The Bivou is a stylish refuge on the edge of Shuhe Old Town. It is a pair of old farmhouse style buildings renovated and updated with modern boutique hotel style. The lighting in the rooms is very pleasing, the linens and towels are high quality, and the furniture is modern cool.
The reception area with the restaurant is wonderfully inviting, stylish and comfortable with good relaxing music (brazilian, mozart, and some classical guitar) and lots of windows overlooking a small farm / garden.
The location is perfect. Away from the heart of the Shuhe old town, off to the edge, and happily, a 10 minute drive from busy Lijiang.
The staff is amazing. The two people I have had the most contact with are the owner, Hwee Ling and her assistant, Joan. Both are eager to help, and especially, to plan adventures and excursions for the guests. I am a photographer and I have different game plan perhaps compared to many tourists in the region. Hwee Ling helped me to find exactly what I was looking for. She suggested places, helped me to hire a driver, and drew me maps of little, off-the-beaten-path places to explore with my camera. Joan created a translated cheat sheet with relevant phrases in English and Chinese so I could communicate simply with my driver. The care and effort she put into this task was commendable.
The breakfasts are pretty nice, but not perfect. The staff still needs to work on their use of the espresso machine, but as my stay progressed, they seemed to make progress. The breads and jams are very nice. There is also fruit and yoghurt and a cooked breakfast that changes daily.
There are a couple of challenges to be expected in rural china. Not all of the staff speaks english of course, and the cultural differences make understanding each other a challenge some times (not for Joan and Hwee Ling though). In the winter the rooms are cold, but there are space heaters and heated bedding.
All in all, this is a highly recommended place. I only explained the slight negatives to be sure this review is well rounded and real. It is very rare that any hotel is perfect! This hotel is charming, comfortable, and friendly. The location is great.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Bivouac - an old Swiss word meaning “temporary encampment” – is now used by adventurers to describe an improvised shelter. A bivouac is about simplicity.The Bivou is our version of the bivouac for today’s discerning travelers. It is a bed-and-breakfast built around the notion that modern adventurers have modern needs: comfort, sustainability, authenticity and style. We are uniquely located within the UNESCO World Heritage site of Lijiang, just a minute away from the historic village square of ancient Shuhe. Our vision is simple…We are Designed for Adventure ... more less
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