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Mountain View Retreat
Ranked #81 of 479 Hotels in Yangshuo County
Reviewed April 21, 2014

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 Either the past Tripadvisor reviews are outdated, something has changed, or we had poor rooms - but I feel the obligation to let other guests (and management) know the less than desirable experience we had so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!

  • Stayed: April 2014, traveled with family
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2  Thank MCWB2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
huo you l, Manager at Mountain View Retreat, responded to this reviewResponded June 1, 2014

Dear Guest,

We are very sorry that your stay with us was less than Ideal. We very much value ALL our customers feedback and suggestions hence thank you for your frank comments and suggestions.

We would like to address some of the fundamental problems that you raised and explain the current situation.

First, The hot water issue: We are vary sorry for those 3 days In April, of course it is every hotel manager's nightmare to have a water issues. At the time of your stay we had 3 seperate issues happen simultaneously. These issues were all taken care of by the last night of your stay and we've had no issues since.

Second, mildew: The climate in Yangshuo is extremely humid especially in the months of March and April. (exp. The month of March only had 3 days with out rain most days were 95 percent humidity) To accomodate for the weather we recently replaced all of the wood flooring and wooden decore on the walls. We also on a daily basis check the weather conditions and either turn on the A.C. or open the doors accordingly.(The entire hotel is one floor) Currenly this issue seems to be resolved.

Third, noise: We have planted trees all along side the road we hope this will help. Some rooms are quieter than others. More than half of our rooms are located to the back of our hotel which of course are more quiet.

Fourth disorganized: We have taken measurements to make sure 1. We have an English speaking waitress available when foreign guests are staying. 2. Arranged additional training for our staff.

Lastly, as noted our staff does have a good reputaion for being friendly and accommodating. We believe that for the most part these issues have been resolved and are confident that future guest will enjoy our unique retreat just as others have commented since those unfortunate 3 days in April!

James

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11 - 17 of 55 reviews

Reviewed October 19, 2013

Not to be confused with the Mountain Retreat - which is what we did, only to be pleasantly surprised by the outcome. Far less touristy as its a tiny bit off the generally beaten path, much closer to Moon Hill than town. Incredibly helpful, welcoming and characterful, with a central courtyard where the staff sit merrily chatting away all day around a cosy fire which they use to stay warm and also smoke their homemade sausages. We had a great time here, despite the loo's positioning inside the bedroom which took a little getting used to.

Room Tip: Gets chilly in the winter so ask for a room with a heater/hot air-conditioner.
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  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank cdbfx
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 12, 2013

We had a really great stay at the Mountain View Retreat - the hotel is perfectly located for some of the main attractions in Yangshuo (Moon Hill, Dragon Cave, Li River etc) and yet still felt peaceful and relaxed. The room was large, clean and had everything you could need. The restaurant at the hotel had a wide range of local and international dishes all reasonably priced.

The staff at the hotel were really helpful and attentive - many spoke English but those who didn't would still attempt to help with a large smile and a ton of patience. Staff were able to provide recommendations regarding activities/trips and could organise various tours if requested. We would really recommend hiring bikes (20 Yuan a day) and exploring the local area - the scenery is breathtaking and the roads easy to navigate. We sadly missed the name of the lovely lady manning the reception desk but we were really impressed with her warmth and willingness to help. We also had a lovely driver (possible called PanPan - sorry if the spelling is way off) who was great fun and, again, very patient.

Overall a really fantastic stay and we would highly recommend this hotel to others.

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled with friends
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1  Thank LisaJ_1303
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 30, 2013

I spent just over a week at the Mountain View Retreat in Yangshuo and strongly recommend it to other travellers. The retreat is perfectly located near all the key attractions (Moon Hill, dragon cave, mud and thermal baths, Banyan tree, river etc) but still maintains the feeling of being nestled among the mountains. The greenery starts at the back of the retreat and continues right up the mountains - truly a spectacular position to view the landscape.

I have been to Yangshuo for business as a non-Chinese speaking Westerner several times and have had some horrific experiences at other retreats/hotels. Mountain View is just 15 mins cycle from the centre of town but doesn't suffer from all the dust, noise and air pollution that all the central places do. There is also a 3 yuan local bus if you don't feel like cycling.

The Retreat is family owned and operated and so definitely has a cosy feel. Many of the staff speak English but a smile seems to be the international language here for those who don't. The retreat is accommodating but still maintains the traditional, authentic Chinese feel about the place. Apparently the Retreat is aiming for 'Carbon Neutral' soon and so all the more reason to give them my patronage !

In short, very accommodating, warm, friendly and a place I would love to bring my kids. Great rural and spacious feel away from the pollution of the city centre.

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled solo
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Thank ElPerdido93
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 4, 2013

the hotel staff was great and room are comfortable (they look better on pics). The best part is that it is very close to the key "tourist" places but still just far enough from the crowded west street. Best is to hire a cycle from the hotel itself and head out into the biking tacks.

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank rahulsuri100
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
huo you l, Public Relations Manager at Mountain View Retreat, responded to this reviewResponded July 2, 2013

Dear Guest,

Thank you very much for your review of our retreat. Your feedback helps us focus our development to ensure that we offer the highest quality of hospitality to our guests. It is great to hear that you made the most of our key location to see Yangshuo’s attractions.

Best regards from all the Mountain View Retreat family,

Ao Li
PR Manager

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Reviewed May 28, 2013

Very homely and friendly staff that can offer you good advice on visiting places. Their hospitality made you feel welcome. Strategically located in a good position where left is the river (cycling distance), walk behind the retreat you find a good view of the mountains and opposite is the caves visit ( walking distance). Night market is about 10min by cab and the staff is helpful in arranging transport for you with good bargain price.
Overall my family enjoy our stay very much and we highly recommend this retreat.

Stayed: May 2013, traveled with family
1  Thank pohkuen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
huo you l, Public Relations Manager at Mountain View Retreat, responded to this reviewResponded July 2, 2013

Dear Guest,

Thank you very much for such a kind review of our retreat. Our retreat is run as a family business and thus we love to hear that guests enjoy the hospitality of what is effectively our home. It further pleases us to hear that you enjoyed all of Yangshuo’s attractions, which are conveniently located on our doorstep. We hope to see you again soon !

Best regards from all the Mountain View Retreat family,

Ao Li
PR Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 16, 2013

We recently stayed here. The room was a bit mouldy on the ceiling and did not smell great. Our bath did not work and although I asked 4 times it was not repaired. It seemed like every time we stepped out of the door we were asked- where are you going? do you need a ticket? i can sell you a ticket? to the point of being too much. It was just okay.

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank Kath T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
huo you l, Public Relations Manager at Mountain View Retreat, responded to this reviewResponded July 2, 2013

Thank you very much for your review and, on behalf of the staff, I offer my most sincere apologies that our Retreat did not meet your expectations. Your comments have reiterated key areas which we are currently aiming to improve.

We have recently reviewed our current procedures for cleaning and have overhauled the process. One of the key features of our establishment is the traditional style and construction of our villas using natural elements such as wood. However due to the humidity of Yangshuo, such wood becomes susceptible to mould as unfortunately you may have experienced. Nonetheless, your valued feedback has reiterated to the Management the need to address this and such a new, more thorough and regular, cleaning regime has begun. Increased ventilation is also an issue we are striving to suggest.

Furthermore, our staff are currently undergoing retraining for customer service. Although they are very eager to offer the best level of service possible, it has become apparent that this may come off as being ‘in your face’. Thank you again for highlighting this issue as it is something we are taking very seriously and trying to address ASAP.

Thank you again for drawing these issues to our attention. I once again would like to offer my most sincere apologies that our retreat did not meet your expectations.

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Additional Information about Mountain View Retreat

Address: Sangaoyuan, Moon Moutain Scenic Spot, Yangshuo County 541907, China
Location: China > Guangxi > Yangshuo County
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #81 of 479 Hotels in Yangshuo County
Price Range: $26 - $58 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Mountain View Retreat 4*
Number of rooms: 29
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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