I love luxury hotels, and I've covered quite a number of these in most corners of the globe- but it seems like most of them have gone the way of "modern blandness" in terms of decor and room fittings. Plonk one in a deluxe suite in any major luxury hotel brand, and one can easily forget the country they're in- they all look the same. But the Moondance goes out of its way to be unique. In fact, not only the hotel is unique- each room is unique. They're named- when was the last time you stayed in a hotel which named its rooms with monikers like "Unforgettable", or "Rising Sun", with a description of each on its website and a worded portrait of the views they offer? The interiors are fitted out simple but tastefully. I noticed that a lot of the items- cushion covers, the Chinoiserie mugs- were available in the town markets, reasonably priced. A demonstration of how beauty can be achieved even on a budget.
The bathroom is probably the best feature- sparklingly clean, huge, deep tub with a view across Yangshuo's rural bucolic. The black-and-sandstone colour theme continued throughout- not a single bland glass fixture to be seen. The reading nook in "Unforgettable" is a particularly nice touch for the many misty (mystical), drizzly days that is probably part of Yangshuo's character- and charm- perfect spot to curl up with a glass and whatever literary escapism you have on hand.
Yes, the hotel is far from the action (about 10 mins by taxi or 15 mins by tuk tuk- both easily found near West Street), but one does not travel to Yangshuo for its action. The banks of the Jinbao River is a dreamy antidote to the mass tourism of West Street. Aptly perched along the Ten Mile Gallery, the most scenic route of Yangshuo, it's a traditional Chinese painting come alive with the sounds of roosters, the occasional buffalo and the chatter of local women as they washed their laundry in the clear waters in the early morning. It is easily the prettiest spot in all of Yangshuo- no mean feat when one considers that the town is probably the most picturesque part of China.
Breakfast is included, and excellent- although this wasn't made clear on the hotel website. There are set breakfast sets (Western or Asian) but I would recommend the "a la carte"- choose from a wide range of items to fit your appetite- all included as long as it remains within the maximum budget (Y25). The hash brown was particularly well done.
Five star beauty at 3 star prices. If only we could have stayed longer!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- With twenty-one non-identical suites holding modern private bathrooms, Moondance has the perfect suite for each traveler. Enjoy your coffee on the wooden balcony, take a bath with tremendous views of the surroundings, read a book in your lounge corner and rest like Sleeping Beauty in our self-made King-Size bed. ... more less
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