been critical of room size, lack of TV and big hotel amenities; if thats what your looking for then you wont find it here. What you will find is beautiful cozy rooms, helpful attentive staff and a stay you will remember.
This hotel is in the farthest corner of the village at almost its highest point. Its foot traffic only up hundreds (maybe a few thousand) up through the winding village paths which are steep and it takes 30-40 minutes to get up there from the car park. Village ladies carry your luggage in baskets on their backs while the infirm (or just plain lazy) can hire a sedan chair carried by local villagers.

Room Tip: We would recommend Celadon but didn't see any others.
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York, NY
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 11, 2012

A visit to the dragon backbone rice terraces is absolutely fabulous and staying at the LiAn lodge makes the trip even more enjoyable. You arrive at the hotel (after walking up the 1000 (not as terrible as it sounds) steps) and they greet you with a glass of water with a slice of lemon; they also supply you with slippers to be worn indoors. The staff is very friendly and accomodating. They offer a package with meals (which are quite good) that is worthwhile taking because there are not a lot of places to eat there and the streets are rather dark and confusing when night falls. Every detail of this hotel, perched on a mountain in the small town of PingAn, has been carefully considered to the nth degree. The rooms are beautiful and each one completely different. They each have a theme relating to the arts and culture of China and everything from the furnishings to the bathroom tiles reflects the theme. Most of the rooms are on the small side but the fact is that you will probably not have brought all of your luggage with you up to the hotel. Given the location of the town and that there are no cars in the village, you can check your bags for the duration of your stay at a store in the area where the cars park at the bottom of the hill. We pared down our clothes to just what we needed for 2 nights and what could fit in a backpack. That was plenty. This was the best place we stayed in China.

Room Tip: The website shows all of the various rooms. We were given a tour of several of them and they all had...
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
74 helpful votes 74 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 3, 2012

First of all let me say that if you are considering a stay in this area at any hotel, you can not be faint of heart. Getting there is not easy with very windy roads and then leaving your large suitcases at a location that stores your stuff before the climb. (We were going directly to the airport after this part of the trip.) You should pack only what you need for the day or two you stay there. My real recommendation would be to make this a side trip from Guilin, leaving your luggage at the primary hotel if possible. We did not do this. Also, there is a beautiful cave to explore with stalagtites and stalagmites, ripe for those into photography.

It is an extremely rigorous climb up the hill, with many many steps. I have some back issues so I took the easy way out and was carried "princess style" by two men rickshaw style. I was so glad about this decision that I went down the same way and had no regrets. The more fit people of our group of four took the stairs both ways. Many hotels are also around this high up on the terrace. Don't be afraid to go this rickshaw route and miss the experience altogether because once you get to the top and reach the Li-An Lodge, it will be one of the best and most beautiful experiences in China and maybe your life. This hotel is a museum with artifacts collected by the owner from all over China. Each room is different. We had the Rock room and our friends had the Melody room, but ask for the Celadon (Jade artifacts) room and if you are on your honeymoon or newly engaged ask for the "Double Happiness" room. They are all unique. Rock, Melody and Celadon have beautiful views. The rooms are beautifully appointed and the staff was outstanding, wanting to make our stay wonderful. The views and the climb around the area will provide you with memories that will last a lifetime. The beautiful terraces, the kindness of the people and the souveniers all make this experience one that should not be missed. We even had a Chinese foot massage which was not new to us, but well worth the hour spent on each foot and leg. Our breakfast which was included was a bit like what you might get at a bed and breakfast and was satisfactory (eggs, bacon, toast) though not like your typical big hotel buffet.

It a wonderful experience so don't miss out on going. The stay at Li An Lodge is the experience of China you will remember for a lifetime. All four of us agreed when we reflected on the 6 cities we went to that this was AMAZING and well worth the time.

Room Tip: High up on the terrace so be prepared with great walking shoes or 250 yuan for a round trip ride to...
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stratford-upon-Avon, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
54 reviews 54 reviews
50 hotel reviews
Reviews in 45 cities Reviews in 45 cities
41 helpful votes 41 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 2, 2012

We stayed at the Li An lodge as part of an extensive 5 week tour around China. The hotel was definitely one of the best that we stayed in (we stayed in a total of 17 hotels).

The lodge is situated at the top of the village, the views over the rice terraces and mountains are quite amazing. It is a peaceful, calm and beautifuly relaxed hotel with wonderful staff and lovely other guests. There is absolutely no noise to be heard at night.

The breakfasts were delicious. There was a lovely lounge area that we used after dinner. Our room was indivdual with great attention to detail. It was immaculate and the bed was lovely and comfortable.

If you decide on a visit to Ping'an, do not be tempted to be a 'day tripper'. The best time of the day is when they have all left and the village and it becomes quiet and very special.

I would have no hesitation in recommending a stay in the Li An lodge, it is wonderful.

Room Tip: If you want a view ask for one overlooking the terraces. We had one at the back of the hotel, no co...
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Northampton, ma
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 1, 2012

Li-An Lodge was the most memorable hotel that we stayed at in China. It is at the top of a hill, looking out over a beautiful landscape of terraced rice paddies. The structure itself is beautiful--a modern version of traditional Chinese architecture. Each room is unique, with something to offer in its decoration about traditional arts and crafts. The food served in the dining room was particularly good.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Devon,UK
Top Contributor
60 reviews 60 reviews
30 hotel reviews
Reviews in 35 cities Reviews in 35 cities
57 helpful votes 57 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 26, 2012

I am late in writing this but am determined to give the praise due - we stayed in December 2010. This was just an idyllic retreat - especially after the brashness and commercialisation of Yangshuo - in which I wish I could have stayed for longer. The commitment to detail, the wonderful artefacts and the adulterously stunning scenery made for an unforgettable stay. We were only able to afford one night there but we were the only guests and we were shown around each of the suites - all of which were lovely. The views were just stunning and being there in December, we know that this was not the most picturesque time. Although thee walk up was quite challenging, it was achievable although my husband, who was due a back operation at the time, was forced to give in and be carried up on the 'chaise longue'. This is one place that I really do hope to return to. Just beautiful.

Room Tip: We were in the music room but they all have views over the rice fields
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  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Li An Lodge

Address: Ping'an Chun, Heping Xiang, Longsheng County 541701, China
Location: China > Guangxi Zhuang > Longsheng County
Amenities:
Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 8 Specialty Lodging in Longsheng County
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Li An Lodge 3.5*
Number of rooms: 16
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Overlooking magnificent Longsheng rice terraces, Li-An Lodge is a wood structure implementing Chinese building technique of tongue and groove without nails. The owner, Keren Su, renowned photographer, artist and adventurous world traveler, uses his impeccable artistic taste to design each room in a distinct theme featuring Chinese folk art and culture. There are guided hiking tours during the day and slide shows featuring Keren's photography at night. This is where Chinese tradition meets modern luxury. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Li An Hotel Longsheng County
Li An Longsheng County

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