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“Great Place to Relax”

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Yangshuo Mountain Retreat
Ranked #3 of 446 Hotels in Yangshuo County
Certificate of Excellence
Michigan
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Great Place to Relax”
Reviewed December 22, 2012

YMR is the perfect place to unwind after the hustle and crowds of China's big cities. The staff was great, food good and they even had good beer. The best time is early in the morning and later in the day/evening when the river rafts stop running in a steady parade down the river.

The place is rustic but affordable, if you expect a spotless 4 or 5 star hotel like in Beijing or Shanghai you will be disappointed. However if you have traveled off the beaten track before you will find it very nice.

The Chinese are very new at hosting foreign tourists and still are learning. One example is litter, the hotel grounds are well kept but the river and surrounding area have a lot of litter. I am old enough to remember when there was a big litter problem in the U.S. in the 1960's and 1970's so I can understand how it takes time for a society to realize and work on these problems. Given the amount of money flowing into the region and the fact the entire area is promoted as an eco-travel natural wonder location it would seem that the local government or resort owners would hire a few local people to pick up the litter in the common areas and river.

However by Chinese standards the Yangshou area is a natural wonder recreation/resort area. With over a billion people all traveling around and discovering their own country any nice place will attract a lot of people.

Spend at least 3 nights to unwind and decompress. Schedule your visit to be at the end of your trip to China. Take the shuttle into Yangshou for a little shopping and to try the food. Once you have your fill of Yangshou grab a taxi back and as the city melts away you will really appreciate how the YMR is not to close but not to far from Yangshou.

While at the resort get out and walk or ride a bike and explore the surrounding area. It will be perhaps your only opportunity to choose your own path to follow on your China trip. If you want to float the river (either by kayak or guided bambo raft) make sure to do it early in the morning 7 or 8 am to avoid the crowds.

Room Tip: Make sure to get a river view room.
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Sluggo100
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Portland, Oregon
Level Contributor
107 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
Reviewed December 11, 2012

YMR is located 70 minutes away from Guilin. The location is sublime nestled next to the Yulong RIver with majestic rolling hills in the backdrop. It is indeed an ideal serene location to just relax and breathe the fresh air. My friends and I spent 3 nights here. We booked a 3 bed suite located on the 3rd floor. The entrance was inviting. I could tell that the ladies at the front desk did try their best to service their customers. They helped arrange all of our transportation and gave us tips on where to visit nearby. Although I think the charges for transportation were a bit on the pricey side, but we opted for convenience. The food at the hotel was only passable. However, at night, you aren't left with many choices unless you hire a car to go into town. The room was simple and rustic. My friend complained about the celadon tiles in the bathroom not looking too spic and span. Due to their environmental mission, there are barely any disposable items in the room. We boiled tea everyday and made due with what was offered in the room. However, the view from the room windows were spectacular. You woke up every morning to the gentle currents of the river.

The first night we saw Liu Sanjie, the Zhang Yimou production. It was enjoyable. The following day we hired a car to head out to the Longji Rice Terraces. It was bit of a long trip, but the hike was easy and pleasant. We enjoyed fresh passion fruit along the way. Our driver lead the way and walked us through the terraces. We got back early and arranged for massages in which they have masseuses come in from the city. Next day, we rented bikes and leisurely rode through the neighboring towns. We bought flowers from the old grandmas and purposely got lost in the pomelo orchards. Although it rained, it was a perfect way to acquaint yourself with the countryside, and there were absolutely stunning beautiful photographic opportunities. We did get lost and had to bargain with a farmer to take us across the river on his raft. People are gentle and genuinely amiable for the most part. Afterwards, we went to the famous Li River in which you can see the scenic view of what is printed on the back of a 20 yen note. It was a bit cold on on the boat ride. But again the fog covered mountains were pretty to see. There was a lot of construction going on so it was a very bumpy ride. Our last morning, we went to Xanadu in which it is a tourist trap. So, I advise visitors to please skip that site.
All in all, YMR is a comfortable simple place to take it easy and enjoy Yangshuo without the city hustle and bustle.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank Muselulu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
UndertheMoon, Manager at Yangshuo Mountain Retreat, responded to this review, December 14, 2012
Dear Friends,
We're always happy to hear how much guests like yourself enjoy the amazing scenery around the retreat. Given that our cooks and staff are all from local villages, we always recommend that guests ask about our specialty dishes such as beer fish, braised local pumpkin, short ribs and sizzling beef. We often hear that our local style cooking is some of the best people have tasted in China. Western food isn't our specialty, though we do bake our own bread and our pizzas are outstanding. We also pride ourselves on having the best wine selection in all of Guangxi Province!
Regarding the celedon tile on your bathroom, it's on our list. We've been so full this year that we haven't been able to get to the re-grouting of bath tile in every room yet, but this is one thing we do every January when we close the Retreat for two weeks of renovations.
Thanks for reminding us and for sharing your experience with other travelers.
Yours faithfully,
Little Fish & family
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Western Australia, Australia
Level Contributor
88 reviews
43 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 91 helpful votes
Reviewed December 10, 2012

We stayed a couple of nights at this fantastic hotel in early November at the end of 2 weeks of travel through Yunnan & Guangxi province. The hotel is located at the edge of the Li River, a short distance outside the town centre – beautiful & peaceful location, very relaxing, just perfect.

The hotel is rustic oriental decor with much of the furniture made out of bamboo which is so abundant in the region.

Staff at the reception and restaurant were very friendly & helpful, and they spoke good English.

The hotel has a very relaxed, casual & homely atmosphere.

We booked a river view room (highly recommended). We were given a corner room on top floor which has windows on the 2 corner walls, making the room bright & airy. The room has a wide private balcony which is side-by-side to the bedroom ie both are directly in the front facing the river. (We noticed the other river-view rooms have the balcony in the front of the bedroom, not side by side). The balcony is furnished with a small table & chairs, sofa and a coffee table – great to enjoy the uninterrupted picturesque view of the river.


The hotel restaurant is casual & relaxed, menu includes some western dishes and a reasonable wine menu. Outdoor sitting/dining by the river is fantastic – if its not raining!

Room Tip: Book a river-view room. Room #201A is a corner room with a wide balcony.
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank travelmaker4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Isle of Wight, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
11 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed December 7, 2012

We spent 2 nights at YMR in October and felt thoroughly relaxed, The staff can't do enough to please you and the rooms/bathrooms are a delight to stay in.Would recommend to anyone. Was also lovely to have a wine menu with Australian wines on it which is very rare in China.

Room Tip: River view room is great
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank lyn2012_12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
12 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed November 27, 2012

The pictures don't really do this place justice--it is truly amazing. My wife and I spent 9 days at YMR, and we absolutely loved it. Unlike the dirty urban environments of most Chinese cities (including Yangshuo and Guilin), this retreat is located a few kilometers outside of town, along a country road, and among picturesque villages and stunning karst peaks. It is situated directly on the river, with amazing views of the surrounding hills. There are a few things that really stand out about this place. First of all, the staff and service are exceptional. They all speak relatively good English (very unusual for most Chinese hotels), and they seem very happy (also somewhat unusual, compared to other hotels we stayed at). Second, they are very eco-conscious (unlike much of urban China, where litter, dirty air, and pollution are the norm). Third, their prices for gifts, food, and tours are quite fair (also unlike much of urban China, where prices are marked up 10-fold for westerners, and every taxi driver tries to rip you off). In short, this place was literally, a breath of fresh air. We spend a week exploring off-the-map paths through rice fields, watching farmers harvest by hand, tilling the soil with oxen. It was like stepping back in time several centuries. Absolutely fascinating and enchanting experience. And YMR was the perfect base for it all.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank CicadaAir
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed November 26, 2012

This is is the 4th time I have stayed at the Yangshuo Mountain Retreat and the Village Inn. The weather was wonderful as was the friendliness of the staff. Such a wonderful place to go to relax and enjoy the natural beauty of rural China. Special commendations to owner Chris Barclay and Angel Chun Li who made our stay amazing. I highly recommend the bike ride to Dragon Bridge. Food at Luna was fabulous as are the views. As a world-wide traveler I find the attention to detail and innovation at YMR to be outstanding. Customer service is some of the very best in China. Wi-Fi everywhere, indoor and outdoor dining and drinks...right on the river! Go !

Room Tip: get a room facing the river !
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank richard l
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York, New York USA
Level Contributor
25 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
Reviewed November 25, 2012

This hotel brings together three very important elements - location, comfort, and staff. Retreat is a very apt description for this hotel as my family and I have just spent 3 of the most relaxing days we've ever had on any holiday. The Yangshuo Mountain Retreat is a perfect spot from which to enjoy the uniquely spectacular countryside around Yangshuo County. And, while there is much to explore in Yangshuo and the surrounding countryside, it is equally true that one could simply relax and unwind at the retreat if one so chooses.

One caveat, if you're looking for a fancy hotel then you might be served better elsewhere. This is after all a rural retreat, and while it has all the conveniences one would want, it it not fancy or ornate. So just keep that in mind. You can get a good sense of the hotel from the pictures on their website.

Some of the main benefits to consider with this hotel are:
-Competent, well-trained staff, with excellent English language skills
-Easy access to Yangshuo and other sites in the area
-Eco Friendly
-Complimentary High Speed Internet
-Complimentary Bicycles
-Wide variety of activities and day trips
-Solid restaurant with small bar area

As to the food, we ate all our breakfasts and two dinners at the restaurant on the grounds and found the food to be excellent, especially the river menu featuring local specialties. The only clinker we had during our stay was when we went to their sister hotel's Italian restaurant, Luna, where we had great views but a cheese laden interpretation of Italian cuisine that was not very good.

The highlight of our trip was a day-long bicycle trip to nearby Jiuxian village. The village features some very old structures dating back to the Qing Dynasty. The trip to and from was charming and featured some spectacular views and a close-up look at several small towns along the way. The road to this village is fairly flat and only had gentle slopes and occasional stretches of gravel road.

Overall, I've rated this 5 stars as the staff was very friendly and made our visit a totally relaxing event. For me, the staff is always a difference-maker between a good hotel and a great one. The staff here is first class.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank GlobalBizMgr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Yangshuo Mountain Retreat

Property: Yangshuo Mountain Retreat
Address: Yulong River Road | Gaotian Town, Yangshuo County 541907, China
Phone Number:
Location: China > Guangxi > Yangshuo County
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Suites Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#2 Romantic Hotel in Yangshuo County
#2 Family Hotel in Yangshuo County
#7 Best Value Hotel in Yangshuo County
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Yangshuo Mountain Retreat 3*
Number of rooms: 30
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

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