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“Great Staff not Great View” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Dragon River Retreat

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Dragon River Retreat
Near Shengdi Dock, Gaotian Town, Yangshuo County 541907, China   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #42 of 370 Hotels in Yangshuo County
Southern California
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
46 helpful votes 46 helpful votes
“Great Staff not Great View”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 17, 2014

We were two couples, we stayed for four nights in the superior "balcony" rooms at DRR in May 2014. The price was excellent. I chose the DRR from the reviews here on TA saying that the staff was so helpful. Yes, the staff were amazing. They were SO helpful. Jasmine, the manager, helped us so much with our daily outings. The gals that made us breakfast and dinner were so sweet. And yet, what I had not realized when booking this hotel is that the river here takes a sharp turn and goes away from the road and hotel. You can hear it.. but you cannot see it. If you like setting on your balcony and enjoying the view around you, then pay a bit more and stay next door at the Mountain Retreat. I am sure their staff is lovely as well.
If you do stay at this hotel, be especially leery of the rooms ending in 10. We had 2808, our friends had 2810. The view from our room was pretty good, or as good as it gets at this hotel, but our friends room had a huge electric pole right smack in front of the balcony ruining it all! There room price was the same as ours..no break in the fee due to the ugly pole.
The resort offers free bicycles for your use. We did use the bicycles, problem was, they were mostly in very bad condition. It took us nearly an hour to find four in good enough working order and with seats we could bear to set on, as most of them are very skinny and hard. They are kept outside under a tent cover and in that humidity they take a major hit as they don't appear to be regularly maintained.
As for the included breakfast, it is good but no choices. You can have western or asian. We choose western everyday. They said asian was noodle soup. Western was eggs, bacon, yogurt, and a "baguettee". You were charged for the second cup of coffee and they were small. (they also gave us a beautiful map of the area for each room, but upon asking for a second map per room, there was a charge. Two very small waters per room per day for free, after that a charge, and in fact we had to ask for those, the maids did not leave them).
We ate dinner there two evenings and the food was really very good and we thought a reasonable price. It would have been a pain to go find food elsewhere late in the evening as you are really too far out to go anyplace except next door to the Mountain Retreat. Mind that the dining area has no view of anything. tip: we had several mixed drinks there and we must say that even though it is extremely small there "frozen margarita" was exceptionally good!
We found the room to be clean, beds comfortable, shower acceptable with decent water pressure and plenty of hot water. They have an electric water heating pot in the room, but only tea provided. Other places we stayed in China offered small packets of Nescafe with cream and sugar packets. This would have been nice to set and have coffee early on the balcony. I don't think they have many western tourists here.
Knowing what I know now, I would not stay here again, but only because of the Retreats compromised location in comparison to the better situated Mountain Retreat next door. If you cannot afford a "view" room next door at the Mountain Retreat, then I would stay here in one of their view rooms. It is indeed quite a lot less expensive. So what can you afford?

Room Tip: Watch out for the power poles outside the room, blocking your beautiful view.
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  • Stayed May 2014, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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70 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (10)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Japanese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Brisbane
Senior Contributor
49 reviews 49 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
46 helpful votes 46 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed May 10, 2014 via mobile

As a family group we had 3 rooms in this hotel, arranged by our travel agent because Mountain Retreat next door was fully booked.

Despite their proximity to each other, these are 2 quite different hotels. Dragon River retreat is not on the river whereas Mountain Retreat's best feature is the scenic Yulong river. In my opinion,the best feature of DRR is it's proximity to the other hotel where we walked to for drinks and dinner.

When we checked in there was no bell boy to help with luggage, and as there are no lifts we carried our own luggage to the first floor rooms. Do not take room 3810 as a large electricity pole is located outside the balcony. Rooms were not well cleaned, unused towels were wet and although the hotel is fairly new, metal fittings in the bathroom were rusty. The room safe lies on the floor and one has to lie flat to read instructions.

The staff speak relatively good English, and are helpful but seem to be very busy and often on the phone. The breakfast is moderate, but I wouldn't really recommend the DRR.

Stayed May 2014, traveled with family
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Houston, Texas
Senior Contributor
49 reviews 49 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 27, 2013

The Dragon River Resort is located between the Dragon River and rice paddies on one side and the towers of the karst topography on the other. While being a little ways from town (5 miles) it is truly an escape from the tourist (Chinese) crowds of Yangshuo. The reservation staff was very helpful in arrainging all our tours, trips to town, etc. The place is small and has sort of a down home feel in its style. Everything is clean enough and the bedrooms are good. Quite a bargain.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
YSMic, Owner at Dragon River Retreat, responded to this review, October 29, 2013
Thank you for your review.We are all glad you enjoyed our hotel and beautiful surroundings.we are also very happy that you like the tours and activities that we arranged for you.We hope to see you again on your next visit.
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Steenwijk
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 22, 2013

As the other reviewers said already the helpfull staff really make the Dragon River Retreat a great place to stay in your holiday. Staff were very helpful in booking trips and giving advice. Food in the restaurant is good. They offer a very nice range of chinese dishes. We arrived after nine in the evening. Front desk kindly offered us to order dinner while checking us in.
I read in one of the reviews the bikes were not good. They probably bought new ones since then because now they had good bkes available (for free), also some nice mountain bike.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
YSMic, Owner at Dragon River Retreat, responded to this review, October 26, 2013
On behalf of all our staff, thank you so much for your great review. We are glad you enjoyed your time in our hotel and restaurant. We all try our best in everything we do.We all definitely look forward to welcoming you back at the Dragon River Retreat on your next trip.
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London, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
51 reviews 51 reviews
26 hotel reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
47 helpful votes 47 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 16, 2013

I loved this place it was very quite, surrounded by mountains and a river out the back, the staff were excellent, the breakfast was different in the fact you get a choice of 3 set menu's which it turned out to be lovely, dinner was great and everything was cooked to order, relatively cheap, the lobby area has a pool table, a computer with internet access and Wifi, there are umbrellas if you need one, games and bikes.
The room was clean and large but it did not have a tub and the shower looked impressive but the water pressure was very poor.
Reception staff will do what ever they can to help you with plans or sites to see in the area and they always had a smile on their face, this was one of my favourite hotels on our trip, it is not luxurious but the staff are amazing.

Room Tip: First floor room at the back are the best
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
Altrincham
Top Contributor
58 reviews 58 reviews
46 hotel reviews
Reviews in 47 cities Reviews in 47 cities
48 helpful votes 48 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 3, 2013

Whilst this isn't the most luxurious hotel in Yangshou, it probably has the best staff. They were extremely helpful in organising trips and advising on activities. The food was lovely and freshly cooked, and the rooms and communal areas spotless. Whilst a few km out of town they have a regular shuttle bus and it was lovely to return to the peaceful retreat of the hotel after a day in the bustling town. A lovely couple of days.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manila, Philippines
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 10, 2013

Stayed last dec.24-26, 2012 Rooms are big and clean. We were there during the cold winter, the only problem was they do provide a heater but since rooms are not carpeted it is still very cold. But they offer extra comforter. Price are affordable and they have very nice views at the back of the hotel where you can walk and relax. Food are also great, we eat most of our meals there. Kids enjoy their beer fish! Their chicken also taste great. Overall we are happy with Dragon River Retreat!

Room Tip: their bedroom with 3 beds are really nice and comfortable, good for families too as the price and th...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 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
    • 4 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.
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Additional Information about Dragon River Retreat

Address: Near Shengdi Dock, Gaotian Town, Yangshuo County 541907, China
Location: China > Guangxi Zhuang > Yangshuo County
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service
Hotel Style:
#21 Best Value Hotel in Yangshuo County
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 21
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
All rooms with fabulous views on the famous Karst Mountains, big garden to relax, pick up service from the Guilin Airport, western and Chinese kitchen, big rooms with western toilets and 24-hour hot showers. In the countryside at the bank of the beautiful Yu Long River, quiet and clean, only 6 km from Yangshuo Village. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Dragon River Retreat Hotel Yangshuo County
Dragon River Retreat Yangshuo County

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