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“Personal Customised service in Old World Charm” 4 of 5 stars
Review of The Bivou

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The Bivou
16 Zhonghe Cun, Shuhe Old Town, Lijiang, China   |  
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Ranked #3 of 519 Hotels in Lijiang
Penang Island, Malaysia
1 review
“Personal Customised service in Old World Charm”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 5, 2013

The Bivou lives up to all the raves and more. We stayed at the three storey Villa and would have stayed far longer if we could! It was'nt just the rustic, archaic charm of the Shuher old town with its cobbled streets, horse and carriage and natives selling their daily fare.

The Bivou is efficiently run with caring attention to our needs. Whether its special requests for breakfasts or cooking condiments for self made meals, the staff are there willing to assist to our requests. The entire Villa is kept spick and span and as my wife was allergic to dust, they literally spruced the rooms till pristine condition!

We must also mention just how creative the manager Ms Ang Hwee Ling has been in the running of The Bivou. Her reproduction of a hand drawn map of Shuhe is the only one we've come across which details the scenic sites and intricate lanes. Her homemade jam and cornflakes was another surprise and we found her a wealth of ideas and suggestions throughout our four days at The Bivou.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GMBivou, General Manager at The Bivou, responded to this review, April 9, 2013
Thank you Tanclan1809 for your most encouraging feedback! We would have loved for you to have extended your stay as well! We are glad that the advice we provided you have helped you to enjoy these lovely historic towns we call our home. Equally so, we have enjoyed the conversations we had with your group which has also given us so much more clarity about what matters to our guests. We will continue to work hard to ensure a simple, clean oasis for our guests as they explore the beautiful area around us. At its heart, we want The Bivou to become a home-away-from-home for our guests. That’s why little touches like our unique hand-drawn exploration maps and the homemade seasonal jams are central to what we do here. As you said, the area is full of amazing places to explore and four days can seem like a rather short time. Hope to see you again soon!
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99 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (26)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Any
English first
Singapore
Top Contributor
72 reviews 72 reviews
33 hotel reviews
Reviews in 33 cities Reviews in 33 cities
46 helpful votes 46 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 5, 2013

The Bivou is located in Suhe town which is about a 15 minutes taxi ride from the main city and about 60 minutes from Lijiang airport. It is a quaint little boutique hotel not visible from the main street of Suhe town. As taxis and mainstream vehicles were not allowed in Suhe town, we alighted at a car park just outside the northern part of the town where the hotel had dispatched its special vehicle to fetch our bags to the hotel. We walked about 3 minutes to get to the hotel. On arrival, we were met by two friendly staff who welcomed us in English. There were welcome drinks as well as biscuits and tidbits. Checking-in was a breeze as the cards were all ready for our signing.

Our rooms faced the garden and not the mountains. The rooms were clean and modern. The toiletries were well-packed and sufficient. There was hot water shower, a heater, an air diffuser, a safe, hair-dryer, universal adapter for wall sockets, heated blanket and large pillows. A friend forgot to bring his charging cable for his iPhone, and on his request, a cable was brough to him very promptly. There's a button to press if you require any assistance.

Breakfast was at the dining area which was well-stocked with reading materials. There's also an upstairs (like a loft) which has comfortable sofas, a TV with DVD player and a couple of telescopes. We watched movies on a couple of nights and the staff did not go off until we completed the movies.

Service at the reception though was a bit raw sometimes but not for the lack of trying. Getting coffees took some time. The staff manning the reception seemed overwhelmed when they had to attend to more than one customer.

The spritely assistant manager Hwee Ling, along with the owners, are from Singapore and have tried to inject some Singapore-style efficiency to the place. Hats off to her and the team.

This is the place to stay if you wish to get away from the mainstream and the busloads of local tourists. This is the place to put your feet up, have a slow drink and just take things easy.

I sincerely hope the Bivou can continue as it is and retain its charm.

Highly recommended.

Room Tip: The water pressure for the showers on second floor rooms tend to be sluggish.
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GMBivou, General Manager at The Bivou, responded to this review, April 9, 2013
Dear Jack_CCC, thank you so much for your recommendation of The Bivou! It is a great source of encouragement to our entire team. Your thoughts about the service you received during your stay are very much taken to heart, and we are grateful that you appreciated our Bivou hospitality and our attempts to speed up the check in process for you and your group. We are continuing to streamline our cafe operations though and with practice, our staff are getting much more adept with the coffee machine now! Regarding the water pressure on the second floor, we have been looking into the issue, and should have a more efficient water system in place soon.
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Singapore, Singapore
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 2, 2013

My family and I just came back from a 6D5N stay in The Bivou, which was situated in ShuHe Old Town. Initially, we thought it was rather far away from the main town area (Dayan Old Town), but we grew to love the location! You would not want to stay in Dayan Old Town because it is very noisy and everything there was pretty expensive. Upon reaching The Bivou, my family and I were greeted by the GM, Hwee Ling and other staff, together with a table full of biscuits and hot tea. They started sharing with us about Lijiang and got us to feel settled immediately. Throughout our stay, the staff would put out free snacks and hot tea whenever we pop into the main area – even when it is late at night and I decided to go over for a late night movie in their cosy little attic.

I absolutely love the setting of The Bivou as it was nestled amongst the minority villages and their farmlands/gardens! Imagine having breakfast and watching people gardening at the same time (with the backdrop of beautiful mountains)! I also need to rave about their variety of breakfast available! I love their bookshelves with the wide range of books available too. Also, all the staff in The Bivou were very helpful in attending to our every needs, especially Michelle and YeeHui, and it sure helps to have people who can communicate with us in both English and Mandarin! We were glad to have taken up the Spring package that included visits to Yu Long Xue Shan (MUST GO), LaShi Lake (with horseback riding) and a day visit to Dayan Gu Cheng. The relatively free and easy package allowed us to plan our time and not have to rush around like with a tour group. We also had a free dinner by their Naxi cook, auntie Kun, which was delicious (we felt bad when we couldn’t finish because the serving was huge)!

The only drawbacks that my mom mentioned were that they did not have a television in our Farmyard room and that it was hard to not let flies come in since we were beside the farms. The television did not bother me much as I was looking forward to a good getaway and to just be with nature (there is wifi though).

I would describe The Bivou as a hidden gem in LiJiang. If you are looking for a bit of luxury yet be able to experience the lives of the minority people, this would be the perfect place for staying. I could feel the passion that was put into setting up The Bivou from all the little details that they managed to cover. It is a place you can feel safe to keep your belongings while you go out and explore. It was also our first time experiencing snow so the whole trip felt pretty magical. I am so thankful to Hwee Ling who answered my endless questions before finally booking a trip to LiJiang, as well as Michelle and YeeHui for helping us arrange all our day trips.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 27, 2013

Situated in the heart of the gorgeous town of Shuhe in Lijiang, The Bivou was an unforgettable experience that brilliantly married antiquity with modernity. The hotel is born from a refurbished farmhouse and retains every bit of its traditional flavour without sacrificing any luxury. Upon arrival, we were treated to a spectacle of a view, with the snow-capped peaks of Lijiang framing the background of our windows, all within the comfort and warmth of our well-heated rooms. We stayed at the villa for a week and it was immaculately clean with an abundant supply of hot water, exactly what was needed at the end of a cold winter's day.

The staff were extremely friendly and helpful, and even took the time and effort to greet us when they ran into us while we were out and about exploring the city. The staff were always willing to go the extra mile, above and beyond their duties to ensure that we were always well taken care of, attending to our every whim, and even planning a holiday itinerary for us to suit our schedule.

The staff also recommended good places to eat and explore in Lijiang, offering us valuable tips such as how to get the best prices at the local markets. If we were ever unsure about the true price of an item at the markets it was always possible to contact them, which meant we rarely paid tourist premiums.

The most impressive quality is undoubtedly the hotel's attention to detail. From the very moment one steps into the hotel, it is obvious that much thought has been put into every single decision-making process at The Bivou. For example, on the first night, we were unexpected provided a humidifier, and explained that because of the onset of winter it might be necessary for us to use the heater in the room, which might result in dryness and discomfort. From the use of only the freshest ingredients grown in their own backyard farm, down to the choice of soap provided, it is immediately evident that no effort was spared to provide customers with the utmost exquisite experience.

Like a rough diamond, The Bivou's minimalistic facade along a nondescript road in fact masks a hidden gem that is bound to dazzle any daring adventurer. It was truly a remarkable experience staying at The Bivou, one that I would highly recommend.

Room Tip: At the villa we had private access to 3 whole floors - a living room, a bedroom, and a study. It has...
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  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with friends
    • 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.
Singapore, Singapore
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 29, 2013

The Bivou has a relaxing and welcoming ambience with very good service. Rooms are clean and functional and the comfortable beds provide restful slumber for the travellers. Hwee Ling, the ever bubbly Manager, made us feel welcome immediately we arrived. Guests get first-hand information of activities they could do in Shuhe and Lijiang. My friend who fell sick during our stay had her needs well taken care of and we were grateful for the hospitality extended by everyone in The Bivou. Thank you.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Singapore, Singapore
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 29, 2013

We organised a small co trip to Lijiang & stayed at the Bivou for 7Nights over the new year period. This place is everything all the reviews say it is & more. The rooms are super clean & beautiful, even come with rain shower & humidifier. The friendly Staff provided splended service & we book Daily excursion with them & had a great time, will be back again for sure

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GMBivou, General Manager at The Bivou, responded to this review, April 10, 2013
Dear Hybridspace, thank you for your encouraging review about our hotel! It was certainly wonderful having such a fun-loving group of guests such as you and your colleagues over here with us over the New Year period to enjoy the festivities we prepared, such as our countdown party with fireworks and late night chitchat sessions over mulled wine and local cheese and ham platters. The jokes and endless laughters in our cafe are unforgettable! We certainly are glad you enjoyed the time here as much as we enjoyed having you here! Hope to see you again soon!
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Kuala Lumpur
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 25, 2013

Oh it was truly a gem for us in Lijiang.

Found this place in Tripadvisor. Great find for us. Prior to this we stayed 2 nights in Lijiang Ancient Town/Dayan. We then moved into Bivou for 5 nights in Shuhe.

We stayed at Farm Yard and Garden Yard rooms, we took their Winter package and extended our stay. All the other reviewers positive comments on the property are true, modern chic in a laid back setting. Everything have been thought through from the organic soap bar to the organic granola breakfast. LED lighting to electric cart to transfer our luggage.

What stand out most with both thumbs up are the people that took care of us while we were there. Front desk staff spoke perfect English, super duper helpful, with my broken Mandarin we even communicated with the Naxi cook and other support staff. They were super friendly and helpful. Truly a gem. They make the place. Hwee Ling, the General Manager was great in corresponding with us during the planning stage, unfortunately we didn't get to meet her as she was travelling. The recommended taxi drivers (both father & son) for our excursions was great, safe, careful driver with lots of patience despite mad drivers all around on the country road.

We enjoyed the Naxi dinner prepared by the resident Naxi Cook. We told them we don't eat pork, beef or yak. She whip up a yummilicious organic meal for us. We took the recommendation for Sichuan food from Joan and came away very happy and satisfied.

If you have time to kill at their BivyBistro aka Dining Area, check out their large collection of books and reading materials on Lijiang and beyond (I found Blink & etc. by Malcom Galdwell).

Wifi was okay, a little buggy at times but managed to use it nonetheless.

We would certainly come back to Bivou one day, in Spring or Autumn the next time.

Great place with a heart. And Thanks for having us.

Room Tip: Being an ancient building/farm, the Farm yard room on first floor maybe a bit scary if you are not u...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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.
GMBivou, General Manager at The Bivou, responded to this review, January 31, 2013
Dear Alek-KL, we're delighted that you had a such a good time with us. Such positive reviews are really a great source of encouragement to us here at The Bivou! We will continue to enhance our guest experience and will get to work right away on the WiFi issue. China Telecom which manages the bulk of internet connections here in Lijiang is inherently less stable than overseas or even in bigger Chinese cities, and slow or unusable connections to certain sites such as Google, You Tube or Facebook are unfortunately a norm.

I apologise that I wasn't able to be here in person to meet you and your wife! Nonetheless, we would definitely love for you to come again in another season, especially Spring and Autumn, months where the mountains come alive with flowers, and the weather is neither too cold or wet. :) You may want to like us on facebook so we can keep you updated with the latest stories posted by the Bivou Team. And if you took some nice pictures during this trip (which I'm sure you did! :)), do send it in for our ongoing photo competition! We would love to keep in touch with you. :)

Once again, thank you very much for your encouragement, and we hope to see you very soon!

Yours, Hwee Ling
General Manager, The Bivou
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Additional Information about The Bivou

Address: 16 Zhonghe Cun, Shuhe Old Town, Lijiang, China
Phone Number:
Location: China > Yunnan > Lijiang
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( Wi-Fi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Suites Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 519 Hotels in Lijiang
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Bivouac - an old Swiss word meaning “temporary encampment” – is now used by adventurers to describe an improvised shelter. A bivouac is about simplicity.The Bivou is our version of the bivouac for today’s discerning travelers. It is a bed-and-breakfast built around the notion that modern adventurers have modern needs: comfort, sustainability, authenticity and style. We are uniquely located within the UNESCO World Heritage site of Lijiang, just a minute away from the historic village square of ancient Shuhe. Our vision is simple…We are Designed for Adventure ... more   less 
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