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
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
- 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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