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“Best place we found in the area!” 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
Ranked #2 of 367 Hotels in Yangshuo County
Beijing
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Best place we found in the area!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 6, 2014

We stayed in 3 different places (all from the top 10 of Tripadvisor) during our week in Yangshuo, all of them were nice but this place with no doubt is in a different league. On one hand beautiful design of the whole space (garden, shared space, ect). On the other end, every small detail is well though, room's design is clean, simple and calming. Hosts are very warm, welcoming and positive. And, the village is quite and beautiful. We will be back:)

Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
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, April 30, 2014
Thank you so much for your fantastic review and wonderful comments on my design efforts. we can't wait to welcome you back in future.
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163 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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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)
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English first
Hong Kong, China
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 5, 2014

Our experience was dictated entirely by our room. The first night we were in a 'suite' near the entrance (Plum Blossom). This room simply should not be rented out at all. It was cold, dark, damp and so so noisy. You can hear every step and sneeze of the people staying in the room above, or the people in the courtyard outside. Also, the room itself was pretty drab - the bathroom was like something in a youth hostel, with a door creaky enough to wake the dead. The shouting from the family staying both upstairs and across the courtyard until gone midnight did not help much either.

The staff somehow convinced someone to swap with us the next day, otherwise we would have left. I don't think they really understood the problem - they thought we just didn't like being near kids, but actually it was the unbearable noise level, and the endless procession of tourists peering into our windows.

The new room was a family room tucked away at the back - which was brilliant. It has a little terrace, and was far better put together in every way.

However - this place has one huge flaw - they let tourists wander round it all day long. So when we got up on the first day and opened the curtains, we had people cupping their faces to the window for a look into our bedroom. The second day, we had people taking photos of us while we sat reading books. Feeling like a museum piece is normal in China - but really shouldn't stretch to when you are inside your hotel room.

There are positives - the staff were excellent - and did a great job of resolving our problems in the end. The food was decent enough, and the location was special.

Having said all that, I probably would not stay here again. If we hadn't been moved, I would have given it a 1/5.

  • Stayed February 2014, 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
    • 3 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.
Ian F, Owner at Secret Garden Boutique Hotel, responded to this review, February 17, 2014
I’m sorry that your stay with us was not completely satisfactory. Over the Chinese New Year holiday we did have a few large family groups staying with us. I have asked our staff to ensure other guests do not make a noise late at night and also to not allow outside visitors into the hotel grounds in future. It’s unfortunate that you found the first room drab. In renovating the houses we have preserved as much of the original structure, materials and spirit of the buildings as possible. The majority of our customers love the simple Qing Dynasty wood panels, beams, brickwork and antiques in our rooms. Pity too that you didn’t like the original cedarwood double doors. Being over a hundred years old they do develop creaks. I have greased the ancient hinges and resolved this problem. I am glad you preferred the second room more even though it is decorated in a similar way. Once again I apologize on behalf of everyone at the Secret Garden.
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Adelaide, Australia
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 23, 2014 via mobile

We stayed at the Secret Garden in January with our 2 teenagers. We arrived late at night (I'm sure our driver was a little lost) and so getting up in the morning to the amazing views was a complete delight and surprise.
We loved the surroundings, and the hotel set in a tiny village was a great experience, much better than staying in the main town.
The staff were very friendly. The food was great, and the rooms spacious and comfortable.
We really enjoyed cycling around the local countryside, and rafting along the river. Wish we had more time to spend here
Highly recommend this hotel when visiting Yangshuo

Stayed January 2014, traveled with family
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
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, February 17, 2014
Thank you so much for your review. We are all so glad you and your family enjoyed your stay with us and hope you get the opportunity to visit us again in future.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tel Aviv, Israel
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
37 helpful votes 37 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 31, 2013

The Secret Garden Hotel is honestly a jewel. The project is a renovated cluster of houses from the Ming dynasty. So it is definitely much more original then anything else in this area. The renovation has been done with lots of effort and thought. The courtyard gardens are beautiful and giving you lots of possibilities to relax. The rooms are nicely done as well and the bathrooms are similar to that of a 5* hotel, just with much more personality.

But what makes this place a warm and welcoming is definitely the crew. From the owner to every single employee. Everyone tries to make you feel as comfortable as possible. We arrived quite late from the airport (Guilin) but Peter for example did not hesitate to get into the kitchen and prepared us a delicious meal. The food in the hotel is outstanding, especially the Chinese cuisine served into any corner of the garden.

You will find lots of activities around the hotel which is located in-between tranquil and beautiful rice fields surrounded by the famous limestone hills. You will find a bike rental just in front of the hotel or as well the rafts on the river are not too far.

This property is one of the nicest and cosiest places I've stayed and as a purser of a international airline I may say, that I've seen quite a bit. I can recommend this place to everyone, who does not want to stay in the middle of a touristy and loud area.

I'll definitely return, on my next trip to this beautiful spot.

  • Stayed December 2013, 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 7
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, February 17, 2014
On behalf of Peter and the rest of the Secret Garden family, thank you so much for your kind words. Thank you also for the compliments on the renovation of the buildings. It really is a labour of love and means a lot to us when it is appreciated by people such as yourself.
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Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 21, 2013 via mobile

This is a really special hotel. It is housed in a number beautifully restored buildings and surrounded by gorgeous karst peak scenery. The thing that makes it so special is the staff: they are friendly, knowledgeable and extremely welcoming. They arranged trips for us (rafting, cookery class and light show - all recommended), gave us tips on walks in the surrounding area and sorted out all the taxis and airport transfers that we required. We also ate in the hotel a lot and the food was really tasty. We had a family room which was upstairs and had a balcony which was nice. There are a few uneven steps and things around (as you might expect with buildings of that nature) so definitely bring sensible shoes and take care when wandering around. Highly recommended.

Stayed September 2013, traveled with friends
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
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, February 17, 2014
We are all so happy that you had a fantastic stay in our peaceful hotel. I have passed on your compliments to our hotel and restaurant staff. They all hope to have the opportunity of welcoming you back in the future.
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Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 16, 2013

The hotel is tucked away in a small village which is surounded by mountains. Our initial worring regarding its distance to yangshuo town turned out to not be a problem as they have a local taxi service available for the guests throughout the day. Plenty of walks around the village. Views on the way to yangshuo twon is more than delightful.
Through out our stay there it's their outstanding retuarant dishes and its family like atmosphere strike me the most. Would definitely go back.

  • Stayed November 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
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, December 16, 2013
On behalf of the whole Secret Garden family, thank you for your kind words. We hope to have the pleasure of welcoming you back in future.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hong Kong, China
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 9, 2013

This place is truly somewhere unique. A glorious old building restored tastefully in a traditional village and rural setting. So quiet and relaxing with fantastic food and the friendliest service we have ever had in China. The perfect break from the city, we went cycling and exploring. Cannot recommend it enough.

  • Stayed October 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
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, December 16, 2013
Thank you so much from the whole Secret Garden family for your wonderful review. We are so happy you thoroughly enjoyed your stay with us.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative 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 367 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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