The hotel is a 15 minute car ride from Yangshou County. It was good to escape the noise and chaos of Yangshou and arrive at this hotel. The hotel opened in March 2012. There are twelve rooms.
Myself and a friend stayed in twin bedded room 501 'Ginseng Oolong' (all rooms are named after a tea) for 3 nights/4 days.
-Lemon drink on arrival was refreshing.
-Helpful and polite English-speaking staff. The Manager - Amy - was particularly helpful.
-Free WiFi - ask staff or see in room for password. I got the strongest signal on my room's balcony. Well known English-language social networking and video sites are blocked in China (although not Hong Kong). Signal strength sufficient for WhatsApp (text), Bing, TripAdvisor, BBC World Service.
-Surrounded by karst limestone tree-covered peaks, farmers fields and close to the Yulong River.
-Key entry to room (plus card for electric) with bedroom containing two single beds (memory foam mattress), shared bedside table, twin lamps, wooden high-back chair, suitcase stand, Skyworth flatscreen TV, tea/mugs/kettle, mosquito charger, wardrobe with hanging space, safe, large capacity fridge, two small drawers. Wall-mounted air-con unit. Balcony with 2 wicker chairs & table, clothes dryer. En suite bathroom with walk-in shower, sink, lotions, hair dryer, toilet.
-Room TV has no English language TV channels, but the hotel has a DVD player and movies available for loan.
-There was a sign in the room warning of pickpockets in the region. I thought this was very responsible of the hotel to highlight this issue. See WARNING in my Notes below as well.
-Restaurant - ground floor - indoor (air-con) and outdoor (front & rear of hotel) seating available. Wooden chairs & tables.
-Make your booking via a tour operator to receive free breakfast each day. We booked direct so paid the RMB 35 per person per day for the 'Western breakfast'. Western breakfast includes fresh fruit juice, tea or coffee, 2 eggs, toast with butter & jam, plus one additional choice from a list. Breakfast is available all day - I wish every hotel in the world gave this option!
-A 'Traditional Chinese breakfast' (Guilin rice noodles, one fried egg, 2 steamed bun, cup of milk) costs RMB 30.
-The hotel serves a wide variety of other reasonably priced food options including appetisers, fusion dishes, pizzas, pastas, soups, sandwiches, baguettes, salads, dumplings, rice & noodles, traditional Chinese food, fish, pork, chicken, duck, beef, home style dishes, vegetarian dishes, Tea Cozy organic vegetables, desserts, special dishes. There is a wide variety of drink options as well including coffees, milkshakes, soft drinks, teas, Chinese Chongfu Teas, fresh juices, beers (local is Li Quan), wines, liquors, Chinese wines, cocktails. For example, one evening I had tomato soup (RMB 20), Spring rolls with meat (RMB 25), and a Li Quan beer large bottle (RMB 13).
-I recommend the milkshakes as well. I had a banana milkshake = RMB 18.
-Immaculately well-maintained gardens with water features with fish.
-Tea Room - pre-booking is required for a tea ceremony.
-Floor 5 Bar - I didn't see the bar open, but anyone can sit up there. There's great views from this floor.
-Bike hire - make your booking directly with the hotel for at least 3 nights and get free bike hire. No helmets. I didn't risk it due to the lack of helmets and as the local roads are busy, narrow and uneven in parts. Plus your cycling on the 'wrong' (right-hand side) of the road to the UK, which can be confusing.
-Free shuttle bus to Yangshou County. Hotel to town: 9:30am, 1pm, 5pm. Town back to hotel: 10:30am, 2pm, 6pm. Tell Reception 20 minutes beforehand.
-Reception can give you a copy of a hand drawn map to highlight short walks and cycling routes from the hotel. I did a 90 minute linear walk - turn right out of the hotel and follow the road until you reach the next village (Xiatang Village). Turn left when you reach Bethlehem Hotel, cross the footbridge by the bamboo rafting, and follow the gritted path left, then left parallel with the Yulong/Dragon River into the adjacent fields. Return along the same route back to the hotel.
-A shorter walk is to turn right out of the hotel, cross the road after 30 seconds walking (at a small convenience store) and follow the path away from the hotel. The path quickly gets narrow as you walk along the boundary between the fields. It was great to see the farmers at work and view their different crops. However, I must admit I saw a snake cross the path ahead of me at one point! We returned to the hotel just in time to see a spectacular thunder & lightning storm pass overhead.
-Numerous excursions can be arranged by the hotel including biking, hiking, kayaking, rafting, caving, rock climbing, cooking.
-The hotel organised our 2 hour bamboo raft ride along the Yulong River. We were picked by car from our hotel and driven 30 minutes to the start point. We had a 2 hour bamboo raft ride, which finished at Xiatang Village near our hotel. Our boatman was a very pleasant young man and it was an enjoyable journey, if a little overcrowded in parts. We went in early August and took an earlier boat (9am) to avoid the heat. Take a plastic carrier bag to keep water off electrical items.
-No lift, but a member of staff brought our suitcases - 20kg each! - up the stairs.
-More storage for clothes in the room would be useful.
-Comfortable chairs in the indoor dining area and cushions on chairs in the outdoor dining areas would be helpful.
-Occasional horn/air-horn noise from passing traffic. The road outside the hotel is narrow, but busy with traffic travelling between Yangshou County and bamboo rafting/Baisha Town. The hotel is located on a straight section of the road, so motorists use their horn as a warning they are overtaking.
-Take a hotel business card in case you get lost.
-There's a historic house on the same road as the hotel which I thoroughly recommend visiting. It's located by the road (opposite a Tai Chi School) in Jima Village, approximately half-way between Yangshou County and the hotel. Our guide/translator & driver took us to it. We were shown around by the enthusiastic 70 year co-owner who lives there with her husband and some family members. The house was built in 1702 during the Qing Dynasty. She showed us their water pump, courtyard, storage areas, living area, and sleeping area. We made a donation towards the upkeep of the property. We were told RMB 10 was sufficient, but gave her RMB 20.
-There's a small open-fronted convenience store adjacent to the hotel. Turn right out of the hotel and it's 30 seconds walk on your right. Expect to pay 'tourist' prices = RMB 5 for a bottle of Coke and RMB 5 for a bottle of water.
-There's a new cafe 5 minutes walk from the hotel called 'Little House Cafe' selling juices, hot drinks, sandwiches and homemade cakes. I visited and had a latte and cranberry shortbread. Air-con. Free WiFi. Turn right out of the hotel and follow the road. It's open 10am-6pm.
-The hotel has a sister hotel approx 1.5 km back in the direction of Yangshuo County.
-WARNING: In China beware: the tea ceremony scam (an individual/group invites you to a tea festival/ceremony, then demands an excessive overpayment - $100's), watches/jewellery/bags (fake and excessively overpriced), unofficial tour guide (excessively overpriced), bar (excessively overpriced) and massage (I dread to think). The scammers are both genders and all ages. Be alert at all times and never follow 'friendly' strangers anywhere!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- About Yangshuo Tea Cozy Encircled by breathtaking Karst peaks, situated beside the banks of the Dragon River and hidden among local farmers’ fields, Yangshuo Tea Cozy Boutique Hotel is an ideal refuge away from the town’s crowded market streets. Come and relax in a peaceful and serene location just a short distance from Yangshuo’s famous West Street.Just as the tea cozy works in harmony with the teapot and keeps the tea warm, so we strive to surround you with the warmth of our hospitality and the beauty of the Yangshuo countryside. Tea is also a passion for us. We have a special tea house within the hotel and would love to welcome you as our guests for our next tea ceremony. Each of the twelve rooms in the Tea Cozy Boutique Hotel is unique and decorated in a traditional Chinese style with tastefully fitted wooden furnishings, personally selected by us. Every room houses an array of antiques and pieces of local artwork. Enjoy a comfortable night’s sleep on the best mattresses on the market before heading out onto the wooden balcony to take in panoramic views of the local landscape.If you are seeking action and adventure our dedicated team have expert knowledge of the local area and can arrange kayaking, white water rafting, climbing, caving and even camping. For those looking for more cultural immersion, we can arrange cooking lessons, tea ceremonies, tai-chi sessions with the local masters and more. Alternatively, if you are just seeking peace and quiet our rooftop bar and restaurant serving Chinese and Western cuisine from our organic garden providethe perfect backdrop for rest and recuperation.At the Tea Cozy Boutique Hotel we pride ourselves on high quality and personal customer service. Come and join a family atmosphere, walk among the paddy fields, meet the local villagers and immerse yourself in the local culture. We are committed to making your stay with us a magical and memorable one. ... more less
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