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“Didn't want to leave this place”

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Yangshuo Phoenix Pagoda Fonglou Retreat
Ranked #4 of 475 Hotels in Yangshuo County
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 24 January 2014

My teenaged daughter and I arrived here with the intentions of staying only a couple of nights. We ended up loving this place so much that we stayed over a week! We were there late November 2013.

First of all, you must understand that it is not a fancy 5 star hotel. It has lots of things that need improvement, and while it has modern amenities, it is rustic. The bedroom floors are cement and the windows don't have screens. The shower water in our bathroom hit the painted wall where mildew had to be a constant battle. Yet, these minor imperfections didn't compare to the 5 star quality staff, gorgeous views, comfortable beds, and serene location. We absolutely loved this place.

We had a room on the second floor that looked out across the guesthouse's back garden of Passion fruit and Pomelo trees (that we were told we could help ourselves to) and the gorgeous karst mountains in the near distance. We would be awakened by the sound of birds chirping (even in November!). We had an indoor veranda where we would prepare and drink our tea in the mornings and stare out at these gorgeous views with the windows opened wide. In the evenings we often walked down to the small bridge to watch the sunset and the locals come in from the fields, often with their water buffalo and horses.

The staff was incredible. Jerry, the Taiwanese owner, took us biking and hiking to so many interesting places, including a place high in a mountain where the villagers hid during WWII from the Japanese. Along our adventures we got to learn so much about the culture and local way of life. Lily, who runs the front desk and speaks English, always saw us off and would come out to greet us when we rode our bikes back in. Lily became a wonderful friend as she helped arrange for us to get to various neighboring villages, provided translations (writing names down in Chinese that we could use elsewhere to help us get around), and even let us drag her along with us on her days off for a couple of fun adventures. Loved our day trip to Huangluo! All of the staff there became like family. I can still see all of their smiling faces whenever I think of Fonglou. Each one of them went out of their way to help us with whatever we were needing, treating us as if we were a dear family member.

What else could I possibly add that maybe you haven't already read from other reviewers?
This guest house does sit right beside a paved road that leads into the back of the village. Every day it seemed that about 2 or 3 tour buses would come through about mid-day and park by the restaurants that sit just below this place. You can see these restaurants and village road from some of the rooms of this guesthouse. A small group of tourists usually make their way into this village by bike too. None of this kind of traffic was bad at all and it was very little. They would linger briefly and then disappear. Maybe it was like this because of the time of year when we were there? In the evenings, we enjoyed watching the neighboring villagers congregate by these restaurants as their children rode their bikes, played and chased each other up and down this same road. I can still hear their giggles and laughter. There is another nice hotel that sits down the road from this place right across the bridge.

We felt like this location was very convenient as a base for taking day trips all over the Yangshuo area. You can bike to a lot of places. Moon Hill is right down the main road from here. A short walk to the main road and you can wave a minivan down (not as intimidating as it sounds after you do it the first time!) and pay 3Y to be taken to Yangshuo. From Yangshuo, you can take another minivan to any other village for about the same amount. These minivans run all day until dark. If you miss the last van, no problem. You can get a taxi for about 40-50Y. If you can't speak or read Chinese, no problem. Lily can write down the names of where you are going that can you show the driver. Lily and Jerry were great at helping us figure out the logistics and details of how to get to where we needed to go and how to get back. (Best part of these day trips was returning to this wonderful quiet place and our soft beds.)

The food was good. They offer both western and Chinese food. We usually ate our meals on the roof deck area (great views), in our room (because we were so tired!), outside at the covered tables (by the parking lot and bike area), or downstairs by the lobby where there's a small bar area and sitting area. There is an actual dining room but it isn't very attractive so we avoided it. Everything about this place is relaxing and casual.

Our bedroom and western style bathroom were very clean. Free bottled water in your room daily. There's also an electric tea pot, tea and coffee bags for use in your room. There's a wall mounted heater/AC. They also provide a hair dryer. If you need additional water, they have a water cooler downstairs where you can refill your water bottles.

Don't know what else to say other than we didn't want to leave this place. We miss everyone there and my daughter wishes her bedroom back home was like the one we had there. This place was like a dream. One day we hope to return.

  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled with family
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6  Thank elizabeth c
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 24 January 2014

We've been to Yangshuo many times and this is our favorite place so far. The hotel was lovely, comfortable and charming, and the location idyllic - peacefully tucked away from the main road but easy to get to, a beautiful view of karst mountains on every side, warm and comfortable rooms with heated bathrooms, a fireplace in the common room...we were comfortable even in January. But the real reason I am writing my first review ever is the amazing service. Jerry, the owner, really made us feel welcome and well looked after. All of our many requests were carried out with a cheerful, "Sure, no problem," and then he followed up to make sure we were okay and satisfied. When we asked for a big bag of boiled eggs to take out with us on our excursions the first day, he cheerfully complied, and the next day he asked if we'd like to take eggs with us again. (Yes please! Saved us having to stop for lunch!) When we asked him to book a bamboo raft trip for us, he cheerfully complied, and then when we were out on the raft he called us up to make sure everything was okay. You see the pattern? We really felt like we were visiting a friend, who wanted us to have the time of our lives. And we did. Thank you, Jerry! 新年快乐!

Stayed: January 2014, travelled with family
Thank Elizabeth Y
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 December 2013

I think I have an unusual perspective because we stayed here for almost 3 weeks.

Jerry and his attentive and enthusiastic staff consistently worked to meet our needs as both hotel guests and meeting attendees. The food was good and promptly prepared and the rooms were comfortable with more than adequate amenities. Almost daily they asked if there was anything more that they could do for us. Jerry's absence toward the end of our stay did nothing to diminishing the quality or consistency of the service.

My stay in Yangshuo County could not have been better, do in large part to the Phoenix Pagoda.

Thanks to Jerry, Lilly and the rest of the staff.

David J

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled on business
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1  Thank David J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 December 2013

This is an amazing little property off the beaten path. Nestled amongst the great outdoor scenic view of the mountains, this retreat was the perfect get away with all modern facilities. The experience was greatly dependent on the great work and hospitality provided by Jerry and his staff. The hotel has the option of providing all three meals of the day, and the options provided at each meal was amazing as it provided western as well as local authentic cuisine. I stayed on the 3rd floor which had a small patio with a view of the serene landscape. The rooms all had a very unique decor with wood and nature as its main focus and were quite comfortable. There is wifi, AC/heater, wall electric plug with built in adapter, free water and tea and coffee. It was a very enjoyable stay, and I wish we could have stayed longer! Jerry also took us on a hike up the mountain which he did free of charge, and it was a great outdoor experience.

Room Tip: 3rd floor rooms were quiet and well ventilated. There is an option to share the bathroom between two...
  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled with family
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1  Thank Peggy L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 November 2013

This place is truly wonderful!! My friend and I spent a night in Fonglou and it was perfect! Fonglou has a peaceful and quiet location surrounded by beautiful mountains and fields. Our room on the 2nd floor with balcony was comfortable and clean with complimentary well-connected wifi and in-room amenities. I felt so relax by just sitting in the balcony, sipping my cup of tea and looking at the stunning Yangshuo mountains view...It was just so good!!

The owner Jerry was so friendly to show us around not only the hotel but also the area nearby. We biked around the wonderful village and farms. And we went hiking and exploring the beauty of Yangshuo in the next day early morning before breakfast on the rooftop. I was really amazed by the beautiful scenery of this place!

With their great hospitality and personal service (which you can't find in most 5-star or chained hotels), I truly enjoy my stay here!! I would recommend this place to anyone who travelling to Yangshuo!!

  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled with friends
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Thank Eunice S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 November 2013

Set on the edge of a village with great views of the karsts. We had a second floor corner room with balcony. The room looked very basic at the beginning but we quickly loved it, as it reflected the local environment.
The shower was excellent-very strong pressure.
The bed was very comfortable.
Kettle, tea and coffee in the rooms along with free water that you could fill up yourself from the water cooler downstairs.
Be aware that this is the real working countryside and therefore doesn't necessarily look completely idyllic. Also, I was disappointed that there was a road in front of the hotel- not a main road, the side road to the village, but still it didn't look like there was a road in the pictures. It actually wasn't disturbing at all, but you should be prepared for there being a road so you're not disappointed. For information, the Moon Retreat is just over a little bridge further into the village.
The front desk manager (Lilli) was excellent and arranged loads of things for us at short notice, without trying to sell us anything.
The breakfast was excellent and the other food was good too. The pizza was great, but make sure it's not the main cook's day off when you order that.
Also, ensure that you know when Lilli is having her day off as we wanted to organise something when we came back one evening and the person standing in didn't know anything ( although it was his first day to be fair).
We never met the Jerry person.
Plenty of things to see in the area on foot or bike, Moon Hill is very near.
Apart from exploring the area, I'd recommend the cookery class, Kung Fu/Tai Chi School and the Impressions show. Be aware if you do the river rafting, which was fun, that the first little ridge you go over ends with you getting very wet. Make sure you lift your legs and cover your camera.
I would advise that the hotel should provide an itemised bill on checkout to make sure there are no inadvertent mistakes.
We stayed here 4 nights at the beginning of November and really enjoyed our stay. I think part of the time we were the only ones there. We felt looked after and would definitely prefer to stay there rather than in Yangshuo town, which was a bit crazy, despite the extra taxi costs.

Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
Thank amalfipurple
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 October 2013 via mobile

The moment we set foot on this hotel we knew we made the right choice. The hotel is very traditional chinese, which we prefer than the tall buildings hotels. the bed is fantastic and better than most 5-star hotels. Staff is very accommodating and friendly and we felt we're a part of the family. Jerry, the owner of the place, went extra mile and took us hiking to two mountains on separate days and he did not charge us a single cent! Lily the receptionist is super nice and always smiling. We dont usually eat at hotels to try the cuisine at different restaurants but the food here is so amazing we didnt miss a meal. Do not forget to try the pizza, i know is not traditional but it is fantastic, mapo tofu and beer fish are to die for! If you are in Yangshuo you definitely need to stay here or at least try their restaurant.

Stayed: October 2013, travelled with friends
Thank humanclay15
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Yangshuo Phoenix Pagoda Fonglou Retreat

Address: No.98 Fonglou Village, Gaotian Town, Yangshuo County 541907, China
Phone Number:
Region: China > Guangxi > Yangshuo County
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 475 Hotels in Yangshuo County
Price Range: £27 - £54 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Yangshuo Phoenix Pagoda Fonglou Retreat 3*
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Yangshuo Phoenix Pagoda Fonglou Retreat presents the most natural style accommodation for you to enjoy the hills and rivers at Yangshuo. ... more   less 
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