We booked this hotel for 4 nights over the long Easter weekend, based on its #19 rating and favorable TripAdvisor reviews. (We ended up staying only 3 nights, then spent our final night somewhere else - see below). Either the past Tripadvisor reviews are outdated, something has changed, or we had poor rooms - but I feel the obligation to let other guests (and management) know the less than desirable experience we had so they can be informed when booking.
Our advice: do *not* book at this hotel until they fix some of the fundamental problems below.
First, we did not have any hot water. There was a problem with the entire water system the first day, which was apparently fixed, but only room temp water came out after. I am no stranger to roughing it and problems in China (have lived a total of 9 years here), but even for the price (380 CNY/night), hot water should be part of the deal. To be fair, the American manager (recently appointed) was very apologetic and did a fair job of being accommodating.
Second, the rooms we stayed in seem to have a severe mildew and mold issue. (We switched after the first night, and the second room was not any better). We could smell the mold walking into the rooms, see condensation on the floor, and could see mildew growing on some furniture (indicating either poor cleaning job, lack of proper ventilatation, or there really is a fundamental issue with the building). Mold is bad news, and with two small children I just didn't want the potential health risk and subject them or us to this any more than necessary. Again, the managers were very apologetic and understood our concerns and why we left early.
Third, the hotel is not all that quiet: it's up against a busy road. While the noise wasn't all that bad (and certainly much better than any hotel in the city - which is a mad chaos), it's hardly a quiet, secluded retreat. I suggest the hotel makes an investment and plants some quick growing vegetation/trees, along the border against the road.
Fourth, staff was quite friendly and well meaning, but they were fairly disorganized. Examples: 1) for morning breakfast the two older women forgot what you ordered, mixed things up (even with me, and I am fluent in Mandarin Chinese). Other foreign guests I could tell were annoyed, 2) when I booked the room over the phone, the staff quoted we an airport pickup of 350 CNY. Later, I read the website and saw that our stay would get us a free airport pickup, and later learned the standard is 300 CNY for an airport pickup. This leads me to believe the staff person was either poorly trained - or I hate to say, was trying to take advantage (personally) of the situation. 3) general lack of attentiveness to details.
Finally, the lack of attention to details - how to put this diplomatically - may be 'lack of attentiveness to how a western hotel-goer may want service.' I noticed there were quiet a lot of Chinese guests, so they may be more tolerant, or found the hotel up to their expectations. Having stayed all over China in lots of settings, I would characterize the Mountain View Retreat as a cheap Chinese hotel - decor, furniture, big whirlpools that leak water and barely work, etc.)
In contrast, we spent our last night at the nearby Yangshou Phoenix Pagoda Fonglou Retreat which was about the same price and infinitely better: rooms, service, food, setting, details. (See our rating of that hotel). I had originally wanted to book this hotel, but they were all booked up!
The Mountain View Retreat management could learn a lot from these guys.
Lastly, I will say that the staff at Mountain View Resort was well meaning and friendly, I think the place just suffers from a terrible facility - and needs to work on the overall management. The location (comment on being near the road notwithstanding) is decent - walk to Moon Hill, some nice trails into the countryside off the back side of the hotel. We also had a blast in Yangshuo - highly suggest the raft ride (we did it with our kids), the Liu San Jie spectacle was great too. I would avoid the city center - not much redeeming there unless you like noise , traffic. Yangshuo to us was more about biking/hiking in the countryside, which is the way I remember it when I last travelled there in 1992!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Mountain View Retreat is a newly opened, family run retreat. Situated in the beautiful countryside amongst the amazing Karst peaks of Yangshuo. We have 24 luxury villas all decorated in Chinese style but to high western standards.Our adjoining farms provide produce for our organic restaurant where you can enjoy both Chinese and Western food. You can venture into our strawberry fields and pick strawberries to enjoy with chilled champagne in your private whirlpool bath. Or take advantage of the passion fruit vines overhanging our restaurant.We have extensive travel services and local knowledge, bike rental and a pool and table tennis table. If you're looking to escape from city life, Yangshuo Mountain View Retreat is the perfect getaway. Perched near the Moon Hill Park and surrounded by towering limestone peaks, you'll experience views that have inspired poets and artists for millennia. Built with great considerations for feng-shui, here you can enjoy the beauty of nature, tradition and local culture in harmony. We can help you organize activities like cycling, hiking, rock climbing, bamboo rafting, Chinese cooking lessons, kung fu and Tai Chi lessons, and lots of other excursions. Our staff can arrange taxis, tickets to the Sound and Light Show, as well as train, bus and plane tickets.No matter how small the detail might be, we are here to make your experience at Mountain View Retreat one that you will want to come back to and to tell your friends about. ... more less
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