This place does a great job at merging Western and Chinese elements. You get the gorgeous setting on the Yulong river, just far enough from Yangshuo town so as to avoid its night-time bustle and all the neon lights. You get staff that have been recruited from nearby villages, and some of the furniture as well as the delicious food is also locally sourced.
On the other hand, you get your creature comforts and the feel that the English-speaking staff really want to be helpful and make things easy – whether you need help getting a driver, suggestions for a bike ride or just an idea of what a realistic price for a bamboo float is. Quite a difference from the „I don't get paid to smile at you“ approach at most Chinese-run restaurants and hotels.
That's not to say there aren't some lost-in-translation moments as Chinese and Western elements meet and mix. But even with dialogues like „Can I check out at 12.15 rather than 12?“ - „I think 12 is better“ or That One Waitress Who Never Smiles, Yangshuo Mountain Retreat is still hands-down the nicest place I have stayed in all my time in China.
I didn't book a balcony room, but just sitting on the bed next to the big window overlooking the river was a treat you don't get tired of. Even in November, temperatures are so mild you can sleep with the window open and enjoy the sound of the river as you drift off.
They rent mountain bikes which are in very good condition, and the quiet that surrounds this hotel is an added bonus. The tvs in the room don't have any channels, they are just screens in case you want to watch a DVD. But really, with the scenery outside being what it is, you'll find yourself out and about all the time anyway.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Yangshuo Mountain Retreat overlooks the pristine Yulong River and surrounding karst limestone towers in the heart of the Yangshuo countryside. We are one hour from Guilin, just down the road from Impression Liu San Jie and a quick ride to West Street. We are American owned and locally run, established in 2000. Our accommodation, food and staff, not to mention our beautiful surroundings are highly rated by Frommers and other trusted guides. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Yangshuo Mountain Retreat Hotel Yangshuo County
- Yangshuo Mountain Retreat County
- Yangshuo Mountain Retreat Hotel County