We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“If it weren't for Kate, the place would be chaos”

Best prices for -
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 3 more sites!
Riverside Retreat Hotel
Ranked #12 of 410 Yangshuo County B&B and Inns
Shanghai, China
Level Contributor
93 reviews
47 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 65 helpful votes
“If it weren't for Kate, the place would be chaos”
Reviewed April 29, 2009

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.

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank AnnPerth
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

88 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    37
    37
    10
    2
    2
See reviews for
24
36
7
2
Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (17)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Fredericksburg, Virginia
Level Contributor
29 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed April 18, 2009

Riverside Retreat was truly a getaway from the hustle and bustle of Beijing, Xi'an, Chengdu and Shanghai! I was a bit sceptical the first night as it was fairly noisy and the rooms were not as comfortable as I had hoped. But once we adjusted we truly enjoyed our stay.
We arrived at 11pm from the airport in Guilin and Kate, the manager, provided us with a homemade dinner in our room - what a nice start! We had rooms 301, a queen balcony with direct views of Yangshuo and the karts (spectacular!), and the Sunshine room - a very large room with an enclosed sunporch. Views of the karsts and town of Yangshuo from the bathroom, garden view out the sunporch/other windows. On the down side the beds were very hard and took some time to adjust to. There was minimal furniture and no place to unpack for our lengthy stay. The walls and doors are very thin and the hotel fairly noisy, especially in the morning when others leave their room and have to slam it shut for the lock to engage. Noise also permeates from the patio up to the balcony/front-facing rooms at any time of the day or night. But we got used to it and there were so many other positive aspects to this hotel that I would still highly recommend it.
The patio was delightful - wonderful views and great service. Full-service bar right there along with a Chinese and Western style kitchen. Kate was on-duty the whole time we were there and helped us with everything from sightseeing ideas, reservations, calling taxis, and even accompanied us on a couple of excursions. She is a very open person and gave us wonderful insights into the culture.
The kitchen was very basic and the food was at times simple but always fresh. Towards the end of our stay Kate learned more of our tastes and would prepare dishes specifically for us that weren't on the menu. Delicious!!!
The grounds are absolutely lovely and the kids had a great time meeting other children (and there were lots of families - beware if that's not what you want, even if they were all very well-behaved while we were there) and playing in the gardens.
The hotel is located across the river from Yangshuo is a small village with dirt roads. It was nice to feel like we were partaking in real life in China, not a tourist district. Shelly led us down a small path through the fields and orchards below the hotel to get to the river where we could catch a bamboo raft over to Yangshuo for RMB1. It was such a cultural experience, just what we wanted, but muddy! Bring boots in rainy season.
Kate guided us on two excursions, one to Xingping by car then bamboo raft that her uncle owns. Once on the raft we took a leisurely ride north for a bit, stopping at a small village where Kate's family lives. We walked around the village while Kate answered questions about everything from village life to the changes China as experienced over her lifetime. We got to pick oranges in her uncle's orchard, which was a great experience for my kids. Upon return to Xingping Kate took us to a local restaurant and we had a lovely meal with her and the driver joining us.
I highly recommend this hotel for the family feel it has, how warm and welcoming the staff and management are, the fact that they try to accommodate any request no matter how small or big (extra comforter for the hard bed, spicier dishes from the kitchen, cultural information and daily sightseeing advice, reservation services, etc.). The price was reasonable considering the fantastic location - close enough to Yangshuo so that you can get there quickly and for a reasonable price (by taxi or boat) - and stunning scenery/views.
Thank you Kate and Shelly for a wonderful and magical visit to Yangshuo! My children are still talking about you and wondering how you are doing!

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank rpcvx2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Shanghai
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed October 4, 2008

Place is great with a beautiful view on Yanshuo city. Hotel is very quiet, far from yangshuo city noises but ideally located to go for daily trips by bike/boat/walk. Shelly, her daughters and staff were very nice and always available.

  • Liked — the owners and the view
  • Disliked — nothing
  • Stayed October 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank piessa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cornwall
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed September 15, 2008

On my second visit to Yangshuo I came to stay at Shelly's Retreat and I have to say - this is a special place to call home while you explore Yangshuo! Really impressive walking up the steps through the garden!
For similar prices I paid in town on my first visit I woke up every morning to beautiful views of the river and karst peaks. A great way to start the day and so peaceful away from the noise of West Street! It only takes 5-10mins by moto or a quick hop on the bamboo ferry to get to town, so really close when you need to do some shopping and drinking... My room was really nice and super clean too.
The staff here were great - Kate (one of the staff) was fantastic and on hand to help with any arrangements and info I needed. She can help organize tours, tickets etc. Just ask and they will help you! The food was great too - try the sweet pumpkin and the beer fish its delicious!
Highly recommend the Retreat - you get welcomed like family here and it made my visit really special.

  • Liked — The location and the views
  • Stayed August 2008, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank CazZz25
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
California
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed September 5, 2008

Shelly's Riverside Retreat executes perfectly one what it is designed for: being a getaway from the bustle of the town.

It sits on atop a hillside overlooking Yangshuo, providing a gorgeous panoramic view of Yangshuo nestled among the fantastic karst peaks and cradled by the Li River which twists its way around the city. You can enjoy this wonderful view from the rooms or the patio, where you can also have your meals.

The place is perfect for having a large dinner party outdoors. Your group can dine on delicious Chinese specialties or seek comfort in Western cuisine while also looking out over one of the best views in all of Yangshuo. Shelly's also got an awesome cook who prepares the most marvelous banquets. I myself can't speak for the meat dishes since I'm vegetarian, but judging based on the reactions of other guests, they more than appreciated the cook's superb dishes.

The accommodations range from modest to luxurious, but in all cases they're clean, comfortable, and spacious. The hotel itself also has an internet capable PC and wireless internet access. For any services not itself at the hotel, Shelly will be happy to arrange it for you, ranging from tour guides, impression light show, massages, etc.

Shelly's Riverside Retreat is the perfect escape from the crowded, loud downtown in West Street. It provides an excellent atmosphere to relax and soak in Yangshuo and China's culture and beauty.

  • Stayed August 2008, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank WillUSA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
london
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed August 25, 2008

I had been travelling through china for a while. when i got to riverside retreat i was awed! its huge stone paving looks upon yangshuos karst beauty, and set perfectly by the river. its magical!

the room was perfect, air conditioned, beautifully decorated and beds so comfortable you could sleep for days!

other than the exceptiom\nal building. the staff supersede the standards expected when paying the prices you do. they're ready for you anytime of day whenever you need them!

as far as food goes its lovely! there cook is wonderfully skilled and i want to take her home with me!!

the best 10 days i've had in china.

  • Stayed August 2008, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
4 Thank kemalmuhal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
sydney
Level Contributor
85 reviews
57 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 108 helpful votes
Reviewed December 24, 2007

Absolutely loved the Riverside Retreat!
My family and I stayed for 4 nights, and took up 3 of the 4 rooms on the 3rd floor - the 2 queen bedrooms with balconies (awesome views through big glassed windows), and the 'sunshine room' which is a bit larger and has an enclosed sunroom, and a bathroom with views. Overall I think the views were probably better from the Queen balcony rooms. Rooms were simply furnished with wooden furniture, and kept very clean.
The retreat was really relaxing, & it was great not being right in Yangshuo town. (easy to walk to the river, catch a 1RMB boat across & walk to Yangshuo, and then catch a taxi on the way back).
Eating a freshly cooked breakfast on the balcony whilst looking at the the karsts (mountains) in the distance was a highlight.
There is also a pool (too cold to swim in at the time), some bikes for hire, and my brother and I went horseriding up on the ridge with the neighbours horses (the neighbours came along to guide us). Also recommend the Lui Sanjie Light Impressions show which Kate can organise tickets and transport to.
Everyone at the retreat is friendly, and Kate does a fantastic job running the place. I contacted her by email to arrange the rooms, and she organised a minivan to pick us up from the airport in Guilin, and helped fix up our flights when our scheduled one was cancelled. She is also a great cook! (try her fried bananas with ice-cream!).
We all felt relaxed and rejuvenated after our stay here - highly recommended!

  • Stayed December 2007
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank SydneyNik
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
Travelers also viewed these Yangshuo County hotels
3.1 mi away
Yangshuo Mountain Retreat
Yangshuo Mountain Retreat
#3 of 438 in Yangshuo County
4.5 of 5 bubbles 1,045 reviews
0.7 mi away
Li River Resort
Li River Resort
#8 of 438 in Yangshuo County
4.5 of 5 bubbles 437 reviews
0.4 mi away
Yangshuo Dongling Resort
Yangshuo Dongling Resort
#14 of 438 in Yangshuo County
4.5 of 5 bubbles 180 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
3.9 mi away
Yangshuo Tea Cozy
Yangshuo Tea Cozy
#2 of 438 in Yangshuo County
5.0 of 5 bubbles 586 reviews
4.6 mi away
Secret Garden Boutique Hotel
Secret Garden Boutique Hotel
#7 of 438 in Yangshuo County
5.0 of 5 bubbles 259 reviews
3.6 mi away
Yangshuo Mountain Nest
Yangshuo Mountain Nest
#1 of 438 in Yangshuo County
5.0 of 5 bubbles 221 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Riverside Retreat Hotel? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Riverside Retreat Hotel

Property: Riverside Retreat Hotel
Address: No.10-3 Ao Tou Zha Village, Yangshuo County, China
Location: China > Guangxi > Yangshuo County
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #12 of 410 B&Bs / Inns in Yangshuo County
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Riverside Retreat Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 23
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 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com, Ctrip TA, Agoda, Priceline and HRS so you can book your Riverside Retreat Hotel reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing