We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“A vacation within your vacation” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Riverside Retreat Hotel

Best prices for your stay
Enter dates for best prices
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 2 more sites!
Save
You added Riverside Retreat Hotel to your Saves list
Riverside Retreat Hotel
No.10-3 Ao Tou Zha Village, Yangshuo County, China   |  
  |  
Hotel website
  |  
  |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #24 of 252 Yangshuo County B&B and Inns
4.0 of 5 stars 57 Reviews
Brooklyn, NY
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“A vacation within your vacation”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 8, 2009

This hotel was one of the highlights of our three weeks in China. Absolutely beautiful setting, GORGEOUS views, very clean rooms and excellent food. Kate is a wonderful host! She will book any activity for you, arrange transportation, she even got our laundry done for us! The HIGHLIGHT of Yangshuo is the bike ride through the countryside. Kate personally brings you or arranges it. Beautiful karst mountains and rice paddies... the China you came to see.

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

57 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    26
    23
    5
    2
    1
See reviews for
14
27
6
1
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
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (8)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Shanghai, China
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 7, 2009

We stayed at Riverside Retreat, based on suggestions on this site and were not at all disappointed. The place is on the oppsite side of the li river, away from the tourist crowd on West street. The rooms are sparse yet have great views. What you should ask for are: upstairs rooms with balconies. The toiletries are extremely basic and this was a big grouse. Bring your own starting from bodywash, to shampoos. The shwoer had no stall and this might be uncomfortable as the bathrooms gets all wet but rooms are wiped and cleaned everydat. The food at the restaurant is great and we ended up eating teher many times. The second grouse is that even though you may enjoy the location, getting to anywhere is a 15 minute walk and a ferry ride to the other side. We had no complaints on this but if you have kids, avoid!

All in all, we had 5 more friends stay there after we left and they love it as well.

  • Stayed May 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Shanghai
Senior Contributor
48 reviews 48 reviews
46 hotel reviews
Reviews in 34 cities Reviews in 34 cities
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 5, 2009

Pros:
- Wonderful staff. Kate is an excellent manager who made every effort to give us a relaxing weekend and arrange plans smoothly.
- Beautiful views. Can any hotel compare?
- Good food that compares with every other place in town.
- Only a 20min walk and ferry ride to West Street.
- Quiet. There are no noisy trucks going past the hotel. The community around the hotel is quiet. There are some nice small orchards nearby.

Cons:
- As mentioned in other reviews, avoid rooms on the first floor. They are loud (doors close loudly) and the bathroom piping is poorly done, creating a bad smell.
- WIFI connection was weak.
- If you don't want to walk 20 min to West Street, then don't stay here.

Despite the cons, I would much prefer to stay in the first floor rooms during the national holiday than fighting with the loud crowds around the rest of town.

  • Stayed May 2009, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 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.
Bangkok, Thailand
Top Contributor
70 reviews 70 reviews
34 hotel reviews
Reviews in 36 cities Reviews in 36 cities
50 helpful votes 50 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 30, 2009

The Riverside Retreat is a nice place to stay, with a spectacular view of the karst landscape. It is in a “village” across the river, away from the hustle and the bustle of West Street in town.

From town, one can take a local mini bus (yellow mini vans and open air seaters, there are two kinds, but both yellow) for 1 RMB per person, get off near the Green Lotus Hotel where there is a ferry landing behind it and take the local ferry across the river (another 1 RMB per person). After that it is a 20 minute walk along some farms and fields, going slightly uphill. It seems a little complicated, but you are rewarded with a stunning view from a quiet and peaceful location. Or you can get a cab for 20 RMB from the bus station to take you to the hotel. Riverside Retreat in Chinese is called 'dong ling bie shu'.

We only saw Shelly twice, she is the owner of the place, but has another one in town and is teaching English. Who really impressed us most was Kate, a young Chinese girl who basically runs the place in a friendly and courteous manner. Kate is receptionist, bar tender, concierge, tour desk and waitress all rolled into one. The rest of the staff are mediocre, however, and all deserve to be replaced.

The rooms are good value for money, and the place is kept very clean by local standards. The wireless Internet is only useful if your room is on the ground floor (and possibly one floor up, we didn’t test that). Higher up the signal is too weak, which is why we asked to move downstairs, which Kate swiftly organized.

The Riverside Retreat has a pool, which is badly neglected. I am sure that many travelers would make good use of it, if only it looked half way clean, but unfortunately that was not the case and as a result it is a wasted asset.

The menu is not very exciting and contains both Chinese as well as Western dishes. The quality of the food is acceptable to good, depending on what you order. The breakfast sets are good and not overpriced even when compared with the places in town. We mainly had lunch and dinner in town.

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fredericksburg, Virginia
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
23 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 18, 2009

Riverside Retreat was truly a getaway from the hustle and bustle of Beijing, Xi'an, Chengdu and Shanghai! I was a bit sceptical the first night as it was fairly noisy and the rooms were not as comfortable as I had hoped. But once we adjusted we truly enjoyed our stay.
We arrived at 11pm from the airport in Guilin and Kate, the manager, provided us with a homemade dinner in our room - what a nice start! We had rooms 301, a queen balcony with direct views of Yangshuo and the karts (spectacular!), and the Sunshine room - a very large room with an enclosed sunporch. Views of the karsts and town of Yangshuo from the bathroom, garden view out the sunporch/other windows. On the down side the beds were very hard and took some time to adjust to. There was minimal furniture and no place to unpack for our lengthy stay. The walls and doors are very thin and the hotel fairly noisy, especially in the morning when others leave their room and have to slam it shut for the lock to engage. Noise also permeates from the patio up to the balcony/front-facing rooms at any time of the day or night. But we got used to it and there were so many other positive aspects to this hotel that I would still highly recommend it.
The patio was delightful - wonderful views and great service. Full-service bar right there along with a Chinese and Western style kitchen. Kate was on-duty the whole time we were there and helped us with everything from sightseeing ideas, reservations, calling taxis, and even accompanied us on a couple of excursions. She is a very open person and gave us wonderful insights into the culture.
The kitchen was very basic and the food was at times simple but always fresh. Towards the end of our stay Kate learned more of our tastes and would prepare dishes specifically for us that weren't on the menu. Delicious!!!
The grounds are absolutely lovely and the kids had a great time meeting other children (and there were lots of families - beware if that's not what you want, even if they were all very well-behaved while we were there) and playing in the gardens.
The hotel is located across the river from Yangshuo is a small village with dirt roads. It was nice to feel like we were partaking in real life in China, not a tourist district. Shelly led us down a small path through the fields and orchards below the hotel to get to the river where we could catch a bamboo raft over to Yangshuo for RMB1. It was such a cultural experience, just what we wanted, but muddy! Bring boots in rainy season.
Kate guided us on two excursions, one to Xingping by car then bamboo raft that her uncle owns. Once on the raft we took a leisurely ride north for a bit, stopping at a small village where Kate's family lives. We walked around the village while Kate answered questions about everything from village life to the changes China as experienced over her lifetime. We got to pick oranges in her uncle's orchard, which was a great experience for my kids. Upon return to Xingping Kate took us to a local restaurant and we had a lovely meal with her and the driver joining us.
I highly recommend this hotel for the family feel it has, how warm and welcoming the staff and management are, the fact that they try to accommodate any request no matter how small or big (extra comforter for the hard bed, spicier dishes from the kitchen, cultural information and daily sightseeing advice, reservation services, etc.). The price was reasonable considering the fantastic location - close enough to Yangshuo so that you can get there quickly and for a reasonable price (by taxi or boat) - and stunning scenery/views.
Thank you Kate and Shelly for a wonderful and magical visit to Yangshuo! My children are still talking about you and wondering how you are doing!

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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.
Shanghai
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 4, 2008

Place is great with a beautiful view on Yanshuo city. Hotel is very quiet, far from yangshuo city noises but ideally located to go for daily trips by bike/boat/walk. Shelly, her daughters and staff were very nice and always available.

  • Liked — the owners and the view
  • Disliked — nothing
  • Stayed October 2008, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cornwall
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 15, 2008

On my second visit to Yangshuo I came to stay at Shelly's Retreat and I have to say - this is a special place to call home while you explore Yangshuo! Really impressive walking up the steps through the garden!
For similar prices I paid in town on my first visit I woke up every morning to beautiful views of the river and karst peaks. A great way to start the day and so peaceful away from the noise of West Street! It only takes 5-10mins by moto or a quick hop on the bamboo ferry to get to town, so really close when you need to do some shopping and drinking... My room was really nice and super clean too.
The staff here were great - Kate (one of the staff) was fantastic and on hand to help with any arrangements and info I needed. She can help organize tours, tickets etc. Just ask and they will help you! The food was great too - try the sweet pumpkin and the beer fish its delicious!
Highly recommend the Retreat - you get welcomed like family here and it made my visit really special.

  • Liked — The location and the views
  • Stayed August 2008, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
mm/dd/yyyy mm/dd/yyyy
Price Your Stay

Been to Riverside Retreat Hotel? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Riverside Retreat Hotel

Address: No.10-3 Ao Tou Zha Village, Yangshuo County, China
Phone Number:
Location: China > Guangxi Zhuang > Yangshuo County
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #24 of 252 B&Bs / Inns in Yangshuo County
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 23
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located in Yangshuo, Riverside Retreat offers you beautiful scenery with western-style amenities. All rooms offer private western-style bathrooms, A/C and modern furniture. Just a short bike ride from West Street, this quiet countryside location gives you the best of both worlds. Relax by the pool or take a cooking class the family atmosphere will leave you with lasting memories. ... more   less 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com, Agoda, Priceline and Odigeo so you can book your Riverside Retreat Hotel reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.

Owners: What's your side of the story?

If you own or manage Riverside Retreat Hotel, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.