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“They walk the walk”

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Secret Garden Boutique Hotel
Ranked #7 of 446 Hotels in Yangshuo County
Certificate of Excellence
Boston, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
44 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
“They walk the walk”
Reviewed 21 April 2014

Developing a hotel in rural China that is sustainable--environmentally, socially, and economically--is no mean feat. We loved our stay here (4 days, 3 nights--ending about four days ago). The house and setting are extraordinary, and the restoration is wonderful. And the people working there are great--particularly the gentleman who seems to be the manager or at least the primary contact, particularly in serving food. (Hint to owners: My sense is that the lighting designer was wonderful, but that his/her design is slowly being eroded by new outdoor lights that are useful to provide a bit more illumination, but not well placed. In particular, the four lights around the bottom level of the "tree house" cast a horrible light/glare onto the table below them near the entrance to the main house. A couple of other new bare bulbs also seem less than ideal. You should call back in the person who did you original lighting design--which is very tasteful--and see if you can't get back on course.) Overall, the design is wonderful, and this "hotel" (if you can call such an intimate place a hotel) is excellent for both families and others.

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank Werner L
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 review, 1 May 2014
Thank you, we are happy you were able to appreciate our efforts towards sustainable tourism. We will certainly look into your suggestions regarding the outdoor lighting.
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261 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
  • Location
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (44)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
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English first
Mumbai, India
Level Contributor
11 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 April 2014

The Secret Garden is the best way to experience a Chinese Guesthouse without having to sacrifice cleanliness or comfort. The boutique hotel was run by a very knowledgeable woman named Faye who spoke great English (and also had the patience to converse in Mandarin with our 6 year olds). The rooms and architecture are beautiful, authentic and understated. The location is the main draw (as it is near the center of Yangshuo). The Secret Garden sits in the valley of the Gumdrop mountains and offers immediate access to beautiful pathways for walking, riding your bicycle, bamboo rafting and exploring the local scenery and culture. The food was amazing (some of the best we had on our trip) and the surroundings are breathtaking! My only complaint about the hotel is that if you are traveling with another young family - there is no common space where you can all convene (outside of the outdoor dining areas). As a result, we had 5 young children running around the common spaces which may have been annoying to other guests. That being said, the staff was very understanding and accommodating and friendly towards the children. We spent 3 nights at the Secret Garden and then 2 nights at the Club Med in Guilin. The Secret Garden was by far the superior hotel in terms of service, food and authenticiousness :).

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank MsHotelConnoisseur
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 review, 1 May 2014
Thank you for your appreciation of our hotel and location. Since we are constantly striving to be the best we can, we are currently working on an upstairs room in our restaurant which when complete can be used for private dining or an indoor play area for children.
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New York City, New York
Level Contributor
20 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 April 2014

After an underwhelming experience in Yangshuo town and a bout of food poisoning we moved here for a few days and were so glad to! The food is off the charts!! It sounds lame to be in China and eat western food, but they make the best apple pie I have ever had!! We ate pretty much the entire vegetarian menu western and chinese - breakfast, lunch and dinner for three days and everything on there was better than imagined. The rooms are big and clean and beautifully decorated. The staff are really helpful and sweet. It's quiet. Everything you need can be taken care of - trips, bikes, taxis, transfers, laundry. Great for a few days of cycling, relaxing in the gardens, sleeping and eating well. Highly recommend if you want to relax! Only thing I would say in general about Yangshuo/Guilin is avoid in the rainy season - March and April. It rained for 12 days solid but this hotel is a nice place to suffer that weather :)

Room Tip: We had a deluxe, and a double. Both rooms were lovely. Mosquitos abound however but never really bot...
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  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank HelenAvery
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 review, 1 May 2014
Both our chefs and the rest of the Secret Garden family are so happy you enjoyed your stay with us. Thank you for your positive comments.
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Beijing, China
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 April 2014

My family (which includes an 8 and 6 year old and 7 month old), as well as our friends and their family, stayed at this charming property for five days. We stayed in the largest room on property which boasted not only a second floor loft, but all the amenities of a modern hotel too. It was made even better thanks to the historical character of the buildings and architecture, as well as the many terraces and gardens throughout. If you are looking for the stale, modern perfection of typical hotel accommodations, do not stay here. This place is exploding with charm and beauty, thanks not only to the surrounding mountains and village, but the property landscape too. We arrived with absolutely no itinerary, but Peter found exactly what we were looking for and made all the arrangements for us, including transportation to/from the airport. Faye and the entire staff were wonderful and always treated our kids with respect and care.
The food in the restaurant was the best I have had in China to-date (we live in Beijing so we are able to compare) and we actually ate most of our meals there!
The rooms do not have television, but we spent all of our time outside and did not mind. There are bikes for rent and areas to walk/hike nearby for the days you want to stay local.
If you are traveling with kids, I highly recommend traveling with extra clothes and shoes. Thanks to the frequently wet weather, the grounds become quite muddy in areas, but we were there for an outdoor vacation regardless.
Those who travel with a sense of adventure, enjoy the outdoors, and appreciate flexibility in activities will love this property. We hope to return one day....

Room Tip: Keep in mind the close proximity of the buildings. You may want to request a second floor room to m...
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  • Stayed April 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank bdbranks
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 review, 1 May 2014
Thank you for your wonderful and thorough review. We are delighted that you enjoyed all aspects of your stay with us. We all hope your family are able to return one day.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Beijing, China
Level Contributor
39 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 April 2014

A delightful little boutique hotel. We stayed in one of the larger rooms designed for a small family. It was an ideal blend of modern conveniences and ancient design details. You feel like you are staying in China, whereas some properties nearby could be from anywhere, they are so generic. The rooms are quiet and do not contain a TV, so it is a wonderful way to get away from it all, though the hotel does have wifi. Happy to report that (unlike other resort locations in China) the beds are very comfortable. The service is friendly and personal. The food in the restaurant is well-priced and delicious. Located in a little village, there are many great hikes and a bike rental place right across the street. Peter and Faye will arrange all the outings you can handle, with drivers at a very good rate. Aptly named for all the surprising and quiet little nooks, we were pleased beyond words.

Room Tip: I saw five different rooms as we were travelling with other friends and families. They are all good...
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  • Stayed April 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank KarieJean
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 review, 1 May 2014
Thank you for your kind words. We are so happy that your family and friends all enjoyed your stay with us.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cairo, Egypt
Level Contributor
13 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 March 2014

This is a beautiful, unique hotel in converted old houses in a little village. The location is outside Yangshuo so not for those keen to be in the centre, but perfect for those seeking peace and quiet. The hotel is an easy bike ride or taxi (50 yuan) into the town. Bikes can be rented nearby. The restaurant is excellent, too.

  • Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank SaraB468
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 review, 1 May 2014
We are glad you enjoyed the peace and quiet of our beautiful village and hotel. We hope to see you both again next time you need a break.
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Beijing
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 February 2014

We stayed in 3 different places (all from the top 10 of Tripadvisor) during our week in Yangshuo, all of them were nice but this place with no doubt is in a different league. On one hand beautiful design of the whole space (garden, shared space, ect). On the other end, every small detail is well though, room's design is clean, simple and calming. Hosts are very warm, welcoming and positive. And, the village is quite and beautiful. We will be back:)

Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
2 Thank Yuval R
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 review, 1 May 2014
Thank you so much for your fantastic review and wonderful comments on my design efforts. we can't wait to welcome you back in future.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Secret Garden Boutique Hotel

Property: 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 446 Hotels in Yangshuo County
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
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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