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Secret Garden Boutique Hotel
Ranked #7 of 490 Hotels in Yangshuo County
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 3 November 2013

We spent three nights at Secret Garden, which is perfect. It was like being with friends arranging everything, from pickup at the airport to cars at our disposal whenever needed. We biked along the Yulong river through villages with people working in the fields and building houses. Being at Secret Garden was the closest one comes to the real life in China. The houses are 200 years, but with all modern facilities, large rooms and bathrooms. Very beautifully done. The kitchen was wonderful, a large menu, with both Chinese and Western food. We already miss the people working there, like Faye and the one we christened Sunshine. Getting breakfast from her made our day!

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled with family
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1  Thank edlebring
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ian F, Owner at Secret Garden Boutique Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 12 November 2013

Thank you for your wonderfully kind words. Faye, 'Sunshine' and the rest of your friends at Secret Garden fondly remember your whole family. We hope we can have the pleasure of meeting you all again in future.

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141 - 147 of 277 reviews

Reviewed 30 October 2013

Our two nights here, from being collected from our cruise boat to being dropped off at the bus station, were among the highlights of our China trip. We thoroughly enjoyed walks in the countryside, meals (particularly breakfast), friendly helpful staff, prompt service, quaint room, comfortable bed, working wifi, and great activities. The hotel is well organized and staff helped with advice and booked activities for us, including the Sanjie Liu night show and bamboo rafting.The only downside is that there is no easy transport access and you have to rely on the hotel drivers to go places. Highly recommended.

Room Tip: The rooms have flower names. Jasmine was good.
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  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Rajah_Luojie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ian F, Owner at Secret Garden Boutique Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 12 November 2013

We are all so happy that we were able to make your time with us one of the highlights of your China trip. Thank you for choosing to stay with us.

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Reviewed 30 October 2013

We spent 4 days at this place and we really enjoyed it. I like this one more than Tea Cozy, after staying there too. The location is perfects and is more isolated from touristy places and the road.
And the food is great.

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Miguel T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ian F, Owner at Secret Garden Boutique Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 12 November 2013

On behalf of all the Secret Garden family, thank you so much for your kind words. We always try our best in everything we do.

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Reviewed 28 October 2013

My friend and I spent a weekend at Secret Garden. It didn't matter that we hadn't read our guide books back to front because the staff at secret garden arranged everything we wanted to in the blink of an eye! The setting is beautiful too, a very peaceful village with lots to see and do. The charm of the old buildings was very unique and beautifully kept. I would recommend this place to anyone travelling to the area, especially if a quiet location is your thing.

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled with friends
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1  Thank shi-tacular
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ian F, Owner at Secret Garden Boutique Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 12 November 2013

We are delighted that you enjoyed our hotel and beautiful village so much. The staff are glad that they were able to help you with all your arrangements.

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Reviewed 27 October 2013

Secret Garden is a place which you will enjoy from the beginning to the end! Reservations of room and transfer via email works perfectly, hospitality very friendly, communication in English without any problems, rooms excellent value for money, cuisine stunning (we had the chinese), organization on site of outings within 1 h! I can only recommend this place if you just want to spend a few days surrounded by wonderful nature and relax completely.
Keep it up, you have done a great job!

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled with friends
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Thank MakeawishandDream
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ian F, Owner at Secret Garden Boutique Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 12 November 2013

Thank you so much. We are all pleased that you enjoyed every aspect of your stay with us.

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Reviewed 20 October 2013

We stayed here last week and absolutely loved it. So peaceful. This hotel has a lot of character - it is made up of several gorgeous little renovated houses in the village which are 'blocked off' of sorts and have cute little gardens and places to sit built between. The room we had was a comfortable, and super clean, albeit a little dark. However the beautiful grounds and many nooks for sitting in outside more than made up for this. The western breakfast was delicious (by China standards) and great value. We loved that the team organised everything for us and it all went smoothly, allowing us to just sit back and enjoy the experience. We were really happy to stay outside of Yangshuo: to enjoy the peace and quiet, wander around the village taking pictures and also riding bikes further afield. It was a truly restorative experience.

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled with friends
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1  Thank Jamie J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ian F, Owner at Secret Garden Boutique Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 12 November 2013

Myself and the rest of the Secret Garden team are so glad that you enjoyed your peaceful stay in our lovely village. We all hope you find the time to visit us again in future.

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Reviewed 18 October 2013

Location: fantastic. It's in a small village surrounded by mountains and paddy fields, far away from the madness of Yangshuo City. The Yulong River is within walking distance. We went to the city twice but found we hadn't missed anything. It's noisy, annoying and full of tourists.

Property: Beautifully restored old buildings and gardens.

Rooms: We had two rooms and both were tastefully decorated. Beds were comfortable enough. Watch out for mosquitoes and spiders. This is countryside after all. The bathrooms are rather plain compared to the bedrooms. The door to the shower was a sliding metal door. Well, it didn't really slide since it got jammed all the time, so we gave up after the second day. The water pressure was rather low, which made showering a challenge at times. In general, the bathrooms lack imagination and functionality.

Meals: breakfast was good and inexpensive. Lunch was tasty too, though nothing special. There's a restaurant next door (just opposite the bike rental) which serves slightly better food and is a little cheaper. But nobody there speaks even a word English. We are Mandarin speakers, so that wasn't an obstacle, but it might be a bit challenging for non-Chinese speakers. They do have a menu in English though. In any case, give it a try if you stay for a few days.

Service: erratic. Faye was very responsive to my emails and arranged our airport pickup perfectly. In general, staff was friendly and helpful. They arranged kayaking (highly recommended), bamboo rafting and Longji drifting for us and were always ready to provide some advice.
On the day we were supposed to go drifting, things went horribly wrong. We were supposed to be picked up at a certain time, so we needed to have an early lunch. We told the staff we needed to hurry but didn't realize they were very busy with a group of tourists. Half an hour later and we still didn't have a single dish. We were then told that we needed to wait for another half an hour. It's just impossible to put a tourist group that was just there for lunch ahead of hotel guests. So we cancelled everything and went to the restaurant next door, which was also very busy that day. Eventually we only managed to get some take-away, which we ate in the taxi to Yangshuo where we were supposed to catch our bus to the Longji drifting. But once we had arrived in Yangshuo we were informed that we had been given the wrong time. The bus had left long ago and we needed to wait for another hour for the next one. So all that waiting and stress for nothing. The hotel staff should know better, since this is one of the most popular things to do in Yangshuo.

We were left with the impression that we could pay by credit card, but a day before our departure we were told that the credit card machine got some problems, so we needed to pay in cash. I wonder if they even have credit card facilities. Point is that we could have gotten that cash before arrival instead of wasting time going back to town to that ATM machine.

Overall, the Secret Garden is certainly a good option in Yangshou. I do love this place and I hope they can resolve certain issues over time. I was tempted to give it an average rating, but it's better than that. Excellent it isn't though.

Tips: if you're in Yangshou for a couple of days, do kayaking on the Li River. That part s closed to most traffic, so you'll hardly come across any other boat.
If you go bamboo rafting, do so in late afternoon when most tourists have gone. It's a zoo during the day. And don't start at Yulong Bridge. There's another bridge about 1km north, which is far better. It gives you more time for the same price. We cycled from Secret Garden to that bridge. They took care of our bicycles and we picked them up again at the end. The staff at Secret Garden told us to ride along the north bank of the Yulong River on a rocky path. We got lost twice trying to find it until a local told us that we should just cross the bridge. It was smooth riding from there. No idea why Secret Garden wouldn't recommend that path in the first place. We arrived at the bridge at 5pm only, but we had the whole river to ourselves. There was no other raft for the next 90 minutes.

  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled with friends
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1  Thank Kookoon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ian F, Owner at Secret Garden Boutique Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 12 November 2013

Thank you for your thorough review. I will certainly work on the points you mentioned to try and improve all aspects of our hotel. What a pity you didn't mention the small issue with the shower door at the time. I could have fixed that immediately for you.

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Additional Information about Secret Garden Boutique Hotel

Address: Jiuxian Village, Yangshuo County 541900, China
Phone Number:
Region: China > Guangxi > Yangshuo County
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #7 of 490 Hotels in Yangshuo County
Price Range: £26 - £78 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 7
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Secret Garden is a boutique hotel and restaurant near the Yulong River in the stunning Yangshuo countryside. Our hotel consists of Qing Dynasty buildings that have been beautifully restored in order to preserve the historic character, while providing customers with a unique and inspirational environment in which to relax or explore. ... more   less 
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