The Hotel - Yangshuo Mountain Retreat

Find Your Perfect Escape../Sitemap/Find_Your_Perfect_Escape_-_Search.html
Guide to Treatments../Guide_To_Treatments/Guide_To_Treatments.html
Latest Escapes../Latest_Escapes/Latest_news/Latest_news.html
Zumba(R) Fitness../Zumba/What_Is_A_Zumba_Fitness_Class.html

RMB500 (£50) per night for a riverside suite twin in Yangshuo Mountain Retreat (breakfast not included).

RMB280 (£28) each way for
1 hour taxi transfer from Guilin airport direct to the hotel (although there are public transport options to Yangshuo Town where you can get a taxi to the hotel):

September 2010

The incredible location of Yangshuo Mountain Retreat

Staying at the Yangshuo Mountain Retreat is like staying with family - it even says it in their guest information pack “we are a family”.  The truth is that Mandy and I weren’t getting on too well when we arrived in Yangshuo - just the normal day to day stuff of sharing a room, but it was reading this that made me sit down and chat with her and we agreed: “we are a family” on this trip, and we had to look after each other and be kind to each other, and I’m so glad we were, because when things got really hard we were there for one another.

As soon as I saw their website I was desperate to stay here.  When I wrote to them and was answered by Little Fish I knew we had to stay here.

Because it’s an independent hotel I had to send a Paypal deposit, which is very common in China, as it can be quite hard to get credit card payments through.

As we got ready for our trip I emailed them often - about the taxi pick up, the Impressions show, the mosquitoes - they became my penpals!

After our hellish ride through Shenzhen it was lovely to be picked up and feel completely taken care of from the minute we arrived in Guilin.  (And so relieved that they had kept the kitchen open for us so we could enjoy a great dinner before collapsing!)

Although the Traders Hotel in Hong Kong was perfectly good, it lacked character.  Yangshuo Mountain Retreat is just bursting with character.

From the handmade bamboo beds (although I warn you they are creaky!) and the individual shower and toilet cubicles with double doors that made me feel like a Chinese princess, to the clunky but comfy handmade slippers (not disposable, and you can buy them to take away in the gift shop). 

The hotel’s guide information is superb, the best I experienced in China, possibly anywhere I have ever stayed.  The room has the usual kettle and tea that we were coming to expect in China, but, instead of bottled water, were two reusable water bottles which were filled up each day by the staff, or which we could fill up from the hotel’s water filter.  (And these are available to buy in the gift shop as well.)

Although there is a TV in the room it only plays DVDs (available from the hotel) so the outside world is left far behind.  It was the only hotel that didn’t have a safe, but we felt so secure here that one night Mandy forgot to lock the door when she came in and I really wasn’t bothered.

The only downside of this place is that although they work valiantly to keep out the mosquitoes (and succeeded - we didn’t have a bite the whole time we were here - but I was doused in Jungle Formula) they can’t stop the spiders getting into the ground floor bathrooms.  And I am not good with spiders.  (But more on that later!)

I particularly loved the sink which has a big chute rather than a tap, and the shower was amazing (once I’d got rid of the massive spider!)  Wonderful local shower gel and shampoo are provided in refillable bottles (so you still need your conditioner here).

We even found ourselves saying as we looked around the hotel room “come and look at this toilet roll holder” - it’s all so authentic.

There’s no bowing or scraping or formal service here - it really does feel like staying with family.  The first day or so I found it a bit odd after the smooth and very respectful service in Hong Kong.  YSMR felt a bit bossier - “make sure you close the door of your room quickly to keep out the mosquitoes” - “use the water filter and not the bottled water” and the occasional revision of food orders “you don’t want that” - but this is China.  In terms of food, in the end they gave up on me - after my food poisoning I recovered enough with my own medicine and the TCM to order some food.  As I knew I had a long wait at the airport I just sat and ordered everything I liked the sound of or wanted to try.  Angel, on the reception desk, just laughed in desperation “you eat everything... hot and cold together” she shrugged - no wonder my stomach was such a mess!

I think I confused them a bit.  I half-heartedly tried to give them my non-bio washing powder for my laundry - before giving up as I realised that their local eco-stuff was probably better than mine.  I think they thought I was worried they didn’t have any soap.

They couldn’t believe we’d done our raft trip by lunchtime, weren’t quite sure why I’d want to sit under the banana tree for reflexology when I could do it in my room, but they just smiled, nodded and got to know me - and I them.

On our last day, when I was suffering from a stomach upset and Mandy was desperately trying to get home, they couldn’t have been better.  This is when you want to be with family, and that’s what they were for us; interceding with Ctrip, telling me which tea to drink, telling us to go relax, then organising taxis for us early so we wouldn’t be stressed about missing our flights - making sure we were okay as much as they could.  Being like sisters to us.

As lovely as the room and the food were, on the last day, when I’d been visiting the bathroom every 15 minutes all night and had seen something black squiggle along the floor (I didn’t have my glasses on) I needed to leave.  As much as I love this place (and have missed it) I needed a bathroom where I could lie on the floor and not worry about spiders.  But I wish I could have stayed here all day, lying by the river, being brought tea, biscuits and banana pancakes.  Thinking about it even now makes me feel homesick for Yangshuo, for Yangshuo Mountain Retreat and for my family there.

Sometimes I wonder why I travel, but I know that staying here, and meeting these people has somehow made my life better, in a way that I am still understanding now.

More on Yangshuo Mountain Retreat

China Spa Princess/The Culture

and read my shorter Tripadvisor review here.

Our Chinese Princess Throne at Yangshuo Mountain Retreat

China Spa Princess../China_Spa_Princess/China_Spa_And_Hotel_Break.html
Hong Kong Spa Princess../Hong_Kong_Spa_Princess/Hong_Kong_Spa_And_Hotel_Break.html
Shanghai Spa Princess../Shanghai_Spa_Princess/Shanghai_Spa_And_Hotel_Break.html
Beijing Spa Princess../Beijing_Spa_Princess/Beijing_Spa_And_Hotel_Break.html
Huangshan Spa Princess../Huangshan_Spa_Princess/Huangshan_Spa_And_Hotel_Break.html
Buy The Book../Basics/Books_And_DVDs.html