There is no doubt that it is a unique experience to stay in a building dating from the Ming & Qing dynasties. It's a pity that the owner hasn't given a little more thought in providing a comfortable stay for guests who are prepared to pay a premium for the opportunity to stay in a World Heritage listed village.
I put more time and effort into securing a booking for "The Pig's Inn" than any other place we stayed during our recent trip. I chose to to stay here based on reviews I had read. To be fair the reviews say not to expect five stars and I did not.
As far as I have been told the only person who speaks English is More, the owner's son. I had quite a few email exchanges with More and also with John from the Sino Impressions website. John was acting as an agent and he recommended the Bishan location but I was determined to stay in Xidi.
The most expensive room has a sitting area attached and since we were only staying overnight I opted for what More described as the "landscape room". I'm not sure that this was the room we were given because More was not present and the staff spoke no English (I speak no Chinese). I indicated that I would prefer a different room but it appeared to be already booked. The other rooms upstairs did have more substantial bathrooms.
Our room was upstairs and had a double bed with a quilt filled with some heavy indescribable material. We found a spare quilt cover and used that instead. The bathroom was the size of a cupboard with a basin in front of the only small window in the room, a toilet and a hand held shower. On the window sill there was a shaving mirror, the only mirror available and no power point for the bathroom. In fact there was only one power point in the whole room.
There was a large cake of used soap containing some foreign "DNA" and an almost empty bottle of communal body wash. There was only one towel which made me further doubt that this was in fact meant to be our room.
The inn is a charming ancient farm house with an internal courtyard but the owner has used a surprising miss-match of bric-a-brac for decoration. The views from upstairs are truly impressive.
We were served a pleasant dinner and breakfast was Chinese style. To be honest I felt very disappointed by this inn which did not meet my expectations. I had the distinct impression that the owner has no idea how to provide a comfortable stay for her guests. The rates charged in no way reflect the standard provided. They have obviously cashed in on the publicity Pig's Inn has been given in the West.
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