The Riverside Retreat is a nice place to stay, with a spectacular view of the karst landscape. It is in a “village” across the river, away from the hustle and the bustle of West Street in town.
From town, one can take a local mini bus (yellow mini vans and open air seaters, there are two kinds, but both yellow) for 1 RMB per person, get off near the Green Lotus Hotel where there is a ferry landing behind it and take the local ferry across the river (another 1 RMB per person). After that it is a 20 minute walk along some farms and fields, going slightly uphill. It seems a little complicated, but you are rewarded with a stunning view from a quiet and peaceful location. Or you can get a cab for 20 RMB from the bus station to take you to the hotel. Riverside Retreat in Chinese is called 'dong ling bie shu'.
We only saw Shelly twice, she is the owner of the place, but has another one in town and is teaching English. Who really impressed us most was Kate, a young Chinese girl who basically runs the place in a friendly and courteous manner. Kate is receptionist, bar tender, concierge, tour desk and waitress all rolled into one. The rest of the staff are mediocre, however, and all deserve to be replaced.
The rooms are good value for money, and the place is kept very clean by local standards. The wireless Internet is only useful if your room is on the ground floor (and possibly one floor up, we didn’t test that). Higher up the signal is too weak, which is why we asked to move downstairs, which Kate swiftly organized.
The Riverside Retreat has a pool, which is badly neglected. I am sure that many travelers would make good use of it, if only it looked half way clean, but unfortunately that was not the case and as a result it is a wasted asset.
The menu is not very exciting and contains both Chinese as well as Western dishes. The quality of the food is acceptable to good, depending on what you order. The breakfast sets are good and not overpriced even when compared with the places in town. We mainly had lunch and dinner in town.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Located in Yangshuo, Riverside Retreat offers you beautiful scenery with western-style amenities. All rooms offer private western-style bathrooms, A/C and modern furniture. Just a short bike ride from West Street, this quiet countryside location gives you the best of both worlds. Relax by the pool or take a cooking class. the family atmosphere will leave you with lasting memories. ... more less
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