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“Can't wait to return ...” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of The Bivou

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The Bivou
Ranked #2 of 921 Hotels in Lijiang
Certificate of Excellence
UK
Level Contributor
191 reviews
92 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 118 helpful votes
“Can't wait to return ...”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 August 2014

We spent five nights at this amazing property and it surpassed our expectations in just about every way. The building has been tastefully renovated and the public areas are calm and great to spend time in and chat to the friendly staff or meet fellow travellers. We were on a hiking package and were met at the airport by The Bivou's driver who took us to the hotel. We were welcomed with tea and homemade biscuits whilst our luggage was taken to our room.

Our room was nicely decorated with some local pieces of art and the amenities in the room were lovely - local tea and coffee along with local body lotion and even throat lozenges! The beds was incredibly comfortable resulting in excellent sleep! The hotel organised the hikes for us and the guide was friendly, knowledgeable and spoke impeccable English.

The food at The Bivou is incredible and I could write at length about it! Each morning there is a buffet of local and Western items to select from. Furthermore, a different cooked breakfast is served each day. We liked this variety and looked forward to breakfast everyday. In the evening, it is possible to book a delicious dinner, which is prepared using local ingredients that the cooks find in the market. Different culinary delights awaited us upon returning from our hikes - we actually ended up eating at The Bivou 3 out of the 5 nights that we were there! There is also an à la carte menu but I would strongly recommend going with the surprise dinner buffet - not to be missed. This is all complimented by an excellent selection of wine and even some cocktails.

Without doubt, the real strength of The Bivou is the amazing staff at the property. Everyone is eager to please and engage and all wear big smiles. No request is too much and the staff's genuine commitment to service and their passion for what they do is so refreshing. Thanks to all for making our stay so memorable and we can't wait to return again sometime in the not so distant future.

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank UKonthego
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GMBivou, General Manager at The Bivou, responded to this review, 26 September 2014
Dear UKonthego,

We are delighted that you’ve enjoyed the offerings at our humble BivyBistro, which we set up mainly as our little venture to share what we discover with our guests. For us, a trip to Yunnan would be incomplete without sampling the bounty of this wonderful region – be it the apples and peaches of Lashi, or the highland little black pig ham which bursts with flavour and presents the best of traditional artisanal skill in a taste perfectly suited to the modern palate.

Around this time of year, it’s wild mushroom galore and one of our favourite things to do is to hike out into the hills just around the hotel and pick them fresh from the earth. Always with one of our local staff, of course, as we’d need to avoid the toxic ones, and they are more than delighted to share this with our guests!

Given the abundance and richness of local cuisine, we do think it is nonetheless important to offer our guests choices. The Bivou is after all, your home in Lijiang – and sometimes, one does crave for a good marmalade on toast, or coffee with frothed milk – only with local ingredients of course, such as the a nice cappuccino made with 100% Yunnan arabica.. yum!!. And ALWAYS homemade!
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267 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (45)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
39 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 August 2014

We stayed here for two nights . Ms Maomao is super friendly and helpful . she helped us with arranging horse rides for the kids and giving us important info about the area and what to visit and what to avoid . the breakfast is homemade and good quality . the rooms are comfortable and quality toiletries and all . Everything is quite thoughtful be it the small torch that comes with the hotel key . Mao Mao even helped us to buy the local artifacts and explained everything ever pateintly Overall its a nice experience with no hassles .

  • Stayed August 2014, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Peepaltree
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GMBivou, General Manager at The Bivou, responded to this review, 26 September 2014
Dear Peepaltree,

Thank you for your kind review! At The Bivou, we do believe that it’s the little touches that can make all the difference during your stay. Maomao wants me to convey her thanks to you for your compliments and is glad that the love she has for this place, and the knowledge that she has gained in the time she has been at the Bivou and in Lijiang has helped in making your family's trip better. After all the travelling you have done to get here, we are glad we are as a hotel able to help you to get the relaxing, hassle-free break you were looking forward to! See you soon!
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Beijing, China
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 August 2014

Stayed here in June 2014 and it was amazing. We organized a 5 night stay with hiking everyday and it couldn't have been better organized. The staff were so friendly and helpful, the hotel was lovely and the meals were good. Our hiking was all organized and the tour guide used was very knowledgeable and made sure the hikes were set at our pace.

I can't wait to go back and cannot recommend this hotel enough it was excellent.

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Lizjm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GMBivou, General Manager at The Bivou, responded to this review, 30 August 2014
Dear Lizjm, Thank you for your wonderful review of us and we're really glad to know that you and your friends enjoyed the unique 7 Hills Highland Trekking Package organised by The Bivou! June is indeed a great time to be in Lijiang and around Yunnan. The start of the rainy season, the weather is indeed slightly unpredictable but may also bring about pleasant surprises such as fields of wild flowers, azaleas blooming in all shades and hues and lush green meadows lined up against shimmering lakes, and of course also a chance to eat wild mushrooms at the local village houses we pass on our treks. As experts on local travel we can customise the perfect hiking package for you. So keep watch on our website for our latest seasonal packages and come in another season as different seasons allow for different travel experiences!
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Guangzhou, China
Level Contributor
41 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 August 2014

We landed here in the afternoon of 18th August and we were greeted by the staff with some hot coffee and cakes which was very warm and friendly,the hotel is tucked away from the road and has its own tranquility.The rooms are very comfortable and the Shuhe ancient town is a few minutes walk.Breakfast are not that elaborate but they definitely take care of your requirements,a personal touch can be seen by their staff, very helpful with suggestions and hand drawn maps with guided horse trails and cycling trails.The bar suprisingly was well stocked with a good selection of single malt whiskys and reasonably priced.MaoMao was very helpful and was there to welcome us even after her duty hours.

Room Tip: The farmyard rooms are cool on the 1st floor
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  • Stayed August 2014, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Lenoj
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GMBivou, General Manager at The Bivou, responded to this review, 27 September 2014
Dear Lenoj, Yes, we do confess a weakness for those single malts! After all, what could be better than chatting with fellow travellers, trading adventure stories by the fire, and savouring a mellow, smoky 18 year Laphroig while surveying the beautiful surroundings of The Bivou. Never mind the incongruity of a Scotch in the foothills of the Himalayas, you can’t argue with a classic! o And to tell you the truth, when we welcome any of our guests with our handmade cakes and cookies and of course our famous flower tea, we often feel like we're about to host some new friends from abroad, and our team of young staff, including Maomao, Joe, Vivi and Rabbit cannot wait to have a chance to practise their English with these new friends who have come from all over the world... Do come by again soon!
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Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 August 2014

We went to Lijiang for a short weekend getaway to celebrate my sister's birthday and the Bivou was the main reason why we enjoyed our trip soooooo much! Found at the fringe of a small town called Shuhe, this is definitely the best place to stay.

Firstly, Shuhe is on the Unesco World Heritage List and is well preserved, and quaint, with loads of greenery, clean running water running throughout the town, as compared to Lijiang Old Town, which is overrun with people and rather stressful to be at, even though it has its own charm. Shuhe is a great place to wind down and have a relaxing time.

Secondly, the Bivou has the best staff led by GM Hweeling! Have a chat with her, and you'd find out so many more things about the area, interesting titbits, and great recommendations! The staff are friendly and helpful, and are very patient. My 3 nieces are very social people, and are always looking for the staff to ask questions or just chit chat with and they were super nice to the kids and are always very accommodating! They even have a recreational area with an assortment of books and games for use whenever!

Thirdly, they have various packages for tours around the area, which to me are super good value and it makes it easy for a stress free holiday, without the need to plan or look for guides to bring us around. We highly enjoyed the horse back riding and even a hotpot meal at one of the villages in the home of a local! YUMMY!

Fourthly, the accommodation itself was what I would like my home to be like in future! It was cosy, and thoughtfully furnished. As we went as a family of 4 adults and 3 children, the garden villa was perfect for us. It was as beautiful as the pictures show on the website, and there was loads of space for us. There was a living area, 2 bathrooms with a toilet, an additional toilet, and three rooms. Toiletries, fruits, coffee, and drinking water and hot water flask was all provided. Even though the weather is cool even in summer, (the hottest temperature seems to be like 24 degrees), they do provide fans if needed. It was just fantastic. Words cannot do the villa enough justice.

The food was good too and there are cute activities for kids like clay sculpting! The resident pet cat, Sesame, was highly cute, and she mews everytime you call its name.

All in all, it was one of the best trips I've had and it is because we stayed at the Bivou.

Room Tip: get the villa if going as a biggish family. Totally worth it!
See more room tips
  • Stayed August 2014, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank hannahyeo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GMBivou, General Manager at The Bivou, responded to this review, 25 August 2014
Dear hannahyeo, thank you so much for your great review! It is such a great encouragement to us! We’re delighted that we were able to show you so much of the still charming parts of Lijiang during your weekend “getaway” and to connect you with the wonderfully friendly locals, be they farmers, horse trek guides or just residents living around us . Many of our guests do really appreciate how different Shuhe is from the big cities of Asia, while being such a short flight away. Coming from places like Singapore, Hong Kong or Shanghai, you are transported instantly to a completely different reality – with clean alpine air, dramatic blue skies and an idyllic pace of life surrounded by rustic farmland and soaring mountains, while still maintaining the creature comforts and basic familiarity you need to have a great recharge! We would certainly hope to see you again! There’s plenty more to explore in the area and in different seasons, and we’d love to show you more the next time you come back. As for our young guests, with our team of young and enthusiastic English speaking staff, brimming with ideas and who also happen to adore children, expect more fun and memorable activities that will keep them well occupied while allowing you the break you need to enjoy this incredible destination! See you soon!
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Rockville, MD
Level Contributor
61 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 71 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 August 2014

We stayed here for 3 nights in the farmyard room. The hotel has a nice situation surrounded on one side by a vegetable garden. Shuehe Ancient Town is definitely more appealing than Lijiang, which is overrun by tourists and tourist shops. The staff are all very welcoming, especially MiaoMiao and Joseph. Be sure to eat the Bai family dinner prepared by the hotel chef. You can ask for the type of food you like (e.g., vegetables, mushrooms, or meat) and the chef will prepare the meal especially for you. You have to order one day in advance--as the food is prepared fresh. We definitely recommend eating at least one dinner at the hotel. The room was nice and clean, the only thing I would note is that the bathroom is very dark, especially in the shower area. One can not really see to groom oneself. Be sure also to check out the library, especially the old National Geographic articles by Joseph Rock on his Yunnan expedition. A wonderful place to spend several days.

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Worldtravelor09
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GMBivou, General Manager at The Bivou, responded to this review, 25 August 2014
Dear Worldtravelor09, we’re so glad you enjoyed the oft-mentioned Bivou Yunnan Farmhouse dinner – and Aunty Cun is blushing now because you called her a “hotel chef”! :) The Bivou’s signature Bai minority dinner is indeed prepared fresh on demand, using ingredients you can find in our local markets and farms, varying in different seasons, or even from our own gardens, by the wonderful Bai and Yi minority ladies who work in our hotel (aren't we lucky!). They haven't received any special culinary training before, but as is typical of many of the minority cultures here, take a great sense of pride in their abilities in the kitchen as well as are frequently lauded for "cooking with their hearts" whether for village feasts or guests from afar such as yourself. The Bivou takes its role in promoting local culture very seriously, and we do want to share with our guests such Insider’s “tastes” of Yunnan.

Thank you so much for your suggestions regarding the Farm Yard Rooms. The bathrooms for these 4 rooms in our hotel are indeed rather unique and more dimly lit than some other room types that we have. This is an intentional design element due to fact that the bathrooms here are fully open on one side to the lush interior garden, but privacy is always maintained through the use of one-way mirrored glass so as to allow guests to enjoy the garden even while taking a shower! We will however explore further how we can make these work for the ultimate Bivou experience and hope to see you back again soon to try out the other rooms too!
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Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 August 2014

We came to Lijiang in the rainy season which wasn't ideal but the stay at the Bivou made up for that. The whole staff are incredibly welcoming - there is nothing they would not do for you. the rooms are tastefully refurbished and spotlessly clean, the food for breakfast is delicious and all home made and the help given to organize trips is fantastic. Most of all it is a peaceful haven away from the crowds in the beautiful town of Shuhe. I can't wait to go back.

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank David W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GMBivou, General Manager at The Bivou, responded to this review, 25 August 2014
Dear David W, thank you for your kind review about our hotel and staff! We are glad that you enjoy our homemade breakfast specially designed by our in-house team and lovingly put together by our local cooks, be it jams, granola or the breakfast-cake-of-the-day.

As for the weather, part of the excitement of traveling is the sheer unpredictability of it, and unfortunately, that does mean that the weather sometimes isn’t in a particularly cooperative mood, even though the slightly wet weather does bring with it its treasure of wild mushrooms, lush green meadows and endless fields of wild flowers. If you do come back, however, could we suggest a different season this time, perhaps between the months of October to April – which is traditionally the “dry season” of Lijiang, with clear blue skies – perfect for exploring mountain trails, cycling out to the rustic villages that surround the Bivou and even going kayaking on the nearby alpine lake. Yes, do come back again, and we’ll take you on some different Bivou adventures this time!
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Additional Information about The Bivou

Property: The Bivou
Address: 16 Zhonghe Cun, Shuhe Old Town, Lijiang, China
Phone Number:
Region: China > Yunnan > Lijiang
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Suites Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 921 Hotels in Lijiang
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Number of rooms: 16
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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