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“Favorite experience in China” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Secret Garden Boutique Hotel

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Secret Garden Boutique Hotel
Jiuxian Village, Yangshuo County 541900, China   |  
Hotel website
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Hotel amenities
Special Price
25% off room rate
Ranked #2 of 368 Hotels in Yangshuo County
5.0 of 5 stars 163 Reviews
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
“Favorite experience in China”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 24, 2012

Secret Garden turned out to be the perfect place to stay for a visit to the Yangshuo area, and I'm so grateful to the other tripadvisor reviews that helped me pick it. We stayed 7 nights and in two different rooms and ate many meals there, as well as observed contact between staff and other guests, so I can give an informed list of pros and cons.

PROS (i am sure I am leaving some out):
-awesome cultural ambiance, architecture
-located away from tacky tourist geared businesses
-natural setting with views of the karst and rice paddies
-both chinese and western options on menu
-excellent, excellent food
-provide all the concierge service you need for tours, sightseeing, transportation, cooking classes, etc.
-Very personal staff that will take calls at all hours and literally come pick you up if you are lost in the middle of the night
-Walking distance from the end of the very popular Yulong river raft ride (isn't this the main reason why people come to Yangshuo)
-there is a hike into the karst right a few doors down from the hotel
-both rooms had door separated toiling from sink area and a separate door separating shower from sink area and another door separated that from the bedroom
-rooms include a tank of drinking water, wine glasses, mugs, nescafe, tea bags, some toiletries and body wash and shampoo
-nice walks around hotel
-bike rental (nice bikes) right next door
-bent over backwards for me when my daughter got sick and we needed to clean a bunch of items and baby bedding we had brought
-nice environment to build new friendships with other hotel guests
-air conditioning

Cons (though I don't have any complaints):
-if you need to be walking distance to the city of yangshuo, don't stay here
-it is an intimate property, so sometimes you can hear sounds from the guests in the courtyard or above you

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with family
    • 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 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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163 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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    1
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (33)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 15, 2012 via mobile

This is a great hotel and excellent value. The service was excellent and the owners are also great at giving background information about the area. The buildings have been very tastefully restored and the rooms have real character. The only disappointment for me was that I spent so much time lounging around the place, I didn't get to see as much of the Yangshuo area as I would have liked!

Stayed September 2012, traveled solo
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
2 of 5 stars Reviewed September 10, 2012 via mobile

The Chinese lady was very cold and money driven overall. Was required to pay 2 nights at the time of checking in. Although the room decoration is quite nice, however the showering faucet broken down during my shower, then the electricity of my room went our of order due to rain. Overall it is not worthwhile to choose this hotel over so many hotels in yangshuo. Not to say you are paying the price of a 5 star hotel

  • Stayed September 2012
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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.
Ian F, Owner at Secret Garden Boutique Hotel, responded to this review, September 13, 2012
Thank you for choosing to stay at our hotel. We are sorry that it did not fully meet your expectations. I would like to address the issues raised so that future guests can be informed of some of the advantages and disadvantages of choosing our hotel.
The Chinese lady – Faye - is horrified to think that she gave the impression of being "money driven". We think it is standard hotel practice to pay a deposit when booking or the full room price upon check-in. Many of our customers prefer to clear their bill in advance so that they can budget their finances for the following days. If you were not expecting this we are sorry for any distress caused.
It is unavoidable that in any hotel, from time to time, things break. When you notified us that the shower head in your bathroom had broken I personally replaced it immediately with a new one.
In order to ensure the safety of our guests and their electrical appliances our main power switch is designed to trip in the event of a lightening strike on the mains cables. As I did on this occasion, I always reset the switch straight away to ensure that our guests are not without power for more than a minute or two. The power remained uninterrupted for the rest of the night
We believe that it is essential to deal with any minor problems immediately when they arise. This I always try to do with minimum inconvenience to our guests. We are sorry that these issues detracted from your overall enjoyment.
Sincerely
Ian Hamlinton
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Singapore, Singapore
Top Contributor
170 reviews 170 reviews
94 hotel reviews
Reviews in 85 cities Reviews in 85 cities
148 helpful votes 148 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 8, 2012

We verify that everything everyone is saying about the Secret Garden is true! The old buildings are spectacular and they have done a beautiful job restoring them. We enjoyed several dinners and are quite fond of the chef’s cooking. All of the staff is friendly and helpful. We were very happy with all of the outings Faye helped us plan, from rafting on the Li River and the Yungshuo River, to visiting the local markets and the small towns. As long as you have a mobile phone, Faye will keep track of you and make sure you get to where you need to be and pick you up and get you back to the hotel. We were there for 5 days and really enjoyed out visit.

Room Tip: The suites are lovely and provide more light and space.
See more room tips
  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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.
Singapore, Singapore
Senior Contributor
42 reviews 42 reviews
36 hotel reviews
Reviews in 30 cities Reviews in 30 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 5, 2012

Cosy, homely and tucked away from crowd.

Lovely hotel with friendly service, located in the village of Jiuxuan (20 min taxi from town). Perfect for relaxation, discovering the quiet life in Yangshuo, cycling around and truly appreciating the views of this city. Owners kept the feel and architecture of the Qing dynasty buildings while providing modern comforts designed tastefully. Very clean and comfortable.

Food was excellent, providing us with our daily meals. Bicycles are easy to rent just outside of hotel, and transport or tours can be organised. Definitely recommend this quaint hotel for guests who wants a quieter retreat amidst paddyfields and nature.

Cycle for an hour to Yulong Bridge, take a bamboo raft ride down from Yulong River and walk back to hotel. It's peaceful and not crowded.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 31, 2012

If you are a "true" travel junky, and are traveling to China to see the real country and the authentic villages. You must, and I mean MUST stay at Yangshou Secret Garden!
Faye and Fengzi, have done an incredible job saving these older family homes and turning them into the perfect Boutique Hotel. The Village of Jiuxian is this quaint and lovely place that I too wanted to stay and live there!! So much beauty around, so much to do, that I wished we would have spent our two weeks at Secret Garden and by passed all the other places we went!
The hotel is stunning, the food is amazing and the company (one of the landlords and Fenzi) gave us an unforgettable night drinking local beer!
I loved this place so much, the village, the people, Moon Hill, The bamboo rafts....I cried when we boarded the plane to leave :( I will go back, and next time, will stay at Secret Garden for my full 2 week vacation. I LOVED IT!

Room Tip: All rooms are perfect. My sister in law was with us and stayed in a standard room and we had a suit...
See more room tips
  • Stayed July 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Paris, France
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 31, 2012

The hotel is located in a beautiful rural site close to Yangshuo with easy access to walks and bike explorations. It is ideal for the discovery of the chinese countryside and the life along the Yulong river. Very calm.

If you are interested, the hotel organizes easily all activities proposed in Yangshuo (eg. Light show) or around the city (eg silver cave, moon hill, Li river cruise, etc). We even organized at the last minute with them a journey to the LongJi rice terrasses (3h and a half from Yangshuo) with a private driver. It is worth the visit. Get away from the touristic part as soon as you can and you will find yourself in fantastic sites!

You can contact the hotel before your arrival for getting informations. We could organize our pick-up from the airport with them for instance. They are very efficient and reliable.

The restaurant at the hotel is very good.

They speak english very well. Everything was easy and perfect.

Room Tip: Our family room was perfect for three (1 large bed and one smaller for our child of 8). The room was...
See more room tips
  • Stayed August 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
    • 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.
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Additional Information about Secret Garden Boutique Hotel

Address: Jiuxian Village, Yangshuo County 541900, China
Phone Number:
Location: China > Guangxi Zhuang > Yangshuo County
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 368 Hotels in Yangshuo County
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 7
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Secret Garden is a boutique hotel with restaurant and art gallery, near the Yulong River in the beautiful Yangshuo countryside. We aim to preserve the beautiful Ming Dynasty buildings of this rural village; conserve the surrounding environment; and help develop the local community. If you are looking for a unique and inspirational environment in which to relax or explore, the Secret Garden Boutique Hotel is the perfect place for you. ... more   less 
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